Data Requests

Overview

ADE recognizes and values the research work done by the education community and policy makers to improve education in Arizona. As with most organizations, ADE has limited resources to respond to data requests. Well written research proposals that are aligned with the ADE’s Partnership Research Priorities will receive higher priority and preference.

Requesting Data from the Arizona Department of Education

As of August 1, 2013, the ADE has implemented new policies and processes around the processing of data requests in order to improve the quality, timeliness, security and appropriateness of requests and request handling.

Overview of Ways to Obtain Data

  1. Publicly Available Data: Many program areas within the ADE post public datasets and reports that may be immediately downloaded and utilized. All requestors should review existing public data sets on the ADE website for the desired data. A complete listing of publicly available data can be found at Public Data Sets
  2. Public Records Requests: Generally, all records necessary to provide an accurate accounting of official government-funded activities are presumed available for public inspection. Please note that Arizona public records law does not apply to student-level data. Public Records Requests for non-student level data may be submitted via Public Records Requests
  3. Data Requests: If the desired data do not qualify as a public record and are not published on the ADE website, a data request will be needed. The requester must determine whether the request is for aggregated data or personally identifiable data.
Aggregated Data Requests
All requests for data that can be fulfilled with aggregated data should be submitted via the procedures located at the ‘Aggregated Data Requests’ tab above.

Personally Identifiable Information Requests All requests for data that contain personally identifiable information (PII) must be submitted for review by the ADE Data Request Review Board along with justification for why aggregated data will not meet the study needs. PII consists of information that can be directly tied to an individual, such as a student or a teacher, with reasonable certainty. For example, a student’s birth date, students’ test scores, or teachers’ qualifications, are considered personally identifiable when provided at the individual level. Be aware that ADE may legally deny, with any or no reason, requests for student-level data and/or personally identifiable information. For additional information see the ‘Personally Identifiable Information Requests’ tab above.

More detailed information on the ways to request data from ADE can be obtained by using the tabs above. If you have a request that is not applicable to these categories, please contact ADE with questions at DataRequestMailbox@azed.gov.

Aggregated Data Requests

If your data request necessitates only aggregate student and/or teacher information that is not already available online, ADE will process the request in aggregate, suppressing results as needed to ensure that personally identifiable information is not released. It is ADE’s policy, in accordance with state and federal education laws that public reports or datasets provided in response to a data request containing aggregate student data must suppress results for small groups of students when associated with characteristics that would make it possible to identify a student. According to federal education laws, confidential information includes “a list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty.” Consequently, this policy applies whenever an identified group contains fewer than 11 students. When an identified group is smaller than this threshold, the report will display a placeholder (for example, * or ‘NA’).

Please note that a request for aggregate data without cell suppression is considered a request for Personally Identifiable Information (PII). As such, requests that require cells to not be suppressed should review the PII procedure by using the Personally Identifiable Information Request tab above.

Requestors seeking aggregate data (with cell suppression for low n-counts) can either complete the online form or download the ‘Data Extract Release & Release Guidelines and Form’ and submit it and any supporting documentation to DataRequestMailbox@azed.gov. Please be as descriptive as possible so the ADE can process your request in a timely manner.

Go to Online Form , or

Download Data Extract Release & Request Guidelines and Form

For status inquiries on existing requests only, please contact DataRequestMailbox@azed.gov referencing the original request and/or agreement. If you have a new critical data request that affects your organization’s compliance with federal or state programs, please contact DataRequestMailbox@azed.gov with details of the request.

Requesting Personally Identifiable Information or Data from the Arizona Department of Education

Any person or organization, including doctoral and master’s degree candidates, university faculty, independent researchers, and private and non-profit organization who wishes to use personally identifiable information of any type, must submit a data request packet.

The data request packet must include 1) the cover sheet, 2) a project narrative and 3) all necessary /applicable supporting documentation. The project narrative should include the general purpose, a description of the study, the type of data requested, and contact information (e.g., e-mail address, phone number of the principal researcher).
All requests and supporting documents sent to the ADE become public records subject to existing privacy and other statutes. All requests reviewed and approved by the Data Request Review Board (Board) will have their cover sheet published on the ADE website. Any documents or sections of documents submitted to the ADE containing trade-secrets or confidential information (for example, if publically released will compromise the value and/or validity of the study) must be clearly indicated along with the reason why it is confidential.

