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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records-Impact Evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants

Action

Notice Of A New System Of Records.

Summary

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a (Privacy Act), the Department of Education (Department) publishes this notice of a new system of records entitled “Impact Evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants” (18-13-32). The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at the Department's Institute of Education Sciences awarded a contract in September 2010 to Mathematica Policy Research to conduct an implementation and impact evaluation of two of the Department's grant programs: Race to the Top and Title I School Improvement Grants. The system of records will contain records on students in tested grades from approximately 61 school districts in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and will be used to conduct the study.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act, the Department seeks comments on the new system of records described in this notice and in particular on the proposed routine uses for the new system of records. We must receive your comments on or before November 13, 2012.

The Department filed a report describing the new system of records covered by this notice with the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on October 9, 2012. This system of records will become effective at the later date of—(1) the expiration of the 40-day period for OMB review on November 19, 2012, unless OMB waives 10 days of the 40-day review period for compelling reasons shown by the Department, or (2) November 13, 2012, unless the system of records needs to be changed as a result of public comment or OMB review. The Department will publish any changes to the system of records or routine uses that result from public comment or OMB review.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Address all comments about the proposed routine uses to Dr. Audrey Pendleton, Associate Commissioner, Evaluation Division, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., Room 502D, Washington, DC 20208-0001. Telephone: (202) 208-7078. If you prefer to send your comments through the Internet, use the following address: comments@ed.gov. You must include the term “Impact Evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants” in the subject line of the electronic message.

During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice at the Department in Room 502D, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record Back to Top

On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Dr. Audrey Pendleton, Associate Commissioner, Evaluation Division, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., Room 502D, Washington, DC 20208-0001. Telephone: (202) 208-7078. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed in this section.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Introduction Back to Top

The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires the Department to publish in the Federal Register this notice of a new system of records (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (e)(11)). The Department's regulations implementing the Privacy Act are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 34 CFR part 5b.

The Privacy Act applies to information about individuals that contains individually identifying information and that is retrieved by a unique identifier associated with each individual, such as a name or social security number. The information about each individual is called a “record,” and the system, whether manual or computer based, is called a “system of records.”

Whenever the Department publishes a new system of records or makes a significant change to an established system of records, the Privacy Act requires it to publish a system of records notice in the Federal Register. The Department is also required to submit reports to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. These reports are intended to permit an evaluation of the probable effect of the proposal on the privacy rights of individuals.

Electronic Access to This Document Back to Top

The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Dated: October 9, 2012.

John Q. Easton,

Director, Institute of Education Sciences.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (Department) publishes a notice of a new system of records to read as follows:

SYSTEM NUMBER: Back to Top

18-13-32

SYSTEM NAME:

Impact Evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

None.

SYSTEM LOCATIONS:

(1) Evaluation Division, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., Room 502D, Washington, DC 20208-0001.

(2) Mathematica Policy Research, 600 Alexander Park, Suite 100, Princeton, NJ 08540 (contractor).

(3) The American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson St. NW., Washington, DC 20007 (subcontractor).

(4) Social Policy Research Associates, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1426, Oakland, CA 94612 (subcontractor).

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

The system will contain records on students in tested grades from approximately 61 school districts in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

The system of records will include information about the students who are included in the study. This student-level information will include, but will not necessarily be limited to, student IDs; the names and IDs of the school and school district that the student attends; year of birth; demographic information such as race, ethnicity, gender, and educational background (grade level, free and reduced-price lunch status, English language learner status, and special education status); whether the student graduated from high school and enrolled in college; and assessment information and scores on reading and mathematics state assessments.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

The study is authorized under the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, Part D, Section 171(b)(2) (20 U.S.C. 9561(b)(2)), which authorizes the IES to “conduct evaluations of Federal education programs administered by the Secretary (and as time and resources allow, other education programs) to determine the impact of such programs (especially on student academic achievement in the core academic areas of reading, mathematics, and science).”

PURPOSE(S):

The information contained in the records maintained in this system will be used to conduct an implementation and impact evaluation of two of the Department's grant programs: Race to the Top and Title I School Improvement Grants.

