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Webinar: Managing Research Requests in a Local Education Agency. April 9, 2014. WebEx Instructions. WebEx Instructions. Attendees can provide non-verbal feedback to presenters utilizing the Feedback tool. . WebEx Instructions. Feedback options:. WebEx Instructions.

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webex instructions1
WebEx Instructions

Attendees can provide non-verbal feedback to presenters utilizing the Feedback tool.

webex instructions2
WebEx Instructions

Feedback options:

webex instructions3
WebEx Instructions

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Remember to click “Submit” once you have selected your answer(s).

webex instructions4
WebEx Instructions

Attendees should utilize the “Q&A” feature to pose questions to the speaker, panelists, and/or host.

The host will hold all questions directed toward the speaker or panelists, and they will be answered during a Q&A session at the end of each discussion.

welcome and overview

Welcome and Overview

Jane Alexander

Senior Research SpecialistREL Appalachia

  • Welcome and Overview
    • What is a REL?
    • REL Appalachia’s Mission
    • Introductions and Webinar Goals
  • Forum Guide presentation
  • Perspectives of an LEA representative
  • Presentation of REL NEI toolkit
  • Wrap-up
  • Stakeholder Feedback Survey
what is a rel
What is a REL?

A REL is a Regional Educational Laboratory.

There are 10 RELs across the country.

The REL program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

A REL serves the education needs of a designated region.

The REL works in partnership with the region’s school districts, state departments of education, and others to use data and research to improve academic outcomes for students.

rel appalachia s mission
REL Appalachia’s Mission
  • Meet the applied research and technical assistance needs of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Conduct empirical research and analysis.
  • Bring evidence-based information to policy makers and practitioners:
    • Inform policy and practice – for states, districts, schools, and other stakeholders.
    • Focus on high-priority, discrete issues and build a body of knowledge over time.


Follow us! @REL_Appalachia

introductions and webinar goals

Introductions and Webinar Goals

Jane Alexander

Senior Research SpecialistREL Appalachia


Christina Tydeman, Ph.D.Hawaii Department of EducationRobert Rodosky, Ph.D.Jefferson County Public Schools

Julie Kochanek, Ph.D.REL Northeast and Islands

webinar goals
Webinar Goals

Provide an introduction to the National Forum on Education Statistics’ (NFES) Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective.

Increase understanding of how participants can promote research that aligns with their LEA's strategic plan.

Provide best practices and tools that can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of processing research requests to reduce the burden on the education agency.

supporting data access for researchers an lea perspective

Supporting Data Access for Researchers: An LEA Perspective

Christina Tydeman

Hawaii Department of Education

forum purpose
Forum Purpose

To improve the quality, comparability, and utilityof elementary and secondary education data.


  • Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective
  • Responding to and servicing researcher requests for data access requires a significant amount of LEA staff time and effort.
  • Requests often fail to align with the agency’s strategic priorities and, as a result, research findings infrequently support the LEA in its efforts to educate students.
lea data access working group
LEA Data Access Working Group
  • Chair
    • Christina Tydeman, Hawaii Department of Education
  • Members
    • Sheri Ballman, Princeton City Public Schools (OH)
    • Marilyn King, Bozeman School District #7 (MT)
    • Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish School System (LA)
    • Arleen Thompson, Boston Public Schools (MA)
    • David Weinberger, Yonkers Public Schools (NY)
  • Project Officer
    • Ghedam Bairu, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
  • Consultants
    • Abby Loughrey, Quality Information Partners
document purpose
Document Purpose
  • Helps the LEA to more efficiently and responsibly support access to data.
    • Recommend policies, practices, and templates that can be adapted/adopted.
  • Results in findings that enhance the agency’s efforts to educate its students.
  • Primary
    • Local education agency policymakers
    • Local education agency data managers
  • Secondary
    • Research community
types of data access requests
Types of Data Access Requests

Permission to Access New Data

(i.e., primary research, or simply, research)

  • Not previously collected
  • Available through research subjects
  • Requires interactions with staff and/or students

Permission to Access Existing Data

(i.e., secondary research, or data sharing)

  • Previously collected
  • Available in data systems or hard data sets
  • Does not require interactions with staff and/or students
foundation the research agenda
Foundation: The Research Agenda

The research agenda:

  • Aligns with the LEA’s strategic plan.
  • Guides researchers in designing projects that meet the needs of the LEA.
  • Is modified as the agency identifies new goals and priorities.
core practices
Core Practices

