\u2022 Schools were instructed to only enter zeroes for data that was tracked and for which no cases were reported. But, as reports from the U.S \u00a0Government Accountability Office office have described, some school officials have expressed confusion in recent years about reporting requirements, and some districts have submitted inaccurate entries, inputting zeroes when data is actually missing or not tracked.\u2022 If districts did not have data to submit, they were supposed to, instead of entering zeroes, leave entries blank and then provide further explanation for missing data.\u2022 When districts are unable to provide required data \u2013 including because they do not collect data due to policies that prohibit restraint and seclusion of students \u2013 they\u2019re required to develop and submit an action plan that explains what data cannot be provided, why, and to outline how they plan to collect and report the data accurately in the future.\u2022 When districts are unable to provide required data, of if data they submit triggers an error, and they are unable to provide an action plan, this triggers a force certification. The submission is certified on behalf of the district provided it \u201chas unique circumstances that prevent them from certifying.\u201d Such districts do not expect to be able to provide data in subsequent data collections. (In 2017-18, \u201cthere were a large number of force certifications in post-collection\u201d due to efforts to ensure districts correctly reported zeroes. \u201cData force certified for this reason during the post-collection work were not required by OCR to have an action plan.\u201d)\u2022 NYC special note: For the 2017-18 data, an action plan was issued for New York City Public Schools \u201cdue to a large amount of missing data,\u201d including restraint and seclusion data. The electronic action plan \u201ctimed out\u201d before the submission could populate the missing data due to the district\u2019s size. \u201cTherefore, the district submitted a paper action plan and was force certified.\u201d\u2022 Data was missing for some schools because the district did not certify their submission before the data collection period closed.\u2022 For some schools, districts did not submit any data because they indicated it was not applicable for those schools.\u2022 Some of the federal data released by the U.S. Department of Education was "suppressed" due to concerns about "poor quality" including data that appeared potentially "flawed" or otherwise "problematic."\u2022 In other cases, data submissions from districts were flagged by the department\u00a0for possible data quality issues that were not resolved.\u2022 As a privacy measure "in order to prevent the disclosure of identifying information," the department made small, random adjustments to the data, however zeroes were not altered.