OLR Research Report


By: John Moran, Principal Analyst


Describe the types of data that must be included in the Public School Information System (PSIS) and include the appropriate statutory references.


PSIS contains data related to each K-12 student and teacher in Connecticut public schools. State law requires the State Department of Education (SDE) to develop and implement PSIS to (1) establish a standardized electronic data collection and reporting protocol to comply with state and federal reporting requirements, (2) improve the exchange of information from school-to-school and district-to-district, and (3) maintain the confidentiality of individual student and teacher data (CGS 10-10a(b)).

SDE's Data Collection Guide requires districts to submit two types of data to PSIS:

1. data specifically included in the PSIS enabling statute and

2. data not specifically included in the PSIS enabling statute that is (a) specifically listed elsewhere in statute or (b) unspecified and associated with certain education programs or provisions created in statute.


SDE uses PSIS to collect data regarding (1) student enrollment throughout the state, (2) individual student performance on Connecticut Mastery Tests, and (3) a variety of other student- and teacher-related items. SDE, school districts, and schools use the data on students, teachers, schools, and districts to evaluate students' and teachers' educational performance growth. PSIS allows SDE to

analyze school performance by tracking individual students' performance on each of the statewide mastery exams and comparing the progress, as measured by the tests, of the same cohort of students over time.

When the legislature mandated the creation of PSIS in 2000, its intent was to enable SDE to more efficiently collect data for mandated federal and state reporting, related grants, and better identification of schools needing improvement (PA 00-187, 8 & 75). The data required under the law has changed several times, most notably in 2010 (PA 10-111, PA 14-39).

All districts must participate in PSIS and report all required information to SDE. Information in PSIS is exempt from FOI disclosure requirements (CGS 10-10a(e).


Statutorily Required Data in PSIS

Table 1 below shows each required data item contained in the statute that created PSIS (CGS 10-10a).

Table 1: Statutorily Required PSIS Data


● unique student identifier (i.e., state assigned student identification number)

● mastery test performance scores for each student and each exam (e.g., Connecticut Mastery Tests, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test)

● primary language spoken in the student's home

● student transcripts

● student attendance and family mobility

● reliable, valid assessments of kindergarten readiness

● preschool experience survey results (i.e., the nature and length of each student's preschool program, and, if the child did not attend preschool, the reasons why)

● enrollment in, and graduation from, institutions of higher education, when available


● unique teacher identifier (i.e., state assigned identification number)

● credentials, such as master's degrees, teacher preparation programs completed, and certification levels and endorsements

● assessments, such as whether a teacher is considered highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Act or meets any other designations established by federal law or regulations to measure the equitable distribution of instructional staff

● the presence of substitute teachers and a teacher's aide in the classroom

● the absenteeism rate in the teacher's classroom

● class size


● school population

● annual graduation rates

● annual teacher retention rates

● school disciplinary records, such as data on suspensions, expulsions, and other disciplinary actions

● percentage of students whose primary language is not English

● number and professional credentials of support personnel

● information on instructional technology, such as computer access


● student experiences by program type and number of months in each program

● readiness of students entering kindergarten

● student progress in kindergarten

* ”Teacher” is any certified professional below the rank of superintendent employed by a board of education for at least 90 days in a position requiring an SBE certificate.

** Must be provided by boards of education and any preschool program receiving state or federal funds

Source: CGS 10-10a

Other SDE-Required Data in PSIS

By law, SDE has the authority to require additional data items to be included in PSIS that are not specified in the PSIS-authorizing law (CGS 10-10a). SDE provides districts with a Data Collection Guide that cites other statutes for the additional data. This includes (1) data that districts are statutorily required to collect but are not specified in the PSIS law and (2) statues that create certain education programs or provisions, but do not explicitly require districts to do data collection (see Table 2 below).

Table 2: Data SDE Requires for PSIS that Statutes Do Not

Data Category

Data Elements

Statutory Cite (CGS)

Race of students and teachers; free and reduced lunch eligible students

Documentation of (1) students and teachers of racial minorities and (2) students eligible for free and reduced lunch


Count of school age children

Number of school age children by age in each school district

10-249 & 10-250

Average daily membership

Number of students in a district enrolled at that district's expense in grades prekindergarten through 12 on October 1


School Readiness

Data not specified


Charter school grants

Data not specified


School attendance age

Data not specified


Education Cost Sharing formula definitions

Data not specified


Magnet school grants

Data not specified


Open Choice program

Data not specified



SDE's Data Collections Guide: http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/collectionsguide15.pdf (accessed August 21, 2014)