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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2003

Tuesday, April 1, 2003 - 5:35am




The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Richard H. Cate


Full Board


Status Report on Unique Student ID Project


April 10, 2003




Update on the Current Status of the Unique Student ID Project


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The State Education Department (SED) issued a Request for Proposals to develop the New York State Student Identification System (NYSSIS) on January 31, 2003. Bids were received from vendors on March 28, 2003. We hope to award a contract and begin work on this project in late May or early June 2003. This project is being conducted in close partnership with personnel at the BOCES Regional Information Centers (RICs), and we will continue to consult with personnel from the Big 5 city school districts as the project moves forward.

NYSSIS will provide a means to assign a unique identifier to all public school students in the State and enable local districts to retrieve a student's existing identifier. This unique identifier will improve SED and local district capability to measure the performance of students over time. One of the fundamental requirements of the system is the confidentiality of the identification information of students. No personally identifiable information will be disclosed and all transactions will be encrypted to ensure complete confidentiality.

NYSSIS is the first phase of a long-term project to develop a statewide database of student performance, demographic and programmatic data (see attached charter and diagram/timeline). The next phase of the project is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of data and information requirements for student-level data. This assessment will ensure that NYSSIS complies with federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reporting requirements and meets the needs of local school personnel, parents and education policy makers. The collection of data for NYSSIS will replace many existing data collection efforts, decreasing the burden on local districts.


Project Charter


SED will lead and oversee development of a statewide student database that contains basic demographic, programmatic and performance data on public school students in pre-kindergarten through Grade 12. Students will be identified through a permanent, unique identifier that enables data for an individual student to be tracked longitudinally, even if a student moves from district to district. The State will use the individual student data to satisfy State and federal reporting requirements. Information in the database will not be personally identifiable, but it will contain basic demographic information about students to enable analysis and to link personally identifiable information within a school district to an individual student record.

This project will provide the following deliverables:

  1. Develop and implement technology to assign a unique identifier to all public pre-K through Grade 12 students in New York State.
  2. Develop data standards that enable school districts and RICs to interface with the student ID system in order to obtain existing IDs or create new IDs.
  3. Develop statewide data standards for demographic and performance data.
  4. Design and implement a statewide database of student demographic, programmatic and achievement information.
  5. Design and implement access and reporting tools so that the data can be used to meet local and State requirements, including the New York State School Report Card.

Business Motivation:

SED school districts and other stakeholders need an information resource that contains demographic, programmatic and achievement data on students, and the programs and schools that serve them. The information in this resource will:

  • Inform policy related to programs, curriculum and instruction, and resource allocation at the federal, State, and local levels.
  • Increase the capacity of SED and the districts to examine the relationships among resource, demographic, and performance measures.
  • Enable staff to reply to data requests with increased efficiency.
  • Provide accountability for federal, State, and local institution and program management.
  • Enable the Department to comply with federal data reporting requirements.
  • Provide the data required for New York State�s System of Accountability for Student Success.
  • Enhance the State�s ability to audit critical data such as attendance, enrollment and free- and reduced-price lunch data and achievement data used for district and school accountability purposes.
  • Substantially reduce redundant data collection and facilitate reporting by integrating SED data systems.
  • Replace at least five separate Department data systems related to student education.
  • Reduce the number of requests from the Department to the districts for student data.
  • Reduce the time between data collection and the availability of data for analysis purposes.
  • Eliminate the collection of redundant data elements.

Project Implementation Plan:

This project will be implemented in four phases:

Phase 1: Implement the New York State Student Identification System (NYSSIS) which will provide a unique, permanent identifier to all public school students in grades pre-K to 12 in New York State. Its sole purpose will be to establish and maintain an identifier for an individual student. This unique identifier will be used in all other components of this project. Information that identifies an individual student will not be included in any other system, only the unique student identifier. The technology that is used to develop this identifier will provide unique identifiers for other students, including those in private schools who only participate in programs offered by public schools.


Phase 2: Determine the data and analysis requirements for a statewide database of student demographic, programmatic and achievement data. This phase of the project will involve collecting student-level data from principal "stakeholders." Information on data capabilities, reporting requirements and analysis needs will be gathered from school districts, RICs, the Board of Regents, SED personnel, federal regulators and the State Legislature. The specifications for a statewide database of student-level data will be defined in this phase.


Phase 3: Implement a prototype statewide database of student programmatic, demographic and achievement data that uses the unique identifier provided in Phase 1. The prototype will include student-level data from 30 percent of New York school districts, including at least one Big 5 city school district. SED will rely on the prototype to satisfy reporting requirements based on individual student records for those districts. SED will use this prototype to generate New York State School Report Cards for all districts participating in the prototype. Phase 3 will include the development of reporting and analytical tools that serve the needs of SED, LEAs, BOCES and the general public.


Phase 4: Fully implement a complete statewide database of student programmatic, demographic and achievement data based on the prototype developed in Phase 3. The statewide system will eliminate all other local reporting based on individual student data, and will provide for the New York State School Report Card.

Technical Assumptions:

  1. Unique Identification System will be housed and operated within the SED technology infrastructure. Therefore, SED will be responsible for holding and protecting the student identification repository.
  2. All interfaces will be web-based, including search and reporting capability.
  3. SED, regional entities, and school districts will jointly develop and maintain data and interface standards.
  4. System-to-system interfaces will be through regional entities or Big 5 districts.
  5. SED will operate and maintain the repository on its existing hardware infrastructure.
  6. This project will replace existing data collection efforts and serve as the sole source of State-level student programmatic, achievement and demographic information.
  7. This project will be designed to ensure complete anonymity of student-level information. Student ID generation capacity will be separate from the programmatic, achievement and demographic data repository.