(1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction is authorized to establish a longitudinal student data system for and on behalf of school districts in the state. The primary purpose of the data system is to better aid research into programs and interventions that are most effective in improving student performance, better understand the state's public educator workforce, and provide information on areas within the educational system that need improvement.
(2) The confidentiality of personally identifiable student data shall be safeguarded consistent with the requirements of the federal family educational rights privacy act and applicable state laws. Consistent with the provisions of these federal and state laws, data may be disclosed for educational purposes and studies, including but not limited to:
(a) Educational studies authorized or mandated by the state legislature;
(b) Studies initiated by other state educational authorities and authorized by the office of the superintendent of public instruction, including analysis conducted by the education data center established under RCW 43.41.400
(c) Studies initiated by other public or private agencies and organizations and authorized by the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(3) Any agency or organization that is authorized by the office of the superintendent of public instruction to access student-level data shall adhere to all federal and state laws protecting student data and safeguarding the confidentiality and privacy of student records.
(4) Nothing in this section precludes the office of the superintendent of public instruction from collecting and distributing aggregate data about students or student-level data without personally identifiable information.
Findings—2007 c 401: "The legislature finds that:
(1) Reliable data on student progress, characteristics of students and schools, and teacher qualifications and mobility is critical for accountability to the state and to the public;
(2) Educational data should be made available as widely as possible while appropriately protecting the privacy of individuals as provided by law;
(3) Having a single, comprehensive, and technically compatible student and school-level data system will streamline data collection for school districts, reduce inefficiencies caused by the lack of connectivity, and minimize or eliminate multiple data entry; and
(4) Schools and districts should be supported in their management of educational data and should have access to user-friendly programs and reports that can be readily used by classroom teachers and building principals to improve instruction." [ 2007 c 401 § 1