Requesting Student Level Data

To protect student privacy, the Family Education Records Privacy Act  of 1974 (FERPA) restricts the public release of student-level data by education agencies, such as the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).  FERPA includes a “studies exception” under which local and state education agencies are permitted to release data from an education record that goes beyond standard directory information.  Further, Ohio law (ORC § 3301.12) grants to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction the authority to approve release of education records to research organizations for conducting studies on behalf of ODE.

Research organizations wishing to conduct evaluative studies using student-level data must file a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ODE.  The MOU will, among other things, detail the expectation that the research organization assume responsibility for the ongoing protection of the education records upon receipt.  To place an inquiry about student-level data for research, please contact Eben Dowell.

Prior to contacting ODE, researchers are encouraged to review the EMIS Manual to ensure the desired data items are collected by the state.  Researchers will be asked to provide initial information on institutional affiliation, proposed scope of work and data elements.  Note that graduate students must have a faculty advisor as the principal investigator. ODE will review the initial information on the project and contact the researcher, generally within one month, to inform whether to proceed with completion of an MOU.  ODE reserves full discretion to assess proposals based on FERPA, state law and agency priorities.

Last Modified: 6/12/2023 1:26:32 PM