Project 2 Common Questions

What is Project 2?

“Project 2” (called “P2” for short) is one of the foundational strategies of the Road Map Region Race to the Top district consortium grant. This part of the project delivers the technology and system improvements to more effectively use education data in our region. Specifically:

  1. Project 2 enables the rapid transfer of educational data when students move to a new district. To do this, the P2 regional data system will connect isolated data sources and align data definitions across the region.

  2. P2 also increases data access for educators so they can improve programs and instruction for students. This is accomplished with better data dashboards, training, policy, and technical infrastructure.

Why is P2 important?

Accurate, timely data is essential to personalized, high-quality instruction for each and every student, but educators often face challenges accessing student data. Timely availability of comprehensive student data is especially important in our region, where more than a fifth of students move to a new school each year. That’s why P2 focuses on transferring data quickly and providing better tools to use the data in schools.

Common Questions about P2 Data Transfer

The answers below address a number of questions about the data transfer portion of the project.

Does P2 only transfer records or does it store student information in a warehouse?

The priority for P2 is efficient data transfer, not storage, so P2 doesn’t create a warehouse to store every student’s data. That means that the system will focus on enabling data to move directly from source to destination without having to be housed in a single, shared system on the way. Instead, the system in the middle will be responsible for verifying requests, ensuring that the requestor has the authorization to get the data, translating data from one format to another (if needed), and auditing and tracking all data movement.

The P2 Data Transfer System is NOT:

  • a data warehouse that stores lots of data about lots of students over time;

  • an analysis tool for looking at lots of data or trends;

  • a reporting system for communicating about performance;

  • a program evaluation tool for CBO’s.

Who will get access to student data through this system?

Only people and organizations with a legitimate educational interest will be able to use the system; and, each user will only have access to the students they’re allowed to see. For example:

  • a district registrar can access the data of a new student who is transferring from a different district;

  • a parent can see the data about his or her child;

  • a community organization who works directly with a student and the district has a valid, signed parental consent form could see data about that student;

  • a provider of digital learning software used in the classroom could receive some data from a previous district about a student so they can provision a new software account.

P2 won’t be used to share data with, for example:

  • marketing corporations who want to advertise to students or anyone else

  • anyone who will sell the information to a third-party

  • organizations or schools in other states when a student transfers out-of-state

  • current or future employers

How does the system limit access to only see certain students’ information?

Each user is assigned the appropriate level of access by the district. Districts remain in complete control of their data and access rights through every step of the process. For example, a community-based organization staff person may be able to access data about a particular student after they submit a valid parental consent form and are explicitly granted access to that student by a district staff person. Even then, the district may decide only to allow one or two datasets be accessible by that CBO instead of all data for that student.

Who makes decisions about P2?

The work of Project 2 is governed by the Data Coordinating Committee (DCC), which is made up of representatives from each Road Map district, the Puget Sound Educational Service District, and a number of Race to the Top community partners.

What data can be transferred by P2?

Districts are developing and prioritizing the list of datasets that will be transferrable with P2. The first priority is transferring the CEDARS datasets that are already defined by the state. Beyond that, the DCC is prioritizing the list based on a number of factors including the importance of a particular piece of data when provisioning services or providing support for a particular student.

Is this student-level data shared with the US Department of Education?

No, the US Department of Education (ED) does not collect student-level data from P2. Road Map Region Race to the Top does report aggregate numbers to ED for each performance measure and goal area defined in the approved grant application, but these data are not tied to individual students. Performance measures are disaggregated by certain subgroups (such as race and gender) and when groups are too small that individuals could be identified, those data are not reported (a technique called “suppression”).

Which districts will use the P2 systems?

All of the Road Map Consortium districts will use P2 systems: Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila. Future agreements could expand the system to other districts in Washington.

How will privacy and security be ensured by third-party company partners?

Education institutions have long partnered with technology vendors to safely and securely store and manage student data. P2 systems will likely do the same, and student privacy will be bolstered by contracts that specifically prohibit any use of student data for marketing or commercial purposes. To further reduce the risk that student data could be used or accessed inappropriately, P2 technology partners will need to comply with the U.S. government’s FedRAMP standard when using any “cloud” services.