Ed-Fi Alliance and Certica Solutions Team Up in Learning Standards Initiative to Provide More Meaningful Information to Educators

Academic Benchmarks® Repository of More Than 4 Million Digitized Learning Standards is Available to the Ed-Fi Community, Allowing Agencies and Vendors to Achieve a 360-Degree of Student Learning

AUSTIN, Texas, and WAKEFIELD, Mass., October 9, 2018 – Ed-Fi Alliance, LLC, dedicated to boosting student achievement by empowering educators with actionable data, and Certica Solutions, a leading provider of platform-as-a-service for education agencies, today announced that they are partnering to make the Academic Benchmarks system of learning standards mappings available through the Ed-Fi Operational Data Store (Ed-Fi ODS/API). This partnership will make Academic Benchmarks’ digitized learning standards readily available to education agencies and vendors.

Combining the Ed-Fi ODS/API with the largest repository of learning standards will allow educators to view student outcomes from multiple sources aligned to a common set of learning standards, giving them a more complete and comprehensive picture of student progress.

“Empowering educators with the capability to link learning standards to student data and assessment results seamlessly across systems has been a top priority of leaders in the Ed-Fi Community for quite some time,” said Troy Wheeler, president, Ed-Fi Alliance. “As we were thinking about how to solve this challenge for our community, we looked to the most widely-adopted solution available today, Academic Benchmarks, from Certica. We knew that if we could incorporate their repository of learning standards into Ed-Fi quickly, we’d be able to solve a significant challenge for educators and technology providers alike.”

Said Mark Rankovic, president and CEO of Certica Solutions, “each state education agency publishes and revises their own set of thousands of unique learning standards, including derivations of national standards. Typically, this information is published in spreadsheets and PDFs. If you are a technology or content provider that wants to map your solution to those standards, you must do the arduous work to keep track of it all, unless you leverage Academic Benchmarks. Our system has captured and digitized over 4 million unique learning standards, and we continuously update and curate this information for use by technology providers. Over 200 technology and content providers currently use Academic Benchmarks to tag, align and search content in their solutions. Now, education agencies will have access to the same useful and valuable information within the Ed-Fi ODS/API so they can manage, map and update their assessment and instructional data, aligned to learning standards. Our hope is that this access will empower and support education agencies in their mission to achieve a 360-degree view of student progress.”

As one of the first assessment solution providers to integrate with the Ed-Fi ODS/API,” said Mick Hewitt, co-founder and CEO of MasteryConnect, “we’ve seen the importance of connecting assessment data and learning standards for the Ed-Fi Community. Tracking students’ mastery of standards is foundational for our school and district clients, and their learning materials, test questions and student scores are all linked today via the Academic Benchmarks standards. We believe that the Ed-Fi Alliance has made a very wise choice in allowing SEAs, LEAs and vendors to leverage the Academic Benchmarks standards in Ed-Fi.”

The Ed-Fi Alliance and Certica Learning Standards Initiative will deliver three significant benefits to the Ed-Fi Community.

Provide More Useful and Actionable Information to Educators

Now state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) which adopt Ed-Fi will be able to freely access the relevant national, state and local learning standards through the Ed-Fi ODS/API. Student scores, mastery, and detailed assessment data aligned to learning standards can dramatically change how educators leverage and use data to support differentiating instruction and making sense of real-time student progress. SEAs, LEAs and vendors that would like more information can contact Certica via Academic Benchmarks.

Seamless Learning Standards Management

Once an SEA publishes its learning standards, LEAs often take the time to localize these standards and map them to their own classroom needs. While this is valuable and necessary information, if it is not captured in a digitized system, the standards can’t be utilized efficiently. Through the partnership with Ed-Fi and Certica, SEAs and LEAs can author and manage their learning standards using a free learning standards management application, Certica’s Standards Connect, instead of using documents and spreadsheets. This benefits both the SEA and LEA by reducing the workload and it immediately surfaces the standards to education technology and content providers to better meet the needs of their schools.

Enable More Vendors to Use Academic Benchmarks
With the support of the Ed-Fi Alliance, to further extend assessment and instructional content interoperability, Certica is now offering to vendors a free license of Certica’s AB Connect Starter Edition which includes:

  • Learning standards and unique identifiers, known as the AB GUIDs, for the four core subjects (Math, English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies) for a single state, chosen by the vendor; and
  • Learning standards and AB GUIDs for the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

The free license of the AB Connect Starter Edition is available now and can be used by any vendor—including those vendors who have not yet begun integrating with Ed-Fi. Vendors that would like more information about the Starter Edition license can contact Certica via the Academic Benchmarks web page.