AUSTIN, Texas, May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Since launching in July 2011, the Ed-Fi Tool Suite, including the data standard and dashboards, has gained significant momentum in K-12 education among state education agencies, school districts and vendors. Eight states have licensed or are in discussions to license the Ed-Fi Tool Suite, and an additional four states will benefit from Ed-Fi-enabled tools through the Shared Learning Collaborative. This represents 34% of K-12 students and 36% of teachers across the United States. Ed-Fi is the only free, flexible and complete ed-tech solution to empower educators with relevant, timely, student-centric information that enables better data collection and reporting to improve decision making, facilitate targeted action plans and drive higher student outcomes. The Ed-Fi data standard aligns with Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) and facilitates secure data exchange among disparate data systems in the K-12 education sector. The Ed-Fi data standard enables interoperability among education systems that states and districts have already implemented, and enables organizations to build on prior investments in existing IT systems and processes. Most importantly, it puts the transformative power of information in the hands of teachers and other educators when and where they need it most: their classrooms. Arizona, Kansas and New Mexico join Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Tennesseeand Texasin using Ed-Fi to power their ongoing efforts to ensure that educators have the information and insight they need to understand the individual needs of every student and be equipped to respond. Vendors including e-Scholar, Curriculum Associates, SunGard and Wireless Generation have also licensed Ed-Fi. Further, the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC) has chosen Ed-Fi to power its scalable shared technology services, which aim to accelerate progress toward personalized learning for every K-12 student in the United States. The SLC will help existing and future instructional technology investments in states, districts and schools work better together, and will extend the reach and potential of Ed-Fi to additional states including Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina. "At the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, we believe that the absence of a widely-adopted data standard is the fundamental element that has kept the education sector stuck in its old ways of doing business," said Lori Fey, Director, Policy Initiatives, US Education at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. "We believe that improvement and innovation in the education sector are within reach, and that states, districts and vendors that move aggressively to standardize their data and systems will unlock the potential of both." Ed-Fi does not replace existing education data or information systems, nor does it supplant existing data standards; it enables them to work together to give educators nationwide what they need: holistic portraits of students that are detailed, easy to understand and up-to-date at any given moment. Moreover, Ed-Fi addresses a long-standing challenge to meaningful systemic improvement in schools nationwide: The multiple and often non-interoperable information and education data systems used by schools, districts and states.