MTA on TELL Mass: Ensuring Confidentiality and Anonymity
Anonymity and confidentiality are essential in order to obtain honest and authentic input from educators about teaching and learning conditions.
The access to the survey is designed to ensure that survey responses cannot be matched to any individual educator. Educators respond to the survey completely anonymously.
- A set of unique access codes, matching numbers to the school, allowing school-level data to be reported.
- A set of letters with these unique codes will be sent to schools for random distribution to all educators who are eligible to take the survey – all school-based teachers and administrators working in positions that require a license.
- The letters must be distributed randomly. In addition, once distributed, access code letters can be swapped among the educators in the school as many times as they wish.
- Each code can be used only once.
The survey vendor does not have a list of Massachusetts educators either by name or by a numerical identifier. The vendor has only data on the total number of eligible educators in a school.
School implementation of the survey should NOT include any other access requirements – for example, identifying a computer on which the survey must be taken or requiring educators to write down when they use a school computer to take the survey.
The survey can be taken from any internet location – at home or in a coffee shop.
Data will not be reported in any way that would identify an educator.
- Principals’ data will be reported at the state level only.
- The survey includes a few demographic questions. No data will be reported at the school or district level by these demographic questions.
- No school data is reported unless a response rate of 50 percent is achieved and if there are at least five educators represented in the number of respondents.
The vendor maintains the survey data. The response data are kept on the vendor’s servers only and access codes and survey data are encrypted.