As we wrap up 2019, I want to recognize the great strides we’ve made as a community this year. I also want to share what’s top of mind as we enter a new decade!

Because of your support, engagement, and advocacy, national awareness of Ed-Fi’s mission and technologies continues to grow. We welcomed more newcomers into the Ed-Fi Community this year than ever before, accelerated adoption with the collaborative model of Ed-Fi implementations, and released important new technology projects and updates.

The goal of the Ed-Fi Community has always been to deliver actionable, accurate data securely into the hands of the people who need it most to support students, and we have hundreds of examples where your work has successfully supported this mission in 2019. 

Not only have you supported the Ed-Fi mission, but you’ve also contributed your time and talent to our community. Because Ed-Fi is a community-led nonprofit organization and we are philanthropically funded, this allows us to partner with you and focus on the big challenges that face our nation’s educators, students, and parents. Thank you for working tirelessly towards change in our industry.

You have accomplished so much in 2019, we can’t list it all! Thank you for helping us advance the Ed-Fi mission through the following areas:

Always Advancing Student Progress 

  • School districts and collaboratives like Spring Branch ISD, INSITE, and YES Prep are now using the Ed-Fi Technology Suite to help educators, students, and parents get a detailed understanding of each student’s progress toward educational goals. This year, education agencies like these have implemented a range of Ed-Fi powered solutions including parent portals, educator dashboards, and video-based NWEA MAP reports.
  • New districts joined the community in 2019 as they saw tremendous value in using the Ed-Fi Technology Suite to understand the overall progress of all students and to specific student cohorts. One great example: San Marcos ISD is implementing Ed-Fi to provide early intervention for at-risk students to reduce chronic absenteeism and drop-out rates. 
  • This year, with the help of a community workgroup, we successfully piloted the Teacher Prep Data Model (TPDM) program with three teacher prep programs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, US PREP, and Relay Graduate School of Education. These pilots reached 23 teacher prep program campuses and 6,700 teacher candidates across 14 states. 

Linking Technology to Student Outcomes 

  • This year, Ed-Fi Community member LearnPlatform was the first technology provider to help districts correlate the use of educational technology products to teachers’ and students’ abilities to achieve learning objectives. LearnPlatform has been working with the Ed-Fi Data Standard to simplify obtaining the data needed to conduct this type of impact analysis.
  • This year, a number of Ed-Fi Community members participated in the Effective Assessment Data Management (EADM) collaborative that aims to help education leaders and educators correlate the results from a variety of assessment activities and products, using the Ed-Fi Data Model to bring this assessment data together. The number of districts using the EADM visualizations and analysis has expanded to include Wayne Township, Rio Rancho, Farmington, Los Alamos, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and Florida CODE
  • Districts like Loudoun County Public Schools also joined the Ed-Fi Alliance and are using the Ed-Fi Technology Suite to tackle a similar assessment challenge, with the goal of creating an Integrated Assessment Dashboard for their educators. 

Continuing to Give Educators a Seat at the Table 

The growth and scale of the Ed-Fi Community meant that this year we focused even more on creating opportunities for educators to share what technology problems they need our community to focus on.

We brought together several exciting community workgroups and special interest groups for creative problem-solving. We increased the opportunity to hear and learn from outside voices by launching a Leadership Council, comprised of superintendents and executives from education agencies and organizations.

Further, we strengthened our Community Leadership groups including the Governance Advisory Team and the Technical Advisory Group to guide and inform our work. In an effort to continue our tradition of transparency and community governance, we launched a new Community Leadership page on that details the status of all workgroup and special interest group projects. 

Growing Data Interoperability Adoption 

Our community is working nonstop to address the two biggest roadblocks preventing a widespread standardized approach: the slow pace of data standards adoption by technology providers, and the lack of training, resources, and easy-to-implement technology tools that help districts to take ownership of their data. 

Fortunately, the Ed-Fi Community has been hard at work this year to address these roadblocks by publishing a number of impactful technology updates. We also kicked off a series of implementation bootcamps and three Implementation Playbooks—these are on-demand training resources that will be continually updated in 2020. These resources are designed to equip our users with powerful solutions to the challenges they are addressing every day in their schools and agencies. 

What remains is the challenge that we will be addressing in earnest for 2020: how to accelerate the adoption of standards by the sector’s most innovative and valuable education technology platforms. This is a big challenge, and if we want to move the needle for educators and students it will require all of us to advocate for the benefits of data interoperability with our technology providers and with our peers. 

A sincere thank you for reading this update. Thank you for caring about the future of education. And thank you for understanding that there are many ways to support our teachers and students. Sometimes, what’s operating behind the scenes can make the biggest impact. 

Get ready for some big announcements at the Technical Congress (save the date for April 20-22!) that will propel Ed-Fi forward. 

Happy Holidays! We’ll see you in the new year, 

Troy Wheeler's Signature

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