Data sharing arrangements between researchers and practitioners are one of the most important topics to consider when starting a research-practice partnership. It should be broached early, since multiple iterations of drafts describing agreements may be necessary given the sensitive nature of the data. Many of the partnerships in NNERPP utilize administrative data, but other considerations may be necessary if the partnership intends on producing and collecting its own data. Examples of data sharing agreements can be found below.

Additional guiding questions:


  • Which agency (the research side or the practice side) will house the data to be used within the partnership?
  • How often will data pulls occur? Under what conditions will data pulls occur (e.g., every semester, only if a project requires it, etc.)?
  • What steps will be taken on both sides of the partnership to ensure quality and security of the data?
  • Who will handle external data requests? In some cases, the education agency partner may continue to address these, but in others, it may make more sense to have the research agency manage it.


“FERPA Guidance for Reasonable Methods and Written Agreements”

This document outlines the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act best practices for data disclosure. 




“Student Data Privacy Legislation: A Summary of 2016 State Legislation”

Year: 2016

This report from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) summarizes student data pivacy legislation as of September 1, 2016.



“Student Data Principles: 10 Foundational Principles for Using and Safeguarding Students’ Personal Information”

This brief overview from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) lists foundational principles for safeguarding student data.



“Student Data Collection, Access, and Storage: Separating Fact from Fiction”

Year: 2014

This overview from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) addresses high-priority issues in student data privacy, particularly the widespread concern of student data creating a “permanent record”, and gives recommendations for policymakers.


“School Districts as Partners in Research Efforts”

Authors: Marco A. Muñoz and Robert J. Rodosky

Year: 2015

This article published in Phi Delta Kappan explores the responsibilities of a true partnership and how researchers and practitioners should work together, including how they should handle data sharing.


Sample Data Agreements

State Departments and Agencies

“Texas Education Agency Access to Confidential Information Agreement”

Year: 2008

This is an example of an Access to Confidential Information Agreement from the Texas Education Agency.



“Michigan DOE Confidential Data Request Application”

This is an example of a Data Confidentiality and Security Agreement Form from the Michigan Department of Education and the Center for Educational Performance and Information.

“Privacy Technical Assistance Center, US Department of Education Toolkit”

This toolkit from the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center provides resource sheets, issue briefs and other information and resources related to secure data practices.