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Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data About Displaced Students
NCES 2010-804
February 2010

Chapter 5. Data Challenges—When Unique Statewide Student Identifiers Have Not Been Introduced

As explained in the Forum publication Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes, data systems that do not allow individual student tracking over time—especially following a transfer to another school system—hinder the generation of unduplicated enrollment counts and other characteristics of high quality student-level data. Statewide, unique student identifiers (IDs) greatly enhance efforts to monitor student movement within a state, but may be of limited value when students cross state lines, as occurred after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In such cases, student records containing Social Security numbers may prove invaluable during the out-of-state movement.

Displaced students at the beginning of the school year

Data requests after hurricanes Katrina and Rita were typically for information that would assist in correctly placing a student: grade level, course history, program participation, and special services.