Explanation of Masking Rules

The 2005 accountability data tables employ masking of assessment data, in order to comply with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Generally, the term "masking" refers to the use of special symbols to conceal the performance results. TAKS and SDAA II results are masked under the following conditions:

  1. When very few students in the group are assessed.
    If performance is revealed for a group of very few students, then it is possible that the result for an individual student could be known, which violates that student's right to privacy.
  2. When all students have the same result (for example, either all passing or all failing).
    Revealing that 100 percent of the students passed or 0 percent passed has been deemed to violate the privacy of all students tested in that the result for every student tested is known. In cases where TAKS and SDAA II results are 100 percent or round to 100 percent, then the expression >99% is shown. In cases where TAKS and SDAA II results are 0 percent or round to 0 percent, then <1% is shown.

The tables below show each of the masking situations that are possible on the 2005 accountability data tables. Note that an asterisk ('*') is used for a number of different conditions. The symbols in the shaded bars will appear on the reports in place of the data shown in the examples.

TAKS and SDAA II Symbols Used

Scenarios
Numerator
Denominator
Percent
Meaning
Case 1
*
*
*
  • Denominator is less than five (including 0).
Examples
4
4
100%
 
3
4
75%
0
0
n/a
0
4
0%
Case 2
*
*
>99%
  • Denominator is five or more; and,
  • Percent is 100 or rounds to 100.
Examples
24
24
100%
 
995
1000
100%
199
200
100%
Case 3
*
*
<1%
  • Denominator is five or more; and,
  • Percent is 0 or rounds to 0.
Example
0
5
0%
 
Case 4
*
*
Number
  • Denominator is five or more; and,
  • The difference between the numerator and denominator is one or two; and,
  • Percent is not 100 or 0 and does not round to 100 or 0.

Examples
22
23
96%
 
198
200
99%
3
5
60%
Case 5
*
*
Number
  • Denominator is five or more; and,
  • The numerator is one or two; and,
  • Percent is not 100 or 0 and does not round to 100 or 0.
Examples
2
5
40%
 
1
5
20%

For there to be no masking of assessment data, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • Denominator is five or more (ten or more on the TAKS Progress Indicator under AEA Procedures); and,
  • Number passing is more than two; and,
  • Number failing is more than two; and,
  • Percent is not 100 or 0 and does not round to either 100 or 0.
  Numerator Denominator Percent
Examples
197
200
99%
3
6
50%
59
62
95%

Dropout and Completion Symbols Used

Scenarios Numerator Denominator Percent Meaning
Case 1
*
Number
*
Denominator is 2, 3, or 4.
Examples
1
4
25.0%
 
0
2
0.0%
 
3
3
100.0%
Case 2
0
0
--
Denominator is 0.
Case 3
*
*
*
Denominator is 1.
Examples
0
1
0.0%
 
 
1
1
100.0%
 

Symbols Used for Masking Downloads

Data available for download are also masked:

Masking Symbol in Download Masking Symbol on Data Table What is Masked
-1
*
Small numbers
-3
<1%
Values at or near 0%
-4
>99%
Values at or near 100%
-999
*
Small numbers in Actual Change and Required Improvement only.