Last week marked the annual STATS-DC Data Conference, hosted by our friends at NCES and the U.S. Department of Education, with the aptly titled theme “Educators Run on Data”. We believe deeply in this theme and consider it a critical part, and payoff, of data standards adoption. In fact, at a recent meeting hosted by one of our district collaboratives forming in Rhode Island, a second grade teacher participant told our group “data doesn’t mean anything to me if I can’t use it right away”. With that theme to anchor us, the Ed-Fi Community turned out in droves to share successes, learnings, and promising directions with their peers and colleagues gathered from across the country. Here are some highlights (all of the presentation materials will be posted and available on the STATS DC website soon):

  • CEDS and Ed-Fi started the conference by announcing a renewed commitment to collaboration with a joint initiative to align existing and new data elements as well as a synchronization of release cycles going forward. More details can be found here.
  • Jim Goodell, Joshua Marks, and our very own Eric Jansson and Maureen Wentworth explored how Ed-Fi, CEDS, and IMS work together with diverse stakeholder communities to support the pipeline of data from LEAs to SEAs to federal reporting, all to make data work for students.
  • In the “One Team for Education” session, Satish Pattisapu from AZED and Ed-Fi president Troy Wheeler, Cy Jones, and myself from the Ed-Fi team presented the powerful visualization initiatives undertaken with Microsoft and other partners. These initiatives build upon the foundation of standards-based architecture to deliver valuable data directly to the classroom and those closest to supporting students.
  • Melissa Straw and John Raub from the WI DPI team presented a terrific walkthrough of their agency’s journey in the adoption of the Ed-Fi data standard, as well as the transformation of their systems and capabilities, which they continue to experience, build upon, and share back with the community.
  • Kimberly Gondwe from CCSSO, Tom Howell from MI CEPI, and Maureen and I from the Ed-Fi team shared learnings and successes of the collaborative models that have come from both CCSSO and Ed-Fi Community, as in Tom’s case in Michigan’s Data Hubs initiative.
  • Matt Warden from DLP and Dean Folkers from NE NDE shared their work in the area of CRDC data collection and reporting where they have sought to alleviate a tremendous amount of the data gathering burden from LEAs and others through leveraging data collected and aggregated by an Ed-Fi ODS.

And, in addition to all of the above, we had a terrific night networking and conncting with about 200 of our friends on the terrace of the Hay-Adams through the generosity of CELT, Certica, DoubleLine Partners, ESP Solutions Group, LearningMate, and UPD Consulting! The Ed-Fi Community is bustling with activity, progress, ideas, participation and innovation and STATS-DC was an excellent example of how all of that converges to empower our educators that Run on Data!