I have a comment on DPI's recommendation
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Kim Wadas commented
Sorry, I believe I may have posted my comment in the wrong area. The following is my comment:
First, I’d like to thank the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for their extensive review of potential interoperability frameworks and for selecting a model, Ed-Fi, which limits current and future costs for schools and districts. However, as a representative for Catholic schools participating in the parental choice programs, I’d like to relay a few concerns regarding the information detailed the “Interoperability Standards Research and Recommendations” white paper.
The first is an inquiry as to what extent Ed-Fi is likely to be incorporated into the Wisconsin school data collection system (in terms of data models, dashboards, and data warehouse components). Then there is question of what compatibility requirements will extend to private schools participating in the choice programs. It would be helpful if the white paper could provide information on any distinctions in how the interoperability framework must be utilized by private choice schools versus public schools and districts.
Tied to this is the mention of licensing fees and costs associated with using the Ed-Fi framework. The white paper, on pages 11-12, notes that Ed-Fi provides its system to State Education Agencies (SEA) and Local Education Agencies (LEA) free of any licensing fees and will likely do the same for any future system enhancements. Does the DPI know whether this extends to private schools, either directly or through contract with an LEA? Also, will this be the case for vendors serving public or private schools and school districts?
Lastly, we have concerns that given the tight timeline, vendors will not be able to incorporate this framework and achieve Ed-Fi certification prior to the 2015-16 academic year. This of course could further affect a private choice school's ability to implement a compliant student information system within the timeline afforded.
I think the document on interoperability shows that the DPI is really doing their jobs on this issue, but I also think the issue of the interoperability framework is not something that the Choice schools necessarily need to worry much about. The chart on the top of page 5 is very helpful. What I got out of this chart is that it displays a lot of complexity the Choice schools don’t need to be worried about. They are only impacted by the three arrows at the upper left. The Choice schools push their data to the DPI, the DPI may push some back, and somehow the Choice schools and the DPI interact to obtain WISEids.
The big question would be what the format is for these three flows of data. The concern for the Choice schools would be that whatever interoperability framework is selected might make these workflows unnecessarily complicated. The Choice to DPI and DPI to Choice flows really only need to be glorified spreadsheets; the systems don’t need to talk to each other in any more sophisticated way. The issue of getting an ID for a student might be a little more complicated, though.
We’re already concerned that Choice schools will drop out because they don’t want to or can’t adopt a commercial SIS system, especially for those who only have a handful of Choice students. Again, I think the big issue will be to not make this reporting any more complicated than it need be so it doesn’t impose an unnecessary burden on the schools and their SIS vendors.