• Report

Recommendations to Improve the Collection of Perkins Placement Data in Arizona


Klein, S. (2007). Recommendations to Improve the Collection of Perkins Placement Data in Arizona. Berkeley, CA: MPR Associates, Inc.


In December 2006, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, invited state directors of vocational education to submit requests for individualized technical assistance to improve the quality of their career and technical education (CTE) accountability systems. In response, the Arizona Department of Education submitted an application seeking support to improve the reliability and validity of placement data for secondary and postsecondary CTE concentrators who seek employment, who enroll in postsecondary education or advanced training, or who enroll in the military immediately following program completion.

Following conversations with Helen Bootsma, team leader of the CTE Development & Innovations Group Unit, MPR researchers identified two key areas for technical support: - Guidance on collecting Social Security Numbers (SSNs)—State administrators are seeking recommendations to increase secondary students’ disclosure of SSNs and guidance on the latest Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines, as they relate to collecting and using SSNs for accessing unemployment insurance (UI) wage record files.
- Strategies for tracking students using administrative record matching—State administrators desire guidance on the feasibility, cost, and procedures for conducting probabilistic matching with the National Student Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) using student identifiers, including first name, last name, and birth date, as alternatives for SSNs. Administrators would also like to clarify their options for accessing data contained in the Federal Employment Data Exchange System (FEDES) and the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS).

This report details approaches for improving state collection of secondary students’ SSNs, along with the action steps and associated costs of adopting administrative record matching using SSNs or probabilistic matching to collect secondary and postsecondary placement data.