Education to make migrant student systems interoperable

The Education Department is seeking information from industry on how to develop the capability to exchange data between state systems that handle information about migrant students.

The current systems are not linked, so states cannot exchange records on migrant students, and Education cannot collect national aggregate statistics about the migrant student population. The department issued a request for information last week on the FedBizOpps Web site. Responses are due Jan. 14.

The department helps states develop methods to transfer student records. States use a variety of commercial applications and custom databases to track migrant students' records in technical architectures such as a Microsoft SQL server and Paradox database management systems.

Education's Office of Migrant Education is interested in technology that would implement identity management or a unique identifier among many systems. It also is considering providing this capability to institutions that do not currently use existing state applications to track and report migrant students.

The department will use information its collects from industry to plan a request for proposals to develop the information-sharing capability. Education will hold an industry day Dec. 21 at its Washington headquarters to discuss the information request.

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