To protect student privacy, the Family Education Records Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) restricts the public release of student-level data by state education agencies. FERPA does include circumstances under which the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is authorized to release data from an education record. Ohio Revised Code § 3301.12 grants to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction the authority to approve the release of this information to research organizations conducting studies on behalf of ODE.
Research institutions wishing to conduct evaluative studies using student-level data must file a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ODE (see below for template). The MOU will, among other things, detail the expectation that the research organization will assume responsibility for the ongoing protection of the education records upon receipt of student level data. To learn more about the commitments required of researchers in ODE’s MOU, please review the “Understanding ODE’s MOU” document below.
ODE’s MOU requires researchers to provide a detailed list of data elements requested for the purpose of the research study. ODE collects student data via the Education Management Information System (EMIS). Prior to submitting an MOU, please review the EMIS Manual to compile an initial list of requested data elements to complete the MOU Appendix A. The EMIS Manual is available to the public on ODE’s Education Management Information System website.
Matthew Cohen, Chief Research Officer
Office of Policy & Research
Ohio Department of Education
25 S. Front Street, 7th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215