The Partnership will select one or more technology development partner(s) through a competitive bidding process, and that partner(s) will be subject to strict intellectual property agreements that require all of the technology created with the support of federal grant resources to be open source. These agreements will also ensure that any pre-existing technology employed in the system is either open source or documented in a fully transparent way to make clear the process for system integration. In this way, prospective technology partners will know in advance the exact specifications of what they need to build to be well-positioned to deliver the assessment delivery and reporting platform to states in time for the start of field testing in 2012–13 and for full operational administration in 2014–15. They will also be able to use any technology components created with federal funding as part of their own systems.
This approach will allow the Partnership to leverage its work with technology development partners to develop a next-generation, open-source system while also creating a dynamic marketplace in which technology providers must compete for state business once the assessment system is fully implemented in all Partnership states; in this way, the Partnership will ensure its technology approach is and remains state-of-the-art.
Interoperability. The architecture for the assessment system will include several integrated open-source technology tools. Partnership states anticipate that those tools and the data they provide can be incorporated by states and districts into their existing systems and in their future technology plans. To support the vision of interoperability, the Partnership will work with member states, the U.S. Department of Education and national foundations focused on developing an education technology platform approach to coordinate work.