Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2:00 PM  - 3:30 PM

Plenary Session 1

Ballroom AB

Welcome and greetings from AZ DOE, summary of last year’s event, & roadmap transition to 3.0.

These broad session notes attempt to capture the spirit of the discussion and should not be interpreted as a transcript. Although Ed-Fi Alliance staff were involved in capturing these observations, the notes below should not be construed as official, complete, or 100% accurate.

Welcoming remarks from Maureen Wentworth, Ed-Fi staff

Diane Douglas, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dept of Education, State of Arizona

  • Technology #1 priority internally; externally: student achievement and stewardship of taxpayer dollars

  • Using Ed-Fi standard has lowered time to run critical reports, and supported the quickest year-end rollover yet last year

  • Next step: extend API to finance systems

Satish Pattisapu, Chief Information Officer, Dept of Education, State of Arizona

  • Standardization with Ed-Fi has helped reduce processing time from days to hours

  • Now can give instantaneous feedback to local education agencies

  • Significant win: able to pay schools on current year enrollment data, whereas used to pay based on prior year

  • Able to reduce duplication, spend less time and money supporting multiple systems

  • State and federal reporting in the past cut close to deadline - this year the standards implementation allowed early delivery of data

  • Collaborative approach with Ed-Fi community is mutually beneficial, look forward to working together to solve future needs around financial accountability and transparency, as well as assessment data interoperability

Eric Jansson, Director of Technology, Ed-Fi Alliance

  • Goals of the Technical Congress:

    • Ensure that the standards and technology are deeply embedded

    • Bridge the gap between the annual summits

  • Challenges that motivate Ed-Fi:

    • Traditionally, teachers get very little information about students as the school year begins, most coming from word of mouth

    • Teachers want to use data, but are usually left creating their own spreadsheets and manual visualizations

  • Goal then is to provide a 360-degree view of students:

  • Role of the technical congress

    • Get into the weeds - “propellor-head meeting”

    • Provide feedback on the standards - they are not set in stone

    • Expect a culture of participation

    • Agenda based on ambiguity - here to talk about things we don’t know how to do, to talk about unanswered questions (e.g. finance, assessments)

    • Strong turnout, but please work to be interactive

  • Community Norms

    • See Tao of the Ed-Fi Alliance

    • Themes:

      • Doing over talking

      • Practice over theory

      • Getting started now

      • Tracker (JIRA) & Tech Docs (Confluence)

Chris Moffatt, Vice President of Technology, Ed-Fi Alliance

  • Addressing important topics for 2018...

  • Versioning: introducing Ed-Fi Technical Suite for identifying each “generation of technology” - those components that share data model and are designed to work together, simplifying the understanding relative to traditional independent version numbers. See suite/versioning matrix in Tech Docs. Benefits:

    • Communication

    • Clarity of Support

  • Transition to Suite 3

    • Release Candidate 1 now available for the Data Standard and ODS API

    • Ed-Fi standards & tech are a treadmill, not a springboard - supports continuous work and improvement

    • Timeline / roadmap: RC1, agencies and vendors prep through 2018, 3.0 APIs operational 2019

  • Deciding between suite 2 and 3

    • Suite 2: If already working to deploy on the standard in 2018-2019 school year, or leveraging “quick start”, then continue with Suite 2

    • Suite 3: Already have suite 2 implementation, start planning for upgrade for 2019-2020 / 2020-2021, or if just beginning journey to implement the standard

Eric Jansson

  • Final session will include report-out from the various sessions

  • Will plan to document open questions and issues not covered

  • Resources & communication - Tech Docs & Slack

Darts and Laurels

Eric asked organizations to mention the biggest issues they are facing (DARTS), and to call out something that is working very well (LAURELS).

  • Volusia County Schools

    • Struggling with running the dashboards in Azure

    • Loading the ODS has been a pleasure, latest version of loader very fast

    • Challenged by non-integer school id [Eric remarked: look for open Tracker ticket on this] (Eric Jansson can you find this ticket?)

  • Certica Solutions

    • Love the momentum that Ed-Fi is getting, but

    • Would like to see increased pace of adoption

  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

    • Concerned about data quality & error messaging, so end-users can easily resolve own issues

    • Eager to workout details for finance domain

    • Improve on vendor certification

  • Education Analytics

    • Appreciate the welcoming to the community

  • eScholar

    • Challenged by moving from one version of the standard to another, hoping the burden will be less with next version

  • CELT Corporation

    • Working with Assessment data - pain point getting everyone to adopt

    • There’s been more movement to reach out to non-technical people

  • Eidex

    • Ridiculously easy to deploy the API

    • Struggle with (event?) management

  • NWEA

    • Exchanging data for Assessments

  • Tyler Technology

    • Dart - Section file key field volatility

    • Laurel - looks like there is a solution under way

  • Learning Mate

    • No darts, only laurels: versioning chart is easy to read and clear; continuing to strengthen the standard

  • Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency

    • Widespread knowledge of Ed-Fi in vendor space now

    • Challenge around the deltas for data exchange

  • PowerSchool Group LLC

    • Great evolution of the data spec - best solution for compliance & reporting

  • Achievement First

    • Looking forward to getting started implementing the Ed-Fi standard

  • Door94

    • Intervention model not robust yet (dart)

    • Getting help from the Ed-Fi staff to improve it (laurel)

  • SchoolZilla

    • Need help with change events [Eric remarked: see session on bulk data exchange]

  • Boston Public Schools

    • ODS proof-of-concept was a good experience

    • Interested in support of transportation

  • Maine Department of Education

    • Thank you Maureen and SEA support and for having this event in Scottsdale

  • ESP Solutions Group

    • Darts for data quality conversation

    • Impressed with ability to pull solutions from the Exchange [Eric remarked: Ed-Fi Exchange a site for sharing community solutions, originally developed by Arkansas]

  • Skyward Inc.

    • Took a long time to figure out why I could add but not edit a student

    • Hard to support level 2 errors for schools

    • Expansion for ESSA support

    • New states starting to adopt Ed-Fi is a testament to the community

    • Error messaging is improving through the SIG: dart to laurel. Not being developed in a vacuum

  • Student1

    • Designed to be extended, and governance process allows the standard to evolve

    • Everyone: if you get the urge to extend, call Eric J. Other people probably have same challenge and we should collaborate in solving these challenges

  • Collaborative Systems and Services

    • Laurel: Operationalizing a data model around ESSA

  • Amazon Web Services

    • To the Ed-Fi Alliance for helping them to get up-to-speed on the tech stack

    • Amazon is about choices. Would like to see more choices around technology stack, e.g. open source databases

  • Endpoint

    • New states coming on board

    • Every dart is already being addressed

  • InnovateEDU & Project Unicorn

    • Standards are evolving to meet the needs of states & schools

  • Infinite Campus

    • Data visibility is something we’re still striving to improve on

    • Being on the TAG good to see the value placed on feedback