Frequently Asked Questions

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What is P20 WIN?
P20 WIN stands for the Preschool through Twenty and Workforce Information Network; where, the word 'twenty' means 'Advanced and Life-long learning'. P20 WIN is Connecticut's inter-agency network that securely links unit record data so that state agencies can audit and evaluate the effectiveness of education programs and make improvements in policies and programming to enhance student success. The participating agencies include: the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR), the University of Connecticut (UConn), the Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) and the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC). Data are never evaluated to look at individuals; rather, patterns of aggregated data are studied to identify areas where education and workforce training may be improved in a way that uses limited fiscal resources judiciously and to maximum effect.

Why was P20 WIN created?
P20 WIN is a necessity for Connecticut for several reasons. The network is needed to enable the audit and evaluation of publically funded education programs and provide a mechanism for satisfying federal reporting requirements. P20 WIN provides information to education and workforce training leaders that can assist in improving education and workforce outcomes for Connecticut students. By analyzing the collective outcomes of students as they progress through the education system and into the workforce, it is possible to identify areas in need of improvement.

How are data linked?
P20 WIN does not utilize a central data warehouse or database. There is no inter-agency data repository that retains individual data. Rather, the inputs to the network are decentralized, stored and maintained by the source agencies themselves. Data are only linked when there is a specific audit or evaluation of publically funded education programs that has been approved and all necessary documentation and data sharing agreements have been completed in accordance with the P20 WIN Data Request Management Procedure as well as state and federal law.After an audit or evaluation has been approved and all documentation completed, data are linked through a two-step process. These two steps require separation of information needed to match records (e.g. name, date of birth) from the information needed to conduct the audit or evaluation (e.g. data from an education record or demographic data). These two types of data files are never combined and the files used to match data are destroyed once the linkage has occurred and generic group numbers and fake record numbers are in place. The process protects individual privacy by separating the data at all stages of the process, by using meaningless fake record numbers, and by destroying the data used to create the links.
Data Matching Details VIDEO: How Data Are Linked

What data elements are used to match data?
Since the state must link data to satisfy state and federal reporting requirements and to conduct audits and evaluations of education programs, some identifying data must be shared; however the specific data elements used to match data sets depend on the data sets being linked. For example, a linkage between Board of Regents and Department of Labor data is different than a linkage between the Board of Regents and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) because CSDE does not collect Social Security Numbers for K-12 students. The following elements may be used to link data between CSDE, BOR and DOL.
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Middle Name
  • Date of Birth
  • SSN
  • High School Code
  • State Assigned Student Identifier (SASID)


Will reports or findings developed from data linked through P20 WIN reveal information about individual students?
No. Reports generated from data linked through P20 WIN will never reveal any information about the experiences or outcomes of an individual student. No conclusions or findings or programmatic changes will ever be made based upon the information of an individual. Before any data are made public from an audit or evaluation, the P20 WIN Data Governing Board members whose data are included review and verify that the data are aggregated sufficiently so that individual identities cannot be determined from the data set. Data are modified by rounding, use of ranges, aggregation of groups and/or elimination of small cell sizes for maximum security as recommended by the U.S. Department of Education in their Technical Brief: Statistical Methods for Protecting Personally Identifiable Information in Aggregate Reporting http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011603.pdf.

Where are final aggregated P20 WIN reports located?
After specific audits and evaluations are completed and data are sufficiently aggregated so that no individuals can be identified. Publically releasable reports will be located at P20 WIN site and may also be at the CT Open Data Portal managed by the Governor's office.

What data fields are in P20 WIN?
P20 WIN is not a data warehouse; therefore, no data about any individuals are retained anywhere outside of Participating Agencies source data systems. However, a downloadable list of data elements that could be used in an audit or evaluation of publically funded education programs may be found at the P20 WIN Data Dictionary (xlsx).

