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Advancing Education through Digital Transformation: A4L and PESC Collaborating for Success

Washington, DC, 1 August 2023— In a joint announcement, two well established education community standards bodies have agreed to develop a closer partnership with the goal of scaling K-12 and Postsecondary data standards efforts. The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community and the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) are formally coordinating their work to align the adoption of secure, trusted, free and open data standards and methods across the P-20W domain. 

Started in 1997 by software vendors and schools collaborating, the Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, and its special interest group the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC), is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants. The Community is “Powered by SIF” as its major technical tool to help manage learning data simply, securely and in a scalable, standard way regardless of platform. The SDPC is designed to address the day-to-day, real-world multi- faceted issues faced when protecting learner information by setting common expectations between market providers and end users. The A4L Community has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to ‘connect and secure effective learning ecosystems’ to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach.

The Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC), established in 1997 by higher education associations, software providers and agencies, is an open standards-development and open standards-setting body (governed by a voluntary, consensus-based model).  PESC is funded independently by membership, sponsorships and special projects – enabling PESC to support, publish and maintain PESC Approved Standards, Implementation Guides, and technical information free and without charge.  

“Through this new partnership A4L and PESC will have a tremendous impact on seamless interoperability of education data from early childhood through postsecondary and into the workplace,” reports Dr. Benjamin Silberglitt, A4L Association Board Co-Chair.  “The privacy, security and interoperability of education data is life long and demands greater cooperation between K-12 and higher education” adds David Moldoff, PESC Board Co-Chair, “This partnership will ensure the data follows a learner centric design emphasizing how all stakeholders can participate supporting the foundation of digital systems.” 

Watch for the announcement of a joint A4L/PESC Summit highlighting the opportunities and impact of this new partnership on the P-20W ecosystem.

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