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The A4L North American Community releases Unity Specification supporting grading, CEDS implementation and state EDFacts reporting

Washington, DC, 27 October 2022— The Access 4 Learning® (A4L) Community is proud to announce the latest release of the Unity Specification which has enhanced and optimized many features including Grade Passback, standards-based grading, and EDFacts reporting.

The A4L Community undertook two different initiatives to enhance Grade Passback within the latest release of the Unity Specification. The first was updating the data model to support both partial and missing scores. These required two straight forward changes to the GradingAssignmentScore object, one of which is already aligned to CEDS Standards. The second initiative was to simplify choreographies by supporting asynchronous requests all the way through the recently released standardized global SIF Infrastructure. This enables a meaningful return path for the resulting acceptance of scores. 

In the past, supporting Standards Based Grading in a SIF integration required the addition of the LearningStandardAssociation object to make the fundamental linkages between scores and standards. To simplify this, the Community added the capability of GradingAssignment and GradingAssignmentScore objects to reference their related LearningStandardItems or LearningStandardDocuments directly in this release.

To ensure that the Community fulfils its promise to align with CEDS Standards, Community members from Wyoming Department of Education helped identify fifteen gaps on our previous EDFacts mapping and Generate’s (a CEDS tool for federal reporting) staging tables. All of these are included (added or aligned) in this release in an updated mapping document.

“The Unity Specification’s 100% alignment with Generate’s K12 requirements makes ED-Facts reporting much easier for our office. The data is always ready to hand thanks to our automated reporting infrastructure and the Unity data model” states John Paul, Wyoming Department of Education.

To find out more about the SIF Data Model Specification (North America) 4.3 – also known as the Unity Specification – please visit: https://data.a4l.org/sif-specifications-north-america/

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