Managing student data is a major challenge for districts across the nation. Educational institutions grapple with an overload of edtech products, creating a disjointed landscape where these tools fail to communicate effectively. This not only hampers coordination but also jeopardizes the data privacy of both staff and students. The Ed-Fi standard is a solution to help organize a universe of messy data through interoperability, providing benefits that range from state reporting to preventing overlooked students in need.
Tips for stakeholders
Each organization has an important role to play in the process. Here are some additional tips to consider when establishing target outcomes.
- Education Service Agencies (ESAs): Defining a clear use case aids in selecting the right contractor for a successful launch. Grant funding can ease the initial investment, and the Ed-Fi community offers you a chance to connect with leaders who have navigated similar journeys.
- Local Education Agencies (LEAs): Because the Ed-Fi standard streamlines data interoperability, your Student Information System (SIS) will be the “single source of truth” when it comes to all types of data. While Ed-Fi reduces or eliminates the need to push around spreadsheets and manage multiple rosters, you will have to maintain tidy SIS records for all students.
- Product Providers: Be ready to roll up your sleeves, but know that it will pay off! As more ESAs and states value interoperability, your product will be more attractive to district buyers. Communicate regularly with ESAs to ensure alignment with development roadmaps.
Streamlining data flows through Ed-Fi brings tremendous benefits to many stakeholders. Here are some additional thoughts to help paint a picture of what you can expect.
- Working with state agencies: State agencies all have data reporting needs, usually for state summative assessments at minimum. Coordinating with the state can help align a regional Ed-Fi implementation with those requirements, thus easing the burden of supplying such data while simultaneously providing a new level of insight to LEA stakeholders!
- Starting in the middle: ESAs often have a clear view of areas of potential oversight across districts. The ESA acts as a liaison between the districts, the ODS and the state reporting systems. As such, they’re well-positioned to keep things streamlined.
- Defining a use case: A clearly defined goal is key to a successful implementation. Make sure to understand district and school data needs so that the use case is grounded in their everyday work.
- Find the right contractor: Contractors are often vital to helping with Ed-Fi technical setup, and hiring the right contractor from the start will save you time in the end. Leaders in the Ed-Fi community can help ESA and LEA stakeholders figure out what to look for in a development partner.