Data Access, Sharing, and Privacy
The Department of Education (DE) posts a number of publicly available data sets on its website. The Education Statistics webpage features downloadable data sets, which include data sets such as enrollment figures, district assessments, and teacher salary figures. In order to request additional information, complete the online data request form. These requests are filled in the order they are received. Some data requests can be denied due to the complexity of the request or the type of data requested. The DE must ensure that any data released is not personally identifiable. Education data is governed by the requirements within the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The DE is prohibited from releasing student information that is protected or identifiable under this law. More information about FERPA. The DE will redact data to ensure privacy standards are met. For more information, view the DE's Statement Regarding the Public Release of Data: Cautions About Interpretation
Data Governance Committee
Purpose and Function: The DE's Data Governance Committee serves as a separate and specialized advisory committee that defines the project's approach to master data management. The Data Governance Committee creates its mission statement, goals, and objectives, which ultimately define the data culture of the DE. The chief role of the Data Governance Committee is to identify data issues and propose recommended solutions. Since it has no policy-making authority, the Data Governance Committee provides the Steering Committee with the recommendations needed to adopt policies that ensure the quality, availability, security, and usability of Iowa education data for purposes of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). The group includes members that are subject matter authorities regarding data processes. The Data Governance Committee identifies the business rules required to make certain data are current, consistent, and accurate. It maintains a log of critical data issues, including their status and resolution, and shares the updated list with the Project Management Team. The scope of the group initially is limited to IDWS and may expand to other areas of the Department of Education based on the successful implementation of data governance for IDWS. While the Data Governance Committee receives issue referrals from the Project Management Team, it functions independently from the team, unlike the project’s other two committees. A summary of the Data Governance Committee’s responsibilities is listed below:
- Makes recommendations on data policies and solutions to data issues to the Steering Committee
- Identifies data issues (such as multiple sources of data having differing data definitions for the same term) and proposes solutions
- Maintains and shares a data issue and resolution log with the Project Management Team
- Creates and maintains a source-specific data collection calendar
- Develops recommended business rules to ensure data quality and consistency
- Identifies the data source of record for data elements with multiple sources
Meeting Frequency: The Data Governance Committee meets weekly.
Committee Membership: Members of the Data Governance Committee include a cross section of representatives from each of the data sources contributing to the SLDS. Examples include K-12 education program consultants and the Community College program consultant. The committee is representative of the major data stewards.