New Initiative to Make Data Work: AASA, CoSN and Gartner Announce Collaboration Program to Benefit Schools


    Kitty Porterfield,, 703-774-6953
    Jennifer Cummings,, 202-822-9491
    Andrew Spender,, 203 316 3286

ARLINGTON, VA September 21, 2011 - The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) has announced a new collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a professional association for school district technology leaders, and Gartner, Inc., a global information technology research and advisory company, focused on helping schools meet growing demands to leverage student data into student achievement.

“This is a collaboration that will provide assistance to educators on the front lines,” said AASA executive director, Daniel A. Domenech as he announced the program. “It does no good to talk about data-driven decisions if schools do not have the means to collect reliable data. CoSN and Gartner can provide teachers and administrators tools that are critical to making gains in individual classrooms.”

The aim of this AASA-CoSN-Gartner collaboration, called Closing the Gap: Turning SIS/LMS into Action, is to:

  • Provide schools and school districts with up-to-date information on current student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS) software packages and their capabilities to improve teaching and learning in the classroom.

  • Seek out and disseminate best practices in the selection and implementation of SIS/LMS systems among school districts across the country.

  • Support schools and school districts as they adopt new practices and use the new tools.

In the current era of maximizing accountability, school leaders are increasingly being asked to make classroom-level student data available in forms that are usable in improving instructional practices. These demands require that schools and districts purchase and become proficient in using increasingly sophisticated software systems.

Two of these tools—student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS)—have the capacity to store and analyze large amounts of student data, but educators seeking to buy and install these systems are confronted with a bewildering array of products, features and technical specifications. At the same time, software vendors do not always have sufficient understanding of how school systems work and therefore how such software should best be deployed.

“Education technology leaders and school administrators play a critical role in acquiring the systems that make aggregating student data possible, and are in most cases the primary end users of that data,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. “This is what makes the AASA-CoSN-Gartner collaborative initiative all the more important, as each organization brings a unique perspective to the table – all with the goal of uncovering how to make data work to improve education outcomes.”

As part of the program, Gartner has already instituted a nation-wide survey of teachers to determine what data management practices are already in place. Gartner has also conducted a similar survey among the larger education community, including superintendents and other school leaders. These surveys will be analyzed to understand attitudes and practices around student information and learning management solutions.

Irma Fabular, Gartner Consulting Education Practice Leader, emphasized the benefits of this collaboration program. ”The collaborative efforts among AASA, COSN, and Gartner will help in more effective adoption of technology solutions that enable further insights on student engagement and improvement opportunities. Gartner is honored by the opportunity to contribute to student achievement and college readiness through our extensive research and thought leadership in K-12 technology solutions.”

CoSN is creating a Website that will be the repository of the survey information and contain an analysis of the capabilities of current SIS/LMS software products. This Website will be available to all school leaders looking for help in moving their districts forward.

“We are just at the beginning of this project,” said project director and AASA director, leadership development, MaryAnn Jobe. “As the program unfolds, school districts will be encouraged to become part of the information-sharing network and discuss their experiences with SIS/LMS software with other districts.”

Closng the Gap is funded through the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit Follow AASA on Twitter at or on Facebook at


About CoSN
CoSN is the premier professional association for school, district and educational service agency technology leaders. CoSN’s members are a unique blend of education and technology leaders and decision makers from the public and private sectors. The mission of CoSN is to empower K-12 district technology leaders to use technology strategically for the improvement of teaching and learning.

CoSN provides leadership, community, and advocacy essential for the success of these leaders. Visit or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN’s Leadership Initiatives, annual conference and events, policy and advocacy, membership, and resources supporting and promoting leadership development to ensure that technology is used strategically for the improvement of teaching and learning in elementary and secondary schools.



About Gartner, Inc.

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,500 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,500 associates, including 1,250 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit


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