Help Researchers Understand Agency Data and the Data Request Process

Create Effective Request Forms for Researchers

Review Data Requests Strategically

Manage the Data Request Process Efficiently

Release Data Appropriately

Monitor Data Use

Use Research Findings in the LEA

1 inform researchers
1. Inform Researchers
  • Create, promote, and use a research agenda.
  • Develop policies about training topics and requirements for researchers.
  • Identify or develop resources (e.g., training materials) to help researchers better understand, request, and access new and existing data.
  • Determine when communications would be most useful to researchers during the data request/access/use timeline.
2 create effective request forms for researchers
2. Create Effective Request Forms for Researchers
  • Identify the information needed by the LEA to evaluate data access requests; design forms that are likely to generate this information in an efficient manner.
  • Consider the use of a Preliminary Data Access Request form to minimize the burden on prospective researchers while still providing adequate information for an initial review of the request.
  • Design and implement a Full Data Access Request form that requires all of the information needed for the request to be evaluated.
3 review requests strategically
3. Review Requests Strategically
  • Determine and post a process for channeling requests to the appropriate office or offices in the agency.
  • Assign responsibility for each incoming request.
  • Standardize a review method or methods.
  • Determine the participants and frequency of review team meetings.
  • Establish a method for handling requests that cannot wait for a review team meeting.
  • Develop guidelines for handling requests that involve data from other agencies.
4 manage the request process efficiently
4. Manage the Request Process Efficiently
  • Establish and clearly communicate eligibility criteria.
  • Develop a searchable system (for internal use) that tracks the entire data access process, from receiving requests to data destruction.
  • Determine how the LEA will communicate with researchers and share formative information about the review status.
  • Advise researchers about ways in which the request process can be streamlined.
5 release data appropriately
5. Release Data Appropriately
  • Create a checklist for review prior to releasing data to verify that the researcher has completed all mandated training, paid any required fees, and signed all required agreements.
  • Establish procedures for providing the researcher with relevant metadata.
  • If providing access to new data, ensure that an LEA staff member—who is qualified to evaluate and enforce the legality and ethics of research activities—monitors all interactions between students and researchers (according to local policy).
  • If providing access to existing data, determine the format and media for releases and engage in data protection activities.
  • Record all disclosures in compliance with expectations set forth in FERPA.
6 monitor data use
6. Monitor Data Use
  • Confirm researcher adherence to agreements through project monitoring and data security audits.
  • Consider reasonable modifications to the Data Accessing Agreement when the researcher submits the appropriate forms and justifies any modifications to the original request.
  • Ensure that approved modifications are stored and tracked with the original request.
  • Review research outcomes to prevent any unintended disclosure of personally identifiable information.
  • Review any recordkeeping by the researcher to ensure that all privacy rights afforded to students and staff will be guaranteed.
  • Confirm project completion and data destruction.
7 use research findings in the lea
7. Use Research Findings in the LEA
  • Solicit results once research projects are complete.
  • Encourage researchers to effectively communicate findings in ways that are easily disseminated to a range of stakeholders including policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and parents.
  • Use the research findings to inform the work of the LEA.
  • Build mutually beneficial relationships with researchers through ongoing communication.
core practices review
Core Practices Review

Help Researchers Understand Agency Data and the Data Request Process

Create Effective Request Forms for Researchers

Review Data Requests Strategically

Manage the Data Request Process Efficiently

Release Data Appropriately

Monitor Data Use

Use Research Findings in the LEA

jefferson county public schools ky model of success
Jefferson County Public Schools (KY) Model of Success
  • Partnership with the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development.
  • LEA teachers and administrators pursue doctoral degrees that culminate in research around the agency’s strategic plan.
  • Request process is automated through LEA website.
  • Doctoral program’s leadership includes an LEA representative who also sits on the university’s IRB (expedites LEA approval process and strengthens partnership).
  • Steps for informing and training researchers are embedded in the college’s coursework.
  • Monitoring is a coordinated effort between the LEA and university.
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • Download the guide from the Forum website.
    • http://nces.ed.gov/forum/pub_2014801.asp
  • Refer to the SEA version of the guide.
    • http://nces.ed.gov/forum/pub_2012809.asp
supporting data access for researchers a local education agency perspective

Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective

Robert J. Rodosky, Ph.D.

Chief of Data Management, Planning, and Program Evaluation

Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville, Kentucky)

