The Modernization and Future Readiness initiative is designed to create capacity, time, and space for State Education Agencies (SEAs) to identify and develop meaningful innovations in interoperability.
Working as part of a coalition that includes the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Consortium for School Networking, the International Society for Technology in Education, and the Council of the Great City Schools, AEM is focusing on the intersection of interoperability and privacy—leading to the ability to better acquire and adopt secure solutions that maximize the use of data and technology to inform teaching and learning.
In the first year, we provided California, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Nebraska with the opportunity for a facilitated assessment. Building on our prior efforts in developing the Interoperability Maturity Model and Assessment Rubric, we are supporting the states to determine where they are and to help build an individual state implementation plan for where they want to go.
One driving goal is to continue to build the interest in, and momentum of, interoperability in the SEA space by identifying and developing project champions from both technical and program areas. We provide a clear and articulated understanding of what interoperability is (and is not) through webinars, conference sessions, resources, and one-on-one engagement opportunities.
To help states realize their ambitions, we conduct a state-by-state facilitated interoperability assessment of where they are and where they truly intend to go. This diagnostic is focused on people, processes, and systems, and includes activities like Interviews and self-assessments to get at the current and desired future state.
Based on the outcome of these assessments, we implement an interoperability support approach. This includes providing technical assistance support to SEAs through state-specific plans, cohort plans that groups SEAs with similar interoperability needs into peer cohorts, and plans based on interoperability support needs that cut across the broader SEA community. We document resources, lessons learned, and artifacts, and share with the broader community through the population of the roadmap.
Similarly, the Council of the Great City Schools is supporting a cohort of 21 school districts serving over 2 million students through a 2-year journey to improve their interoperability and privacy maturity. To date, the school districts have completed a baseline self-assessment and peer review using the Interoperability Maturity Model and Assessment Rubric, developed a district interoperability and privacy maturity growth plan, and began participating in monthly cohort check-ins to support each other in advancing their interoperability and privacy maturity. By aligning efforts across school districts and SEAs, the coalition is excited about the opportunity to make lasting improvements to interoperability that will benefit students and schools.
The work of the Consortium for School Networking cohorts and pilots was specifically designed to dovetail with the efforts of partner organizations. While all our organizations work to help our respective constituents advance in their modernization efforts, it is with coordinated efforts we can best achieve our goals. Through our collaboration, states, districts, urban districts, and educators will all benefit.
AEM has been supporting interoperability and implementation for the past ten years. Our staff includes individuals who implemented the nation’s first statewide interoperable solution; who have implemented interoperable solutions at districts, states, and universities; participated in boards, committees, and technical groups for national interoperability organizations and standards bodies; and have supported education stakeholders across the local, state, and federal ecosystem with interoperability initiatives.