As little as a few years ago, the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF)--a solution that allows school software applications from various vendors to share information seamlessly--was making slow headway in the nation's schools, as many districts took a wait-and-see attitude before spending the money for SIF-certified systems and the hardware and software necessary to make them all work together.

But that's beginning to change, thanks largely to an increased emphasis on data-driven decision making by federal and state officials. Spurred on by the constant need to track and report on student progress--and the promise of billions of dollars in federal stimulus money...

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