Explanation of Masking Rules
The 2009 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 results are masked under the following conditions:
 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.
 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 results are 100 percent or round to 100 percent, then the expression >99% is shown. In cases where TAKS 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 2009 accountability data tables. Note that an asterisk ('*') is used for a number of different conditions. The symbols in the shaded bars (rows with case labels) will appear on the reports in place of the data shown in the examples.
TAKS Symbols Used
Scenarios  Numerator 
Denominator 
Percent 
Meaning 
Case 1  * 
* 
* 

Examples  4 
4 
100% 

3 
4 
75% 

0 
0 
n/a 

0 
4 
0% 

Case 2  * 
* 
>99% 

Examples  24 
24 
100% 

995 
1000 
100% 

199 
200 
100% 

Case 3  * 
* 
<1% 

Example  0 
5 
0% 

Case 4  * 
* 
Number 

Examples  22 
23 
96% 

198 
200 
99% 

3 
5 
60% 

Case 5  * 
* 
Number 

Examples  2 
5 
40% 

1 
5 
20% 
New for 2009: With the addition of Texas Projection Measure (TPM) data to the 2009 accountability data tables, additional masking may occur because of the shared denominator between the TAKS base indicator (Percent Met Standard) and the Percent Met with TPM. In cases where any of the five cases described above are invoked for one of these measures, the same masking is applied to both measures. If one was masked and the other not masked, the values could be derived for the masked data from the unmasked data. See the examples, below.
Number Met Std (Numerator) 
Number Taking (Denominator) 
Pct Met Std 
Number Met Std w/ TPM (Numerator) 
Number Taking (Denominator) 
Pct Met w/ TPM 

Example 1  
Unmasked 
2 
6 
33% 
3 
6 
50% 
Masked 
* 
* 
33% 
* 
* 
50% 
(Case 5) 
(No case, but masked to protect masking of base indicator.)


Example 2  
Unmasked 
199 
206 
97% 
204 
206 
99% 
Masked 
* 
* 
97% 
* 
* 
99% 
(No case, but masked to protect masking of TPM indicator.) 
(Case 4) 
In summary 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. 
Symbols Used for masking Gold Performance Acknowledgement (GPA) values:
For TAKS Commended, Texas Success Initiative (TSI), and CollegeReady Graduates, masking rules are the same as for TAKS, shown above.
For Advanced Courses, AP/IB, RHSP/DAP Graduates, and SAT/ACT, masking rules are the same as for Dropout and Completion, shown above.
For Attendance, the masking rules are as follows:
Scenarios  Numerator 
Denominator 
Percent 
Meaning 
Case 1 
* 
Number 
* 
Denominator is less than 900 (excluding 0). 
Examples 
100 
400 
25.0% 

0 
200 
0.0% 

800 
800 
100.0% 

Case 2 
0 
0 
 
Denominator is 0. 
Case 3 
* 
* 
* 
Denominator is 1. 
Examples 
0 
1 
0.0% 

1 
1 
100.0% 