Our rich history of serving the educational community dates back to 1974. That’s when our founder, Bill Gilmore, started working out of his San Jose, California, home to provide computerized planning and evaluation services to local school administrators. Bill had been a high school science teacher for over 15 years but left teaching to become a Santa Clara County Office of Education administrator. His firsthand experience with many of the challenges facing educational institutions motivated the creation of Educational Data Systems as a way to service local school districts in two primary areas: (1) criterion-referenced scoring of basic skills achievement tests, and (2) boundary and demographic planning. Bill’s vision was clear: Harness the power of computing to calculate, analyze, and report large volumes of educational data for improved decision-making—all geared toward benefiting students.
Eight years later, Bill incorporated his business and we have continued to expand from there. We added standardized achievement test scoring and educational research to our assessment division’s services, and implemented a new student enrollment forecasting module in our planning division. By 1985, we had started providing printing, shipping, administration, scoring, reporting, and customer support services for large-scale assessments, both as a prime contractor and subcontractor.
Planware Systems LLC was spun off from the planning division of Educational Data Systems in 1996. Bill focused the independent venture on developing and expanding planning software and services to school districts across the United States. As a separate entity, Educational Data Systems continued to offer assessment and educational research services, moving into the areas of large-scale and statewide assessment management, scoring, and reporting.
Planware Systems LLC rejoined Educational Data Systems in January 2014 through a company acquisition, having sold and supported over 200 software installations and conducted numerous forecast and boundary studies for school districts across the United States. For two years, Bill—ever a hands-on leader—served in the role of planning expert to transition the software, contracts, and services into a new planning division within Educational Data Systems, simply called Planware.
Today, Caroline Fahmy (Bill’s daughter) runs Educational Data Systems. Caroline started working with Bill in 1981 and took over as president in 1996. Under her leadership, we moved our headquarters to Morgan Hill, California, expanded our assessment division, and developed several innovative educational software products.
It’s been a long and interesting journey and we have a lot to be proud of. Even as a technology company, our strongest asset is our experienced and expert staff. To give you an idea of our experience and commitment, over half of our 31 employees have been with Educational Data Systems for more than 10 years; and our 6 department directors have been with us on average 22 years.
Though we’ve expanded in size and scope since our origin over 40 years ago, our mission hasn’t wavered: We remain dedicated to providing useful information to educators, allowing them to make informed decisions for the betterment of students.
Now, let us be a part of your history.
We extract data from a variety of inputs, compile that data with the utmost of attention and precision, and then securely deliver that data to our clients. Delivering accurate data to help districts, schools, and students succeed has been our passion since first opening our doors in 1974. Although we have grown since then, and the education world and technology are very different, our passion is something that has never changed. As a trusted partner of educational organizations—public and private, large and small—we provide industry-leading care in student assessment, research & evaluation, and school district planning services.
Translating Data in Education
Every year we process millions of sheets of paper. We ship out tests, surveys, and forms and receive them back after being completed by students, teachers, test examiners, and parents. We transform marks on a sheet of paper and clicks of a mouse into uniquely compiled or mapped data that can readily be utilized by schools and districts. Future success is built off a proper understanding of the present, and that understanding requires reliable and valid data. We process raw educational data into timely and accurate information that allows educators to gauge their past efforts as well as assist in moving towards future improvements.
Certified Green Business
Beginning in 2002, we were certified as a Green Business by the Bay Area Green Business program.
Making our environment safer and less toxic, we institute sustainable practices throughout our daily activities, including, among other things:
- Recycling junk mail, bottles and cans, office paper, and high volumes of test materials, including the selection of a secure shredding company that recycles the paper it shreds
- Reusing supplies
- Donating usable materials, supplies, and over-goods to a Bay Area teacher’s resource center
- Purchasing recycled paper goods and using low-impact soaps and cleaners for office and kitchen use
- Reducing paper, energy, and water use through conservation
- Using integrated pest control management to minimize impact on the environment
- Installing automatic sensors on interior office and parking lot lights; and converting to more energy efficient fluorescent lights and LEDs
- Providing educational resources and information to our staff on environmental factors and Green practices at all staff meetings
- Instituting a battery and fluorescent light drop-off service for employees and participating in local city drop-off efforts
- Participating in PGE Peak Day Pricing events to reduce electricity use during periods of high demand
- Advertising and promoting Green Business practices to other businesses and educational institutions