Tyler Becomes First to Certify With AzEDS


If AELAS was a blockbuster movie, AzEDS would be the executive producer.

Of all of the AELAS’ initiatives, AzEDS is the one that few know about, but makes the magic happen. Although AzEDS may be unrecognizable to the public, it ensures that everything the public does see runs smoothly. Moreover, AzEDS will save administrative staffs untold hours and dollars they already spend compiling and submitting data.

On Thursday, the Arizona Department of Education made a huge leap forward when Tyler Technologies became the first vendor to certify with AzEDS. In order to certify, a vendor undergoes a six-hour process of testing, four hours of which occur on the first day.

“They had everything ready for us,” ADE Business Analyst Rose Whelihan said. “Their system has to be mapped, as well as have the capability for all their data to be submitted. The process was extremely smooth.”

This story began on October 19, 2012, when the Arizona Data Governance Commission directed ADE to immediately implement the Ed-Fi data model and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) data standards. All education data systems must adopt these standards in order to send or receive data from ADE systems.

By standardizing and streamlining the collection and reporting of critical information based on CEDS and the Ed-Fi structure, AzEDS helps educators concentrate on teaching and students to focus on learning. AzEDS is the data standard for this system, a common language and processes to simplify the exchange of data between LEAs and their state agencies.

Every school in Arizona is required to track and report hundreds of pieces of information every week, requiring countless hours of work and an ever-increasing financial burden. AzEDS automates the majority of the reporting without compromising privacy or reducing LEA control over student data.

Besides streamlining communication, AzEDS will also enable new Arizona Dashboards (AZDash) to offer near real-time student data. This allows educators to make instantaneous decisions within the classroom.

Finally, it is also critical for LEAs to partner with a vendor that has been certified as AzEDS compliant in order to receive state aid for the upcoming school year. Vendors currently have until July 1, 2015 to complete the certification process.

Having just started developing AzEDS in FY2013, ADE already has one vendor certified and is currently working with the second. Stay tuned for more information on that development this week.

We Are Halfway There! – Data for Action 2014

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has just released its latest survey of state educational systems’ progress toward effective data use. Data for Action 2014 provides an excellent overview of the importance of educational data to students, parents, and educators. Raising the bar every year, the study reports state-level attention to data as captured in its 10 State Actions survey.

Arizona is making steady progress and with 5 actions completed, comes in slightly ahead of the national average. (Arizona’s Data for Action 2014 analysis is available here.) In fact, Arizona has also completed five more sub-actions in 2014 than in 2013. The detailed breakdown of Arizona’s progress appears in the table below.

Arizona Progress — 10 State Actions
Action 1 Link state K–12 data systems with early learning, postsecondary, workforce, and other critical state agency data systems
K–12 and early childhood data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.
K–12 and postsecondary data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.
K–12 and workforce data are annually matched and shared with a known match rate.
Action 2 Create stable, sustainable support for longitudinal data systems.
The P–20/workforce state longitudinal data system (SLDS) is mandated, or data system use is required in state policy.
The P–20/workforce SLDS receives state funding.
Action 3 Develop governance structures to guide data collection and use
A state education agency data governance committee is established.
A cross-agency data governance committee/council is established with authority.
Action 4 Build state data repositories.
K–12 data repository is built and implemented.
Action 5 Provide timely, role-based access to data.
Multiple levels or types of role-based access are established.
Parents, teachers, and appropriate stakeholders have access to student-level longitudinal data.
Superintendents, state policymakers, or state education agency staff and other stakeholders have access to aggregate-level longitudinal data.
State policy ensures that teachers and parents have access to their students’ longitudinal data.
The state is transparent about who is authorized to access specific data and for what purposes.
Action 6 Create progress reports with student-level data for educators, students, and parents.
The state produces reports using student-level longitudinal data.
Teachers and appropriate stakeholders have tailored reports using student-level longitudinal data.
Action 7 Create reports with longitudinal statistics to guide system-level change.
The state produces reports using aggregate-level longitudinal data.
State-produced reports using aggregate-level longitudinal data are available on a state-owned public website
Action 8 Develop a purposeful research agenda.
The state has developed a purposeful research agenda with other organizations.
The state has a process by which outside researchers can propose their own studies.
Action 9 Implement policies and promote practices to build educators’ capacity to use data.
Teachers and principals are trained to use longitudinal data to tailor instruction and inform schoolwide policies and practices.
Teachers and principals are trained to use and interpret specific reports.
The state plays an active role in training educators to use and interpret specific reports.
Preservice: Data literacy is a requirement for certification/licensure, or data literacy training is a requirement for state program approval.
Teacher performance data are automatically shared with in-state educator preparation programs at least annually.
Action 10 Promote strategies to raise awareness of available data.
The state communicates the availability of data to noneducator stakeholders.
The state trains noneducator stakeholders on how to use and interpret data
The state education agency makes data privacy and security policies public