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IMS Global and Ed-Fi Alliance Announce Intent to Implement a Single, Unified Approach for Rostering Across the Most Adopted K-12 Data Standards

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- Organizations agree to collaborate to lead for broader standards adoption for the K-12 market -

February 9, 2016 – AUSTIN, Texas and LAKE MARY, Florida – Today, the nonprofits Ed-Fi Alliance and IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global) announced their intent to take a unified approach to rostering so that school districts across the U.S. have the ability to allow class lists/rosters and basic student and teacher information to flow easily and securely among data systems and learning technology. This will save teachers and administrators valuable time and make it much easier to use instructional tools in classrooms.

“The widespread adoption of Ed-Fi technology across states and districts in the U.S. indicates that the Ed-Fi Alliance is a great partner to work with to accelerate the adoption of open standards,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer of IMS Global. “The marriage of the Ed-Fi Alliance’s focus on harnessing data to equip educators with actionable insights and IMS Global’s focus on teaching and learning technology will enable a breakthrough in enabling interoperability among software and systems of all types.”

IMS Global represents 350 leading education sector organizations, including suppliers, school districts, states, higher education institutions and ministries of education. IMS Global standards include Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®), Question and Test Interoperability® (QTI®), Common Cartridge®, OneRoster™ and Caliper Analytics™. Currently, there are more than 380 ed-tech products certified to IMS standards, including more than 70 learning platforms. IMS standards have wide use in both the K-12 and higher education sectors worldwide.

“We believe that leveraging IMS Global standards will play a very important role in the Ed-Fi Community’s work to make data work better for schools,” said Troy Wheeler, President, Ed-Fi Alliance. “The increase in the number of instructional tools and learning content delivery can require a complex, expensive and tedious process to synthesize them in a single data environment. Ed-Fi technology ensures compatibility among current and new systems or products, and the integration of IMS Global standards into the Ed-Fi technology offering will provide seamless connectivity to an ecosystem of hundreds of learning platforms, tools, applications and digital resources.”

Ed-Fi technology is built from the Ed-Fi Data Standard, which is aligned with Common Education Data Standard (CEDS) definitions. The technology’s free license includes this data standard, along with the entire Ed-Fi Implementation Suite, consisting of an operational data store, associated API, and Ed-Fi Dashboards — all of which help educators make sense of and take action against the data they’re collecting. Ed-Fi technology is currently being used by more than 35 states and large districts, impacting more than 10,000 total districts across the U.S. For more information, or to license the Ed-Fi Implementation Suite technology, please visit ed-fi.org/district.

"The Ed-Fi project has been adopted widely by K-12 education agencies. Cooperation across the Ed-Fi Alliance and IMS Global on standards like OneRoster offer tremendous opportunities for saving time and money,” said Kurt Kiefer, CIO for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. “These foundational efforts make innovation feasible within US education system."

In addition to implementing a single, unified approach for rostering, the organizations will work together to produce a joint overview of their standards work, including identifying places where there is low and high overlapping activity. Such a joint overview is intended also to allow agencies currently seeking to implement standards-based technology to move forward with a clearer vision of IMS and Ed-Fi technology work.

"This is a major victory for students of all ages and their families that higher education institutions, K-12 districts, suppliers, foundations and IMS Global are all working together to create teaching and learning data integration standards that hold down costs and create opportunities for innovation,” said Bruce Maas, Vice Provost for IT and CIO at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “There are many more such opportunities in our future if the right stars, and right partners, align."

About the Ed-Fi Alliance
Ed-Fi Alliance, LLC, is dedicated to empowering educators with real-time, actionable education data on every student in their classrooms, schools, districts or states. Ed-Fi technology consists of a blueprint for connecting data systems combined with practical tools designed in collaboration with educators and ed-tech professionals in the field. This community continually updates the components and features of the Ed-Fi solution, and the organization actively solicits feedback and input from licensees and education technology leaders to make sure its technology makes a real difference in improving student achievement and teacher satisfaction. The Ed-Fi Alliance is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and is headquartered in Austin, TX.

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) 
IMS GLC is a global, nonprofit, member consortium that provides leadership in shaping and growing the learning and educational technology industries through collaborative support of standards, innovation, best practice and recognition of superior learning impact. IMS GLC provides open interoperability specifications, reference models, and adoption practices for learning and educational content and systems. IMS GLC sponsors the annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute and Awards Program. For more information visit www.imsglobal.org.