Revised National Student Clearinghouse Data Matching and ROI Form- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Revised National Student Clearinghouse Data Matching and ROI Form

May 12, 2010

Dear ABE Program Directors,

Recently, it has come to my attention that there are a number of concerns about the new release form that was disseminated in an April 5 mailing, concerns that will take time to address as comprehensively as they deserve.

Therefore, I am temporarily providing the attached alternate release form that may be used in FY 2010. Please note that if you have already asked students to sign the form emailed to you on April 5, you do not need to also have them sign this alternate version.

Please do ask any student who has not yet signed the form sent out on April 5 to sign this new form as soon as possible, even if they signed the original form at the beginning of the year.

As I explained in my April 5 letter, ACLS has a new opportunity to access information about student participation in higher education -- even years after a student leaves the ABE classroom -- through data matching with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). This type of data on student outcomes is critical for us to be able to evaluate the extent to which our system is effectively preparing students for success in post-secondary education. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, however, your help is needed to secure the necessary permissions for the NSC to access student data.

Therefore, any student who has not yet signed the form sent on April 5 will need to sign the attached new release of information form, which includes explicit permission to match data with the NSC. The letter will be posted to the ACLS website soon. Translated forms will also be available on the website.

The concerns about the April 5 form will be addressed comprehensively in a later mailing. Briefly, some directors and local staff expressed concerns that the language in that form may not provide sufficient protection to the security and confidentiality of student information. While these concerns will be addressed in some detail in the months to come, the release form for FY 2010 has been modified to alleviate them. For those of you whose students have already signed the April 5 form, I assure you that ACLS' data matching protocols are governed by detailed legal documents that have passed the rigorous review of the Department's legal staff and that comply with the Department's confidentially of information policies. ACLS has appropriate controls in place to protect student confidentiality.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in acquiring the permissions we need to request the data we need to help evaluate our effectiveness in preparing students for post-secondary education by asking your students to sign this revised release of information form.

With Literacy in Mind,

Anne Serino
State Director of Adult Education

Last Updated: May 12, 2010

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