The first step in modernizing a state’s education IT infrastructure is enabling real-time data by automating collection processes.
States are tasked with the collection of information from districts that impact a myriad of programs; including accountability metrics, funding needs and district support. Often this critical information is sent to state agencies incomplete, in various formats, and with errors. Agencies spend hundreds of hours and precious resources to correct and manage the data before it can be reported on with any amount of confidence, let alone used to spot trends or solve important challenges.
With Ed-Fi, Nebraska reduced the data burden on their district staff by 25%.
Michigan saves $16.27 Million on district data submission annually.
The Ed-Fi API handles 30 million transactions a day in Wisconsin.
"As a state agency, we must be about more than just compliance - we can harvest innovation and provide real services back to our districts to help them support better student outcomes. To do that, we need a modernized IT infrastructure that enables real-time connected data in our classrooms."
"Nebraska’s interoperability implementation plan reduced the financial and human capacity burden on districts while increasing the quality and timeliness of data with the opportunity to use data to support state learning goals."
Take a look at the most common questions that we’ve received over the years to build your knowledge about Ed-Fi and get you started on the right foot.
There is no standard timeframe for an implementation because it can very based on the unique circumstances of every state. We recommend taking a small slice, use case, or collection first to ensure a quick win. Because so many systems are reliant on state processes and there are calendar considerations to account for, typically states spend time on development cycles, pilots and testing to ensure data quality and fidelity of processes. However you choose to deploy, you can be sure that Ed-Fi has been tested and proven in the field allowing you to chart a course that only gets better over time.
A best practice is to have a senior leader act as a data champion for your Ed-Fi project. Engage your data governance process and bring together your data analysts and program leads, it’s also helpful to have one person as the designated Ed-Fi coordinator or project leader.
Agencies are encouraged to ask their technology provider to be Ed-Fi certified; however, agencies should first understand their needs sufficiently to make this request. As a community Ed-Fi includes a robust partner program with a number of active vendors. We offer certifications for Student Information Systems, Assessment vendors, and a range of badges to help you know that your vendors are capable of integrating with your Ed-Fi solution.
Establish a governance practice that involves your district participation, collaboration and team decision making. Communicate with the district leadership early, consistently, deliver quick wins for your district users, deliver frequently and establish a solid process management and communication.
Ed-Fi was designed to capture the depth and breadth of student, staff, and contextual data (and much more) in a secure and manageable operational system. Data coming in through a secure API removes the necessity to send flat files, and secures data from being exposed to non-authorized personnel. Further, when you have a streamlined and modernized data architecture your agency can proactively ensure data privacy and security best practices.
The SEA strategic partnership team is here to provide the necessary help you need including onboarding you to Ed-Fi, providing training and offering ongoing technical support. This offering is not a replacement to your technical staff or a system integrator.
For the Quick Start Guide, download and set up a pre-packaged virtual machine that contains the Ed-Fi ODS/API with sample extension, sample data quality validation rules, plus sample membership and special education count reports. (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 sample membership and special education count reports including sample data, sample extensions, and sample data quality validation rules.
To use the Ed-Fi Data Standard, states must re-express, in Ed-Fi language, the data specifications they provide to their technology providers and school districts. In this step, you will map your state specific data requirements to the elements in the Ed-Fi Data Model using either an excel spreadsheet or the Ed-Fi’s MappingEdu tool.
During your mapping exercise you may find gaps between your state specific data needs and the Ed-Fi Data Model. This step will walk you through the use of Ed-Fi’s MetaEd tool to “extend” the data model to accommodate these missing entities.
In this step of the Setup Guide, you will install all the components of the Ed-Fi solution using the recommended Binary Installation method. This will create a pilot-ready environment for you to connect with your district’s student information systems.
In this step, you will configure the Admin App to create your first application and generate a Key and Secret for use in securely connecting to your district’s student information system(s).
In this step you will load Agency or “Seed” data into your Ed-Fi ODS to prepare for the loading of student data from technology partners.
You are now set up with a pilot-ready environment. In this step, you will review staging and pilot strategies for your newly created Ed-Fi SEA solution.
Once you have kicked off your pilot and have data flowing into your new Ed-Fi ODS you are ready to analyze your LEA submissions for accuracy. In this final step, you will set-up the validation process for your Ed-Fi SEA solution.
Vendors are an important part to bring the benefits of interoperability to your state. 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 state is different and has varying in-house resources and timelines, some states 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.
You may have technical capabilities in-house to stand up your Ed-Fi implementation in the cloud. All of the major cloud hosting platforms have worked with the 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.
The Ed-Fi team is standing by. Reach out to us at anytime.