The Board reviews all requests that are made to conduct research using personally identifiable data. Board meetings are closed to the public. If your initial request is denied by the Board, you can elect to revise your request and resubmit. For updated requests only, you may be requested to present at the next scheduled Board meeting to answer any questions the Board may have. You must notify ADE of your intention to do so two weeks prior to the scheduled Board date.

The ADE reserves the right to refuse a data request for student-level data and/or personally identifiable information for any reason, especially if, in ADE’s view, it has the potential to negatively impact the state of Arizona, a particular school, a staff group, cohorts of students or established laws and rules. ADE will automatically refuse any data requests if personally identifiable information could be made public as part of the research study. Report authors are responsible for ensuring that the ADE’s cell suppression policy (see section above on aggregate data) is applied appropriately to any reports created using data provided by ADE.

ADE recognizes and values the research work done by the education community and policy makers to improve education in Arizona. As with most organizations, ADE has limited resources to respond to data requests. Well written proposals that are aligned with ADE’s Partnership Research Priorities will receive higher priority and preference.

Please read this section carefully. For approval to be granted, a complete request packet, including the elements detailed below, must be provided in electronic form. Faxed or hard copy materials are not acceptable. Failure to comply with all requirements may result in your request being significantly delayed and/or rejected. You can speed up the approval by checking to make sure that all necessary parts of the request are enclosed and that the materials to be reviewed are clear and legible. Board approval must be granted before the request will be processed.

Process

1. All requestors are expected to have reviewed all existing public data sets that have been published on the ADE website and confirm that the desired data is not available prior to submitting the request. A complete listing of publicly available data can be found at Public Data Sets

2. Review and complete the Personally Identifiable Information Data Request Packet, including the Cover Sheet, Project Narrative and all applicable supporting documents.

3. All Personally Identifiable Information Request Packets need to be submitted to DataRequestMailbox@azed.gov.

4. Once a requestor has provided a complete packet of materials, the Data Request Review Board will begin its review. Incomplete packets will not be considered. Requestors should allow at least 45 days for the approval process to be completed. Be aware that ADE may legally deny, with any or no reason, requests for student-level data and/or personally identifiable information.

5. Notification of the Board’s final determination will be sent to the requestor.

6. Individuals with an approved PII request will need to complete a data sharing agreement.

7. Requests that are approved are placed in a processing queue. ADE uses its discretion in prioritizing requests. Even though ADE will make every attempt to provide data by the requested date, there is no guarantee that the data will be delivered by the requested date.

Narrative GUIDELINES

All requests for personally identifiable information must include a detailed description of the requested data and of your proposed study. This description of your study question(s) should be clear and specific with regard to the 1) variables to be examined, 2) time period of interest, and 3) analytical methods. Requesters are also required to describe their projects and how results will be used. Below are suggestions to help guide requestors in composing a clear, complete description of their study or question.

Specific Project Aims
State the long-term objectives and specific aims of the proposal. This should include specific research questions and your hypotheses for the results. If your study addresses more than one research question, please describe and address each clearly and explain how the questions relate to one another. State why this research is being conducted, for example if it is the basis for a thesis or dissertation, peer reviewed publication, a policy report, or other research purpose. If applicable, indicate the source and amount of funds that support the study.

Significance, background, and preliminary studies
Provide context and relevance of the study proposal to education, the science of teaching or learning, or education policy. This might include a brief statement of the theoretical basis for your study from prior published research (include references in APA format as relevant- see below), and what contribution your work is expected to make in that context. If the research proposal is aligned to ADE’s Partnership Research Priorities, please specify the area to which it supports. If the proposed study furthers or continues a line of academic inquiry, please describe any relevant preliminary or precursory studies and how the current research expands upon your foundational work.

Experimental/Research design, methods, analytic plan
In all analytical proposals, the purpose and specific methodologies that will be used must be described in enough detail so that the reviewers can determine their relevance to the requested data. Describe the methods that you will use and why they are appropriate for your research questions and your requested sample. The methodologies and statistical or analytical plan must be appropriate and match the scales of measurement of the variables requested and must relate specifically to the data elements and time periods requested. Also describe your anticipated analysis plan (essential), including specifics regarding your treatment of the data, statistical or otherwise.Exploratory study questions must meet the same standard. For these types of projects, specific hypotheses would not be necessary but should be described in sufficient detail so that the reviewers can understand and follow your line of inquiry.

