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Data Suppression Rules

The Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center (MLDSC) must ensure that the data reported on its website complies with the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Maryland Public Information Act (Maryland Code, §4-101, et seq. of the General Provisions Article), and the Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program (20 C.F.R. Part 603). FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R Part 99) prohibits the release of an individual’s personally identifiable information to the public. The MLDSC must conduct research using student data and workforce data to improve the State of Maryland’s education system and guide decision making by State and local governments, educational agencies, institutions, teachers, and other education professionals. Maryland Code, §24-703(f), Education Article. The MLDSC may only use de-identified data in its analysis, research, and reporting, and it may only release aggregate data in reports and in response to data requests. Maryland Code, §24-703(g). Data in any research or reports produced by the MLDSC may not include any data that may be identifiably based on the size or uniqueness of the population under consideration. The MLDSC follows the data suppression recommendations set forth by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in its December 2010 Technical Brief entitled, “Statistical Methods for Protecting Personally Identifiable Information in Aggregate Reporting”. The guidance and methods set forth by the NCES apply with equal force to workforce data collected by the MLDSC.