Understand, analyze and take supportive actions with data to uncover gaps in students’ access and participation in your school's educational offerings.
Providing high-quality education is the mission of school systems across our country. However, students come to school from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and academic readiness levels, and a one-size-fits-all approach is not the most effective fit for all students. This is where data can play an important role in helping ascertain if and how students are accessing educational offerings, participating in them, and experiencing desired academic and nonacademic outcomes.
A major challenge school system administrators commonly grapple with occurs when certain students and groups are disproportionately impacted by lack of participation in advanced coursework and college/career pathways; underperformance in academics, grades, and assessment scores; increased rates of discipline, behavior, and attendance issues; and other scenarios that undermine student success. Insights into whether these patterns and consequences are occurring, to what degree, who is being affected, and what practices may lead to them are extremely difficult to identify as a school system administrator.
Nationwide, 43% of Black students attend high schools where the full range of math and science courses (algebra I, geometry, algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics) are not offered.
Nationwide, only 50% of schools offer calculus and only 63% offer physics. 25% of schools with the highest percentage of Black and Latino students do not offer Algebra II, and 33% of these schools do not offer chemistry.
Even when AP courses are available, Black and Latino students are vastly underrepresented in enrollment. While they make up 37% of students in high schools, Black and Latino students only make up 27% of students enrolled in an AP course.
Using data sourced primarily from Student Information Systems but spanning student demographic data, program and participation data, and both academic and nonacademic outcomes data, administrators are able to chart an informed path to support their student equity goals. These data-based insights support administrators in making effective decisions and adjustments to programs and procedures that target student success for all learners, and improve equitable participation levels in educational offerings.
"Leon County’s vision is to be an engaging, safe, and respectful learning environment that embraces change and produces successful learners who value diversity and are conscientious contributors to society. We use our data to provide all students with equitable access to programs, courses, highly effective teachers, technology, and other district resources free of bias based on ethnicity, race, sex, gender, or any other demographic differences across our diverse group of students."
All Ed-Fi technology and resources are available at no cost.
We recommend starting with the demonstration site which only takes a minute to load and explore. You can follow up with a complete prototype pre-built in a virtual machine with test data. This will allow you to have a clickable solution with sample data, so you can visualize the tool and see how it would work in your own district. This prototype sample application only takes a couple hours to stand up. Finally, you can deploy the student equity use case tool in your own computing environment with your own system and student data. This may take longer depending on your IT and security processes.
The key source system you’ll need is your Student Information Systems (SIS).
We recommend forming a core team of champions to solve this student equity challenge with data:
– Program and Data Leads: Central office departments like Accountability, Learning & Teaching, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion
– IT Leads: System administrators and SIS administrators
To get started with the Student Equity sample application, you’ll need to be able to spin up a virtual machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can request access to a temporary environment provided by Ed-Fi if needed to help you get started. To build out your test environment for your district and connect your own source system data to it, you’ll need your own computing infrastructure (on-premises or cloud-based) to deploy a database server and a web server. Detailed installation requirements are provided in the starter kit reference guide.
Our Student Equity Starter Kit provides a step-by-step guide for both technical and non-technical district leaders to use together. With the starter kit, you and your team can learn how to implement Ed-Fi specifically to determine student equity and equitable access to the educational offerings in your school system. The guide follows seven steps, summarized below, and includes an on-demand demonstration site that may be a good place to start.
Create an account and access the Student Equity demonstration site. Use the walkthrough information provided to take a tour of the tool through the eyes of a district administrator.
In this first step of the Quick Start Guide, you will download and set up a prepackaged virtual machine that contains the Student Equity sample application and sample data. (If you can’t run a virtual machine in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ed-Fi can help.)
Here you’ll follow the steps to explore and learn about the virtual machine you installed that hosts your Ed-Fi tools and your Student Equity sample application with sample data.
In this step of the Setup Guide, you will install all of the components of the Ed-Fi solution needed to create a test environment for your district in which to build your own student equity data solution.
In this step, you will configure your operational data store (ODS/API) with the Admin App tool you installed in the previous step, and then you will load your district’s data from your Student Information System (SIS).
In this step you will install, configure, and run the data visualizations included in the Student Equity data dashboard, populated by your district’s data sourced from the ODS/API you deployed in your test environment.
Now that you have created a functioning test environment for your district’s student equity data solution, you will publish the dashboard in a release targeted to your internal test users, to have them login, view, use, and test the data visualizations. You will then be in a position to:
– Verify functionality and support from key systems
– Understand what resources and technical skills you need to support it
– Test this solution with your key audience in a pilot
– Plan and conduct a production rollout of your solution
Vendors are an important part to bring the benefits of interoperability to your district. It is always a best practice to communicate early and often with all of your vendors that provide you with systems, like SIS and assessment vendors. Make sure these vendor-types are part of your planning process.
While each school district is different and has varying in-house resources and timelines, some districts have had success by working with a system integrator that is familiar with Ed-Fi. In any instance, you will need to have a working understanding of the milestones and pre-work necessary for a successful implementation but a system integrator can help you along the way.
Contact us for a list of Systems Integrators that may be available to help you.
There are several vendors that now offer differentiated Ed-Fi software as a service (Saas) or Platform as a service (PaaS) offerings. These offerings range from implementing and onboarding your district, providing you with a platform experience with Ed-Fi native tools and value added tools they provide, technical support, analytics and data visualization capabilities, etc. Providers that have badged their solution offerings are published on the Ed-Fi Tech Docs site. Once you get an account you’ll have full access to this list.
You may have the technical capability in-house to stand up your Ed-Fi implementation with the help of a cloud provider. All of the major cloud hosting platforms have templatized deployment options for deploying Ed-Fi technology tools that can help you get started fairly quickly. Including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Inteport via Azure Marketplace.
Want to start your Ed-Fi journey but need to get other teammates involved? Send them an email with a link to this page to share this important information with them and start building your data team.
We’re here to help. Reach out anytime.