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News & Press: News

The Latest Unity Specification Release Supports ‘Future-Proofing’ EcoSystems

Tuesday, September 22, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Penny Murray
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Unity-SpecificationWashington, DC, 22 September, 2020 ---The Access 4 Learning ® (A4L) Community, more than 3,000 members strong, is proud to announce the latest release of the new Unity Specification which provides standardization of learning data, ranging from everything from classroom rostering to federal data reporting, while addressing privacy issues throughout the education data continuum.

“The Community needs to be applauded for their great work, both end users and marketplace providers, in the hectic task of getting schools open and operational for the 2020 school year”, states Larry L Fruth II, PhD A4L’s Executive Director/CEO.  “We collectively have timed this comprehensive set of resources to support the futureproofing of school/state data systems after this initial rush was complete.  This release, and the supporting resource package, underscores the Community’s new focus on “connecting and securing effective learning ecosystems”.

The release updates and provides resources support for:

  • Common Education Data Standard (CEDS)
  • Dedicated xPress Roster API
  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs) API
  • Leveraging Global SIF Infrastructure
  • Data Privacy Control
  • EDFacts Mapping

The Unity Specification was built by our volunteer members developed using open, non-proprietary and transparent processes. It contains the most comprehensive K12 data model and modern, internationally used transport technologies to securely move the data to provide it to the right person at the right time in the right way under local data privacy control per Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) guidance. The ‘Unity’ infrastructure has increased performance and security on the wire, ease of usage, and scales for the widest educational focused interoperability by any technical standard - with or without the need for middleware!

"This latest release provides an incredibly powerful way for education agencies to deliver data using modern infrastructure, following a well-established data standard, while maintaining a focus on privacy and security. The ability of this grassroots movement to continue to evolve is exemplary - kudos to the A4L Community for this important leap forward for schools" acknowledged Ben Silberglitt, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, CedarLabs.

To find out more about the ‘Unity’ Specification, please go to:            



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About the Access 4 Learning Community

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 “connect and secure effective learning ecosystems” to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit

  • SIF Association (dba Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community)

  • PO Box 1024, New Albany, Ohio 43054-1024

  • Phone: +1.202.621.0547