Something We Said
To try to gauge our readership—100,000 busy education leaders who don’t usually have time for letter writing or online bulletin-board chats—is difficult. But occasionally an article will inspire a passionate response. Mostly, it’s when readers feel we screwed up.
So it was with a story in our January issue called “How to Save $500,000 a Year,” which extolled the virtues of the network software technology SIF (Schools Interoperability Framework). Some felt strongly that the article was too one-sided in favor of SIF as a solution for district-wide data management. To wit:
“This read as sensationalist reporting that promoted a technology that is now 10 years old and yet still not making any headway in most technology-sophisticated school systems. Don’t you think there is a legitimate reason for that? Beyond folks not being aware?”
“The vast majority of school districts that are achieving interoperability refuse to go the SIF route and instead simply choose systems and solutions with open data architecture. The most troubling aspect of all of this is that the issue is now political, and state legislatures have begun to mandate ‘SIF-compliance’ when they have no clue as to what it means, let alone the impact on school districts.”
“Your article seemed to say it makes sense for everything and everywhere, but I definitely think there are major costs…not savings, around SIF.”
While we are not ashamed to admit our enthusiasm for school technology solutions (what magazine with an “@” symbol in its title could be?), we also strive to deliver even-handed analysis of its implementation. Look for a future issue to tackle the SIF question more closely. And as always, tell us what you think.
Other clarifications: In the January “Take Data to Go” article (page 24), the images of the Palm Treo 650 Smartphone and the Palm Tungsten E2 were switched. In the February “School Presentation System Buyer’s Guide,” images of the Optoma DV11 MovieTime projector and the Avervision SPC3000 were switched.