– Leading states and vendors line up to back new ed-tech solution that can deliver comprehensive student information to every teacher across US –

MAY 8, 2012 — AUSTIN, Texas – Since launching in July 2011, the Ed-Fi Tool Suite, including the data standard and dashboards, has gained significant momentum in K-12 education among state education agencies, school districts and vendors.  Eight states have licensed or are in discussions to license the Ed-Fi Tool Suite, and an additional four states will benefit from Ed-Fi-enabled tools through the Shared Learning Collaborative. This represents 34% of K-12 students and 36% of teachers across the United States

Ed-Fi is the only free, flexible and complete ed-tech solution to empower educators with relevant, timely, student-centric information that enables better data collection and reporting to improve decision making, facilitate targeted action plans and drive higher student outcomes. The Ed-Fi data standard aligns with Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) and facilitates secure data exchange among disparate data systems in the K-12 education sector. The Ed-Fi data standard enables interoperability among education systems that states and districts have already implemented, and enables organizations to build on prior investments in existing IT systems and processes. Most importantly, it puts the transformative power of information in the hands of teachers and other educators when and where they need it most: their classrooms.

Arizona, Kansas and New Mexico
join Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas in using Ed-Fi to power their ongoing efforts to ensure that educators have the information and insight they need to understand the individual needs of every student and be equipped to respond.

Vendors including e-Scholar, Curriculum Associates, SunGard and Wireless Generation have also licensed Ed-Fi. Further, the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC) has chosen Ed-Fi to power its scalable shared technology services, which aim to accelerate progress toward personalized learning for every K-12 student in the United States.  The SLC will help existing and future instructional technology investments in states, districts and schools work better together, and will extend the reach and potential of Ed-Fi to additional states including Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina.

“At the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, we believe that the absence of a widely-adopted data standard is the fundamental element that has kept the education sector stuck in its old ways of doing business,” said Lori Fey, Director, Policy Initiatives, US Education at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “We believe that improvement and innovation in the education sector are within reach, and that states, districts and vendors that move aggressively to standardize their data and systems will unlock the potential of both.”

Ed-Fi does not replace existing education data or information systems, nor does it supplant existing data standards; it enables them to work together to give educators nationwide what they need: holistic portraits of students that are detailed, easy to understand and up-to-date at any given moment. Moreover, Ed-Fi addresses a long-standing challenge to meaningful systemic improvement in schools nationwide: The multiple and often non-interoperable information and education data systems used by schools, districts and states.

“Ed-Fi fills the persistent need in the education sector to harness the power of data already collected in school districts and states,” said Fey.

STATE EDUCATION AGENCY QUOTES

“Joining Ed-Fi and uniting behind a common data standard is an important step forward for Arizona’s education community to provide powerful student-level data to educators,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. “Arizona is undergoing transformative education reform, and improving the quality of education through sound data-driven decision making is a key part of that change. I applaud the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for offering such a robust education technology solution, at no cost, to the Arizona Department of Education.”

“Colorado has consolidated 19 primary data collections, and we now have eight. We were able to do this by taking a student-based approach to data as compared to the old way of approaching data based on programs.  Ed-Fi wholly supports this enterprise view of data.  By streamlining the flow of information and eliminating redundant data requests, Colorado can reduce the data administration burden for schools while shifting resources towards using data to enhance performance,” said Robert Hammond, Commissioner of Education, Colorado.

“Use of the Ed-Fi standard allowed us to significantly accelerate the development life cycle for our Education Insight warehouse and dashboard projects, enabling us to move from analysis to production in just 12 months. Ed-Fi provided a compass that guided the transformation of data from a variety of disparate data sources into meaningful real-time metrics for classroom decision-making, while allowing us to customize the teacher dashboard to the specific needs of Delaware educators,” said Reese Robinson, Education Insight Project Manager, Delaware Department of Education.

“In Kansas, we have been working over the past several years to help schools develop a system of tiered interventions designed to meet the unique needs of each student. The Ed-Fi framework and teacher dashboards are serving as a foundation to allow us to implement a Collaborative Workspace for teachers that will tie right into that effort,” said Brad Neuenswander, Deputy Commissioner for Education in Kansas. “The Collaborative Workspace will provide teachers valuable information on individual student needs and learning styles, allowing them to start the school year or semester with the instructional strategies necessary to help each student succeed. It’s very powerful when teachers can start from day one presenting information and creating an environment that will be most conducive to student achievement. We believe that by using the Ed-Fi solution, we can implement the Collaborative Workspace sooner and provide a more comprehensive solution for our teachers.”

“Educators across Louisiana recognize the value of using data to drive student achievement.  Thus, we’ve adopted a strategy to enrich the capacity of our data systems both within the agency and in support of our districts, schools, teachers, students and families.  The Ed-Fi dashboards play into that strategy by providing teachers and administrators with a daily snapshot of student, classroom and campus performance in a manner that is reliable, meaningful and easy to understand,” said John White, Louisiana State Superintendent of Education.

To get more detailed information about the Ed-Fi data standard including FAQ and technical documentation, or to provide comments on the Ed-Fi data standard, visit the website at edfi.
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About Ed-Fi
Ed-Fi is a universal educational data standard and tool suite that enables vital academic information on K-12 students to be consolidated from the different data systems of school districts throughout the United States. Ed-Fi acts as a universal translator of academic data, integrating and organizing information so that educators can start addressing the individual needs of each student from day one, and can measure progress and refine action plans throughout the school year.

Developed through funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Ed-Fi licenses provide school districts, state education agencies and vendors with unrestricted access to all Ed-Fi components free of charge. For more information, visit edfi. The Ed-Fi initiative supports the goal of ensuring that all children have access to quality education in public schools, one of the foundation’s key objectives.

Media inquiries:

Megan Matthews, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Tel. 512 600 5532
communications@msdf.org