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Dell Foundation Launches Ed-Fi Alliance To Improve Data Use in Schools

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has launched the Ed-Fi Alliance, a new non-profit organization designed to help educators make use of data.

At the center of the organization is the free Ed-Fi solution. Launched in 2011 and currently licensed in 10 states, the Ed-Fi solution is designed to improve "student achievement by extracting student information from a variety of sources, and integrating the data into Web-based dashboards, reports and other applications that are, with the right permissions, accessible to educators and other parties on demand," according to information released by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

Developed in cooperation with teachers, vendors, school leaders, and local and state education agency representatives, the solution comprises a unifying data model, a data exchange and application framework, and sample dashboard source code.

In addition to enabling data-driven decisions to improve student achievement, the system is also designed to allow "school and district administrators and state and federal agencies to supplement or replace tools used for broader state or federal accountability reporting purposes," according to information released by the organization.

"Since the launch of the Ed-Fi initiative in July 2011, we have seen increasing demand from states and school districts because they see real time and cost savings advantages created by deploying the Ed-Fi solution within existing IT environments," saidJanet Mountain , executive director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. "Currently, 36 percent of K-12 students and 39 percent of teachers are poised to benefit from Ed-Fi-enabled solutions, which are free under license. We expect the Ed-Fi solution to help even greater numbers of students in the next two years. The resources and focus required to support this exponential growth merited a stand-alone organization to ensure that these high-quality solutions can quickly get into the hands of teachers and administrators."

More information about the Ed-Fi Alliance is available at ed-fi.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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