Research Team

Research Agenda and Working with External Researchers

Research Agenda/Research Priorities

Ensuring every child is on track for success after graduation, removing barriers to equity and providing educators with what they need to be at their best are among the LDOE’s Believe to Achieve: Educational Priorities. Each priority outlines focus areas for the agency’s key actions and initiatives: 
  • Ensure every student is on track to a professional career, college degree or service

  • Remove barriers and create equitable, inclusive learning experiences for all children

  • Provide the highest quality teaching and learning environment

  • Develop and retain a diverse, highly-effective educator workforce

  • Cultivate high-impact systems, structures and partnerships

The LDOE is committed to answering questions that impact decision-making and policy, which ultimately result in improved student outcomes. As such, our research agenda is driven by these priorities and initiatives and focuses on our critical goals.

Research Request versus Public Records Request or Information/Data Request

The Research Proposal Request process is not a Public Records Request or an Information/Data Request. Public Record Requests may be accessed through the LDOE website. For Information/Data Requests, please email A research request usually involves unit level records in which the researcher will perform statistics and analytics to reach an outcome. Data requests usually involve aggregated data at the school, school system, or state level. Public records requests fall under Louisiana Revised Statutes 44.1. 

Working with External Researchers

The LDOE regularly conducts internal research on a variety of topics related to education in Louisiana. We also work with universities and other organizations by providing data for additional investigations. 

The Division of Research and Data Privacy has implemented a process for researchers to submit requests for data from the department. Typically, any data not currently publicly available will require a data sharing agreement to be executed for the LDOE to share data with a researcher. Researchers will be asked to provide initial information such as the research question(s) to be addressed, type of study to be performed, and data requested. All proposals will be reviewed by the Research Proposal Committee using the following procedure for approval:

  Research Proposal Procedure - Click Image for PDF 

The research proposal review process will include consideration of compliance with state and federal student privacy laws, alignment with LDOE goals and priorities, the timeframe in which the data is requested, as well as capacity of Department resources. The department strongly encourages researchers to consider the time involved in this process. Requests may take several months before approval is granted or denied.

Data Sharing Agreements

The LDOE works with researchers and universities to establish data sharing agreements to allow us to share data for research purposes. This agreement must be executed prior to the LDOE preparing the requested data files.

Examples of executed data sharing agreements can be found on the LDOE website. The legal language in the agreements is non-negotiable. 

For students requesting data, the data sharing agreement will be established with the university as it will be legally bound to the terms of the agreement. A university representative, such as a professor, will be required to review and negotiate the data sharing agreement with the LDOE. As with other researcher requests, the agreement with the university must be executed prior to the LDOE preparing data files. 

Timelines and Data Delivery

The LDOE is committed to providing data for approved requests as soon as possible; however, requests from the State Superintendent of Education, Governor, Legislature, and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education may take higher priority and capacity of Department resources. Therefore, the Department cannot guarantee that requested data, even if approved, will be shared by the timeline specified in the research proposal application. Researchers with deadlines should be aware of this and may wish to make contingency plans in the event the request takes longer to fill than expected.

An estimated timeline from the initial research proposal request to a fully executed data sharing agreement is usually 6-8 weeks. Once approved, the research proposal enters a queue with other approved requests. The LDOE strongly recommends requesting approval prior to obtaining grant funding for projects.

Protection of Privacy

The LDOE is supportive of research with our external partners and providing data that is necessary for proposed studies; however, in addition to federal FERPA student privacy laws regarding student data and privacy, Louisiana has additional student and teacher privacy laws that must be followed throughout the process. The LDOE does not obtain or collect any student personally identifiable information (PII). Data are collected using a state unique identifier. 

The following are state laws regarding the use of student and teacher data collected by the LDOE.

RS 17:3914 is designed to protect the privacy of students. It provides limitations and prohibitions on the collection and sharing of student information. Below is a summary/paraphrase of this law: 

  • Data sharing agreements must be established to share data. They must contain language that addresses how data will be protected. These agreements require the person to agree to be liable for any criminal and civil penalties imposed. 

  • Information cannot be shared with any person or public or private entity located outside of Louisiana except with our assessment vendors. 

  • Information may be shared with a person who is an employee of, and conducting academic research at, any postsecondary education institution accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education. 

  • Researchers not affiliated with a university must be in the physical boundaries of Louisiana in order to obtain information. That information cannot leave the physical boundaries of Louisiana. Clouds, sFTP, etc. are not considered in the physical boundaries of Louisiana. 

  • Unlawful disclosure of personally identifiable student information is punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.

R.S. 17:3913 is designed to provide transparency around data sharing and requires the LDOE to make available on its website information about the transfer of personally identifiable student information.

R.S. 17:3884(B) protects school employees’ personally-identifiable evaluation data and results including but not limited to student learning targets, teacher observations, and value-added teacher assessment data. 

Need to Know Details

As part of our commitment to our goals and priorities, the LDOE values its partnerships with external researchers. Our research proposal review process is designed to ensure that all requests receive the same level of scrutiny and consideration, and that the data ultimately shared is done so in compliance with both federal and state laws.

Below are key points that researchers should keep in mind when submitting a data request:

  • The LDOE reserves the right to decline research proposals for any reason. The decision of the Research Proposal Committee is final. 

  • All requests involving student or teacher level records require a data sharing agreement to be established.

  • Data sharing agreements will contain language addressing the data to be provided and how it must be protected. The legal language in the agreements is non-negotiable. 

  • Agreements must be executed prior to the LDOE preparing the requested files.

  • The LDOE does not collect student personally identifiable information (PII). As such, all student data will not contain information that can be linked to any student PII.

  • Additional masking, suppression or aggregation of data may be required in order to comply with privacy laws.

  • Researchers not affiliated with a university must be in the physical boundaries of Louisiana in order to obtain student-level records and cannot leave the physical boundaries of Louisiana with that information.

  • Research Proposal Application: Completed applications should be emailed to Laura Boudreaux, Director of Research and Data Privacy at

Coming Soon: LDOE research collaborations with external partners.