The study will address the following four research questions: (1) How are Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants implemented at the State, district, and school levels? (2) Are Race to the Top reforms related to improvement in student outcomes? (3) Does receipt of School Improvement Grants funding to implement a school turnaround model affect outcomes for low-performing schools? (4) Is the implementation of school turnaround models, and strategies within those models, related to improvement in student outcomes?

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

The Department may disclose information contained in a record in this system of records under the routine uses listed in this system of records without the consent of the individual if the disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the record was collected. The Department may make these case-by-case disclosures or, if the Department has complied with the computer matching requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act) (5 U.S.C. 552a), under a computer matching agreement. Any disclosure of individually identifying information from a record in this system must also comply with the requirements of section 183 of the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA) (20 U.S.C. 9573), which provides confidentiality standards that apply to all collection, reporting, and publication of data by IES.

(1) Research Disclosure. The Director of IES may disclose information from this system of records to qualified researchers solely for the purpose of carrying out specific research that is compatible with the purpose of this system of records. The researcher shall be required to maintain under the Privacy Act and the ESRA safeguards with respect to such records. When individually identifying information from a student's education record will be disclosed to the researcher under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (FERPA), the researcher also shall be required to comply with the requirements of a written agreement between the researcher and IES pursuant to the written agreement requirements under FERPA.

(2) Contract Disclosure. If the Department contracts with an entity to perform any function that requires disclosing records in this system to the contractor's employees, the Department may disclose the records to those employees who have received the appropriate level of security clearance from the Department. Before entering into such a contract, the Department will require the contractor to establish and maintain the safeguards required under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(m)) with respect to the records in the system.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

None.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

The Department maintains records on CD-ROM, and the contractor (Mathematica Policy Research) and subcontractors (The American Institutes for Research and Social Policy Research Associates) maintain data for this system on computers and in hard copy.

RETRIEVABILITY:

Records in this system are indexed and retrieved by a unique random number assigned to each individual that is cross-referenced by the individual's unique State- or district-assigned student ID on a separate list.

SAFEGUARDS:

All physical access to the Department's site and to the sites of the Department's contractor and subcontractors, where this system of records is maintained, is controlled and monitored by security personnel. The computer system employed by the Department offers a high degree of resistance to tampering and circumvention. This security system limits data access to Department and contract staff on a need-to-know basis and controls individual users' ability to access and alter records within the system.

The contractor and subcontractors will establish a similar set of procedures at their sites to ensure confidentiality of data. The contractor and subcontractors are required to ensure that print data identifying individuals are in files physically separated from other research data and electronic files identifying individuals are separated from other electronic research data files. The contractor and subcontractors will maintain security of the complete set of all master data files and documentation. Access to individually identifying data will be strictly controlled. At each site, all print data will be kept in locked file cabinets during nonworking hours and work on hardcopy data will take place in a single room, except for data entry.

Physical security of electronic data will also be maintained. Security features that protect project data include: Password-protected accounts that authorize users to use the contractor's system but to access only specific network directories and network software; user rights and directory and file attributes that limit those who can use particular directories and files and determine how they can use them; and additional security features that the network administrators will establish for projects as needed. The Department's, contractor's, and subcontractors' employees who “maintain” (collect, maintain, use, or disseminate) data in this system must comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act and the confidentiality standards in section 183 of the ESRA.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

Records are maintained and disposed of in accordance with the Department's Records Disposition Schedules ED 068.a (NARA Job Number: N1-441-08-18).

SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS:

Associate Commissioner, Evaluation Division, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., Room 502D, Washington, DC 20208-0001.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

If you wish to determine whether a record exists regarding you in the system of records, contact the system manager at the address listed under SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS. Your request must meet the requirements of the Department's Privacy Act regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of identity.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:

If you wish to gain access to a record about you in this system of records, contact the system manager at the address listed under SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS. Your request must meet the requirements of the Department's Privacy Act regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of identity.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURE:

If you wish to contest the content of a record regarding you in the system of records, contact the system manager at the address listed under SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS. Your request for access to a record must meet the requirements of the Department's Privacy Act regulations at 34 CFR 5b.7, including proof of identity, specification of the particular record you are seeking to have changed, and the written justification for making such a change.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

This system will contain records on students included in the Impact Evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants. Data will be obtained through student records maintained by states or school districts.

EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:

None.

[FR Doc. 2012-25186 Filed 10-11-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

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