Can state agencies share data without the consent of the parent or individual?
Yes; however, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows State and Local Education Authorities or Agencies to disclose student records without consent only under specific conditions. (34 CFR ? 99.31). One of these conditions allows for data to be disclosed to Authorized Representatives for the purpose of conducting an audit or evaluation of education programs that receive state or federal funding. P20 WIN was designed to enable the state to conduct audits and evaluations of publically funded education programs; therefore, this exception enables the disclosure of education records for that purpose.

Systems like P20 WIN enable Connecticut to evaluate effectiveness of education programs in preparing students for current and future success. It is incumbent upon the state agencies to ensure that state tax dollars are used effectively, so being able to audit and evaluate publically funded education programs is an essential state function.

In 2011, United States Department of Education revised the regulations for the Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) to both clarify and strengthen the implementation of this law. While data may be shared without consent for the purpose of conducting an audit or evaluation, the law also requires that a written agreement be established between the Local or State Education Authority and the Authorized Representative. This agreement must include specific terms, and there are penalties if these terms are not upheld. The requirements for the written agreement include protections such as: a) identification of the purpose for which the data are to be shared, b) restriction against using the data for any other purpose or re-disclosing the data to someone else, c) destruction of data when no longer needed for the designated purpose and d) designation of date by which the data destruction will occur.

How long are student records kept on individuals?
Information identifying individuals such as name or date of birth (DOB) are not retained beyond the time that it takes to conduct a match between data sets. Before analysis, student records are stripped of the same identifying information (e.g. name, DOB). The redacted student record containing education information is retained only for the duration of the analysis as approved and specified in the Data Sharing Agreement that governs the specific audit or evaluation. The standard time period for an evaluation is typically one year.

With whom are data shared?
Data are only disclosed to Authorized Representatives of state and local education agencies as limited by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 45 CRF 99.35(a)(1). A data sharing agreement called a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is established to designate the Authorized Representative and defines the duties and responsibilities of the Authorized Representative to protect the data from further disclosure.

A rigid procedure has been developed for P20 WIN which provides a process for the creation of a data request and the designation of an Authorized Representative. This procedure includes review and approval by members of the P20 WIN Data Governing Board so that only audits and evaluations that are of benefit to the Local or State Education Authority may be approved.

How will families know when student data is a part of a data request?
When a data request is approved for an audit or evaluation and the data is to be linked through P20 WIN, the information about that data request will be posted at: http://www.ct.edu/initiatives/p20win#process under the section titled Data Request Documents. Given that identifying information about individuals in these data requests is not available to anyone working on the combined data, it is not feasible to notify individuals or families directly.

Who developed the data sharing agreements and policies that support P20 WIN?
The process of developing each policy, procedure and data sharing agreement that supports P20 WIN has been deliberate and careful to ensure that student privacy is maintained and all state and federal laws are upheld. Initial drafts were developed by the P20 WIN Data Governing Board with significant input and oversight from agency attorneys as well as the Connecticut Attorney General's Office, and final versions were approved by all attorneys and the P20 WIN Executive Board. In addition, the Directors from two US Department of Education departments, the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) and the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) were engaged to ensure that P20 WIN processes and required data sharing agreements are fully compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

How do I request data?
If you need data from two or more of the P20 WIN Participating Agencies in order to conduct an audit or evaluation of publically funded education programs, you may submit a data request.  Begin by sending the Program Manager a one to two page proposal that clearly describes your evaluation, the data you are seeking, and how the work you propose would benefit the state.  The P20 WIN Data Request Management Procedure and the Data Dictionary (xls) may be helpful to you in this process.

How long does the data request process take?
The length of time between when data are requested and when they are received varies greatly depending on the number of requests in progress, the clarity and complexity of the request, the data elements needed and the availability of the program manager and Participating Agency staff to work on the request.  If you have a deadline, plan for the process to take a minimum of six months.  Please note, that Participating Agencies recognize the importance and value of this work; however, work must be accommodated alongside existing workloads because P20 WIN has no dedicated staff.