You may have noticed that the publicly released 2017-18 Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) have an increased number of asterisks (*) in them, especially for smaller districts and campuses. This is due to TEA’s compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to insure that personally identifiable information is not compromised. Because the TAPR now disaggregates data by Approaches, Meets, and Masters Grade Level, if the numerator for the Masters Grade Level for a subgroup is less than 5, then the data for all STAAR performance levels for that subgroup are masked and asterisks are used in the public TAPR to indicate that the data has been masked. This masking is done to prevent anyone from determining the identity of the students at Masters Grade Level.
Districts should have access to the unmasked data for their in-house use. It is the district’s responsibility to be FERPA compliant when sharing data with outside stakeholders.