Certica Solutions (Certica), provider of the Certica Connect™ edtech platform-as-a-service (PaaS), today announced a new learning standards management solution specifically for state education agencies (SEAs), which allows standards and instructional specialists to more efficiently manage the process of learning standards creation, curation, dissemination and public commenting; and fosters significant interoperability between learning standards, aligned content and K-12 vendors.
The learning standards management solution, called Standards Connect, is based on the MIT-licensed OpenSALT competency management platform, integrated with Certica’s existing and mature Academic Benchmarks™ standards management infrastructure and industry-adopted repository of machine-readable learning standards.
Certica is introducing Standards Connect to meet the emerging requirement of SEAs for a more efficient, scalable and integrated method to create, review, curate and disseminate learning standards. Beyond the need for efficiency, states also want to make the transition from publishing learning standards on websites and in documents, to generating standards in machine-readable formats so standards-aligned content can be easily shared between content providers, learning applications and educators. Standards Connect supports the Academic Benchmarks machine-readable format via an API interface as well as third-party formats.
The Academic Benchmarks unique identifier (the AB GUID), API and repository of machine-readable learning standards have been widely adopted in the K-12 sector for over a decade and cover more than 4 million learning standards across all U.S. states. Academic Benchmarks is used by approximately 200 vendors of edtech products such as student information systems, learning management systems and other learning tools; as well as instructional and assessment content publishers. Further, Academic Benchmarks includes technology to provide significant ecosystem connections between academic standards, aligned content and the K-12 vendors that serve students and educators.
Certica intends to help SEAs leverage this connected ecosystem of vendors, whose products reach upwards of 95% of schools nationwide. With Standards Connect, SEAs can share their learning standards with this network of vendors while not obligating vendors to realign their content to new unique identifiers, nor necessarily adapt or re-work their products’ architecture to accommodate new formats. While Standards Connect supports third-party formats and APIs, the established Academic Benchmarks-connected ecosystem will be crucial for full industry adoption of state-created machine-readable learning standards.
By combining the OpenSALT standards management platform and the Academic Benchmarks infrastructure and repository of machine-readable learning standards, Certica provides a solution that:
- Is immediately available for use by SEA standards and instructional specialists;
- Is a turnkey solution developed with mature technology components;
- Is fully hosted and supported by Certica, a company with a demonstrated track record of defining, releasing and supporting workflow-oriented software products for the K-12 market;
- Will be continually enhanced as a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software product with a roadmap driven by SEA requirements; and
- Can be leveraged immediately by the extensive ecosystem of edtech vendors and learning content providers which use Academic Benchmarks today.
Standards Connect has two levels of licensing:
- Standard Edition, which includes the integrated capabilities of the OpenSALT competency management platform and the existing Academic Benchmarks learning standards infrastructure and repository of machine-readable learning standards. The Standard Edition is available at no cost for state education agencies.
- Professional Edition, which includes the capabilities of the Standard Edition, plus Certica’s Public Commenting Application, which offers commenting, voting, and analytics on responses, response rates and demographics – accessible to the public in SEA-branded websites. The Public Commenting Application has already been used by seven SEAs, including New York, New Jersey and Louisiana. The Professional Edition is available at a modest cost for state education agencies.
Said Mark Rankovic, Certica Solutions’ president and CEO, “we’ve seen an acceleration in interest from SEAs for more scalable and interoperable methods to author, review and manage learning standards. We are most fortunate to have the backing of a broad network of application and content providers who use Academic Benchmarks in their products. In our commitment to interoperability in K-12, we believe that SEAs, the vendor community and educators nationwide will be well-served as use of the Academic Benchmarks de facto standards format continues, even while open standards such as CASE® from the IMS Global Learning Consortium® are adopted. It is for this reason that we are removing barriers to adoption for state agencies, such as cost and application development, as SEAs are the primary originators of the education sectors’ standards. We are excited to be sharing this initiative with all state education agencies.”
About Certica Solutions
Certica is the innovator of the Certica Connect™ platform-as-a-service which provides application interoperability and centralized integration, access and enrichment of education data, metadata and content. The company partners with a diverse network of K-12 application and system vendors, as well as publishers, and learning content and assessment providers. Certica also delivers solutions directly to more than 600 school districts and numerous charter school organizations, state education agencies and educational service agencies. Certica is based in Wakefield, Mass.; with offices in Harvard, Mass.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Austin, Texas. Follow Certica @Certica_K12.
Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange® (CASE®) is a trademark of IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc.®