How do we ensure that new teaching solutions and existing administration systems work together, so that educators, students and parents have the data they need?

School legacy systems frequently inhibit adoption of new solutions, and the absence of common standards limits interoperability across devices and solutions.


Data systems don't talk to each other

  • Schools use as many as 30 different programs and systems and their back ends are not compatible, limiting the applications of collected student data.
  • It is expensive for educators to integrate student data across systems and programs, limiting their ability to create a complete picture of student performance.
  • Schools employ solutions that generate redundant results, and wide open spaces in student performance are left untested because of a lack of data aggregation.

New Solutions cannot integrate into existing systems

  • The market is dominated by large players who sell integrated products based on historical presence and the quality of their sales force, often excluding new entrants.
  • Schools purchase “bundles” of content, data systems and other applications from single providers – rather than the best of each from multiple providers – to avoid the cost of integrating tools from multiple providers.

Providers cannot create products that work for multiple schools

  • Every school’s data system looks different because of the patchwork of products, making it difficult to design solutions that can be used broadly.
  • School leaders believe there are no solutions they can put in their classrooms because their system is unique and requires customization.

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Current Efforts

  • The Shared Learning Collaborative, a project of the Carnegie Corporation, Gates Foundation, and CCSSO, is building a set of services that will allow schools to connect student data across disparate sources

    • A pilot of the SLC’s Shared Learning Infrastructure (SLI) is being rolled out in select districts/states in 2012; further implementation will take place in 2013.
  • The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) will create common metadata properties that can be used to describe content specifically used for learning on the web

    • Content in learning resource repositories will be tagged with LRMI-defined metatags and aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

  • The Data Quality Campaign advocates for integrated systems and works with state policymakers to pursue legislation and other actions that will help districts move to more coordinated data management

  • Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) is a national effort to develop voluntarily adopted data standards that will align educational systems.