Performance Reporting has received multiple inquiries about the increased presence of asterisks in the STAAR performance section of the recently released Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR), particularly for smaller districts and campuses. In order to comply with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and to insure personally identifiable information is not compromised, TAPR uses special symbols (masking) to maintain student confidentiality when a numerator is fewer than 5. Because the TAPR now shows STAAR performance disaggregated by the Approaches, Meets, and Masters Grade Level, the Masters Grade Level numerator often triggers a need to mask data, as it may be fewer than 5. In this case, all STAAR performance levels for that student group for that grade level and subject area are masked.
For smaller districts and campuses, this further disaggregation of data has resulted in much more masking than in the past.