Data Requested

Please list all variables requested. For example,

1. Standard student demographics include gender, race/ethnicity, limited English proficiency indicator, special needs indicator, economic disadvantage indicator.

2. Specify counties/districts/schools, if statewide data not required.

3. When requesting state assessment data, include relevant school years, grades tested, subjects tested, measures of interest (e.g., scale scores, performance categories), test period restrictions, where appropriate.

Supporting Documents

Along with the cover sheet and project narrative, any request for student-level data and/or personally identifiable information must be accompanied by the following attachments, as applicable. If a request packet does not include the necessary attachments, the request will be considered incomplete.

1. Evidence that the requestor is capable of handling the data. (For example a current résumé or curriculum vitae from the requestor and/or the research team.)

2. In the case of graduate students who are proposing to conduct research, ADE requires written approval by the person who is the advisor to the person making the request.

3. In the case of independent researchers who are proposing to conduct research, ADE requires written evidence of the knowledge, ability, and/or capacity to conduct the proposed research.

4. If research is being conducted, ADE requires written proof that the institution or organization under whose auspices the requestor is working has granted written permission for the study through its own IRB or other signatory authority.

5. If the researcher(s) requests data for selected schools and/or school districts, the researcher(s) must also provide documentation granting permission from the target school(s) or school district(s).

Data Sharing Agreement

The ADE is charged with and takes very seriously the collection, management, and stewardship of education data records. As such, the ADE enforces policies concerning the use and sharing of data that preserves the privacy and rights of our students, educators, and system. To that end, an approved data request will require a data sharing agreement, which will include the following written assurances, before any data are shared.

1. Because the ADE closely scrutinizes the risks associated with research involving human subjects, I assure that the proposed study will not hinder learning, interfere with safety, or negatively impact the teaching/learning process.

2. Pursuant to the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, I assure that confidentiality of student- and staff-level data will be maintained for all research involving any human subjects.

3. I assure that the identities of students, staff, schools, districts, the ADE and/or the state of Arizona will be masked when the researcher disseminates findings.

4. I assure that a summary of preliminary research findings and/or a technical report will be provided for ADE’s review at least 30 days prior to any publication of any studies conducted using student-level data or personally identifiable data from ADE.

5. I assure that a full copy of the published study and results will be provided to ADE.

6. I acknowledge that all the researchers involved in the research study must sign a confidentiality agreement and/or a memorandum of understanding that outlines the parameters (such as data security) of the project upon approval of this data request.

7. I assure that no personally identifiable information will be released as part of the study.

8. I agree to comply with the terms of the data sharing agreement describing how the data will be kept confidential and the identified destruction date for the data.

Download Personally Identifiable Information Request Handbook

       Download Personally Identifiable Information Request Cover Sheet

About the Data Request Review Board

In order for the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), as well as other federal and state regulations, a Policy has been established to define the purpose and responsibilities of the Data Request Review Board (DRRB).

The purpose of the Data Request Review Board (DRRB) is to implement processes for the provisioning of accurate, timely data and information to our internal and external customers while protecting personally identifiable student information and other confidential information.

  • Establishing, encouraging, and enforcing policies and procedures for responding to data and information requests
  • Providing and continually improving standard procedures for entering, prioritizing, and responding to data and information requests
  • Protecting the privacy of students, parents, and teachers
  • Providing for training of ADE staff to initiate and manage data requests
  • Prioritizing requests as needed
  • Assigning requests as needed
  • Reviewing and determining the legality of responding to requests as needed
  • Reporting and escalating issues to the Data Governance Board as needed
  • Reviewing the flow and completion of requests
  • Establish rules to expedite requests where no threat to the release of student or personal private information exists

Data Request Review Board Meeting Dates

If you are submitting a data request that contains personally identifiable information please provide adequate lead time so your request can be considered by the DRRB. DRRB meetings are closed to the public.

  • August 30, 2013
  • November 21, 2013
  • February 21, 2013