For Immediate Release


Tracy S. Weeks, Ph.D.
Executive Director
202-715-6636 x700
[email protected]

SETDA Launches New Resource to Support K12 Interoperability 
State Education Leadership for Interoperability: Leveraging Data for Academic Excellence

May 10, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association of the U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders, today announced the release of a new report: State Education Leadership for Interoperability: Leveraging Data for Academic Excellence. This report examines the current data interoperability efforts in nine states: Delaware, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Throughout the report, states explore the successes and challenges in making interoperable solutions where data is seamlessly connected and readily available for use by decision makers, teachers, parents, and students. This report includes a set of use cases demonstrating how interoperability helps states and districts achieve student learning goals, as well as recommendations for states as they continue their work in this area.

“SETDA members have been interested in the promise of interoperability for some time, and as we are seeing forward momentum in this area it is important that we equip our membership with thorough research so they have a full analysis of the landscape and can determine if this approach will serve educators and learners in their state,” said Tracy Weeks, executive director, SETDA. “Our recommendations focus on ways that state education leaders, through a collaborative approach, can have seamless access to data and support new learning models by applying interoperability approaches. My hope is that this report will serve as a critical resource for our members and others in the sector.”

The State Education Leadership for Interoperability report was developed through the expertise and efforts of state leaders, private sector organizations, and non-profit organizations focused on interoperability. The report also provides background information and challenges that states face during implementation, as well as an appendix that includes non-profit organizations supporting interoperability efforts, organizations developing common data standards, state drivers for interoperability, and state academic and interoperability goals. SETDA offers recommendations for states to consider regarding interoperability:

  • Leverage ESSA
  • Establish Data Governance Structure
  • Develop a Flexible Implementation Plan
  • Share Best Practices
  • Encourage Stakeholder Buy-In
  • Collaborate with Districts
  • Communicate with Vendors

 “SETDA has done an excellent job of pulling together many different perspectives and voices to deliver this valuable resource to their members,” said Maureen Wentworth, manager, Strategic Partnerships, Ed-Fi Alliance. “The report captures the current state of play in the ed tech market, the challenges and benefits of bringing interoperability to state education agencies and a clear outline of the resources state leaders might use to begin their own journey towards interoperability practices.”

“Research like this supports the entire interoperability movement, and we were happy to share our own successes and challenges to serve a larger purpose,” said Patches Hill, SETDA member, director and chief information officer for technology operations, Delaware Department of Education. ”Without an interoperability implementation plan and buy-in from stakeholders, it is difficult to maximize the use of data for student learning. This report will help address that gap.”

“The SETDA guide highlights how interoperability allows for a balance between high quality information and local use of that information to support teaching and learning,” noted Bill Fitzgerald, Director of Project Unicorn at InnovateEDU. “The information in this guide offers something for everyone, from decision makers to people looking to learn more about how interoperability can support better access to information.”

This work was made possible by funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and in partnership with the Ed-Fi Alliance.

Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit:


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