creating a robust data access framework in jcps
Creating a Robust Data Access Framework in JCPS
  • Key for creating a robust access framework was to implement the 7 Core Practices—together, the Core Practices are comprehensive in nature.
  • A well-developed districtwide Strategic Plan guiding the JCPS research agenda was essential.
  • You can prioritize data requests based on alignment with your Strategic Plan.
creating a robust data access framework in jcps cont
Creating a Robust Data Access Framework in JCPS (cont.)
  • It is important to have Internal Review Board (IRB) approval of the researcher’s organization (particularly for Expedited and Full Reviews).
  • Assess the value of the data you will gain versus the burden of collecting the data.
    • Disruption to the data management and business processes of JCPS.
    • Disruption to instructional time in schools.
  • Use a framework as guidance for developing a data request tracking system—our JCPS Data Request Management System.
impact of creating a data access framework in jcps
Impact of Creating a Data Access Framework in JCPS
  • Researchers can advance our JCPS Strategic Plan research agenda:
    • Goal 1 – Increased learning
    • Goal 2 – Graduation and success beyond graduation
    • Goal 3 – Stakeholder involvement/engagement
    • Goal 4 – Safe, resourced, supported, and equipped schools
impact of creating a data access framework in jcps cont
Impact of Creating a Data Access Framework in JCPS (Cont.)
  • The process of managing data requests is more efficient and effective.
  • We are supporting the JCPS research capacity (we are faced with relatively limited personnel to handle the data and research needs).
  • It is more likely that the research findings will be used in our system.
  • We reserve the right to decline requests, even after IRB approval. School principals can decide to decline after the central office approves a request.
impact of creating a data access framework in jcps cont1
Impact of Creating a Data Access Framework in JCPS (Cont.)
  • Better protection of personally identifiable information (PII) and compliance with established federal regulations:
    • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
    • National School Lunch Act (NSLA)
  • No one is exempt from following the JCPS protocol for research.
  • Legal counsel is used only when necessary.
  • Meshes well with IRB requirements.
  • Promotes the use of consent forms when necessary.
  • Promotes careful and appropriate releasing of data (e.g., website rather than e-mail, de-identification, anonymization).
working with researchers lessons learned
Working With Researchers: Lessons Learned
  • We need to agree that JCPS’ key goal is to support useful, timely, valid/reliable, and ethical research to improve student achievement.
  • If focus is on student achievement, the external research actually helps reduce JCPS Data Management and Research workload.
  • We distinguish between permission to access existing data and permission to access new data, while balancing research benefits with the burden placed on schools.
  • We need to emphasize the requirements to comply with regulations associated with FERPA, PPRA, and NSLA.
  • We need to be clear to researchers that we need actionable research thatcan be easily understood to support us in making data-driven decisions.
working with researchers lessons learned cont
Working With Researchers: Lessons Learned (cont.)
  • Timing is important in reporting data—we need to focus on the right window of opportunity.
  • Theoretical implications are OK, but practical implications are better.
  • Collaboration with top authorities from local universities is key to this process.
  • We are disproving the longstanding association between large organizations and the phrase, “data rich, but information poor.”
  • We reserve the right to prioritize our data services to our priority schools; then we assemble the data needed by external researchers.
  • If data accessing agreements are involved, we make sure to connect with our Legal Office for guidance.
  • When working in collaborative research endeavors, we emphasize that a true partnership is a two-way street.
suggestions based on our e xperience in jcps
Suggestions Based on Our Experience in JCPS

Suggestions for creating a data access framework with few resources:

  • Design a workflow for managing data requests
    • Data Request Management System
  • Develop a prioritization process
    • Use your Strategic Plan
    • Use a framework like the Program Evaluation Standards (1981; 1994; 2011) developed by the Joint Committee, which highlight utility, feasibility, accuracy, and propriety (access this at http://www.jcsee.org/program-evaluation-standards)
  • Protect instructional time in schools (assess the value of data vs. burden of collecting the data)
  • Maximize the impact by developing guidelines on reporting processes
    • Executive Summary, Managerial Report, and Technical Report

Dr. Robert Rodosky, ChiefData Management, Planning, and Program Evaluation ServicesJefferson County Public Schools (Louisville, KY)

Phone: (502) 485-3036robert.rodosky@jefferson.kyschools.us

rel northeast islands school district and state tools for working with external researchers

REL Northeast & IslandsSchool District and State Tools forWorking With External Researchers

Julie Kochanek, Director of Research

REL Northeast & Islands

rel nei tools for working with external researchers
REL NEI Tools for Working With External Researchers
  • Product developed by REL Northeast & Islands for the Urban School Improvement Alliance.
  • Alliance research agenda focuses on data use in school and district decision-making.
  • Alliance member needs identified:
    • How to leverage requests for data to serve district research priorities?
    • How to review, prioritize, and manage research requests?
  • Toolkit created with advisory committee of alliance members.
district and state tools for working with external researchers
District and State Tools for Working with External Researchers
  • Identifying District or State Research Priorities
    • [Insert link to published product.]
  • Vetting Research Requests
    • [Insert link to published product.]
  • Recruiting External Researchers
    • [Insert link to published product.]
  • Disseminating Research Results Externally
    • [Insert link to published product.]
wrap up and closing remarks stakeholder feedback survey

Wrap Up and Closing RemarksStakeholder Feedback Survey

Jane Alexander

Senior Research SpecialistREL Appalachia

stakeholder feedback survey access information
Stakeholder Feedback Survey Access Information

Please visit:https://checkbox.cna.org/ResearchRequestsLEA.aspxto provide feedback on today’s webinar event.