CEDPA's Theme for the Coming Year

Phillip W. Branstetter, Riverside County Office of Education

The coming year, perhaps the next few years, will witness continuing metamorphosis in the CEDPA organization focusing our collective energies on opportunities beyond stereotypical "glass house" issues. Specific emphasis will be on partnership linkages with other associations (most notably CUE, CASBO, and CCSESA), continuing attention to statewide initiatives and projects, active participation with California Department of Education activities, and efforts to increase membership two dimensionally--both in the area of traditional data processing participants and extending to instructional support staff.

This is the era of communications and networking. We are simultaneously barraged with the promise of a "Superhighway" and the reality of California budget constraints. At the same time issues of network infrastructure, telecommunications standards, and a standardized account code structure are on the table. CEDPA has the opportunity and the obligation to become an advocacy group for how those issues should be approached. We have representation on or with virtually all the committees, consortiums, and associations active in the state as well as a wealth of technical knowledge vested in our ranks. Our basic agenda is to actively promote the expertise and experience of our membership to other organizations in a collaborative, supportive, and organized fashion--simultaneously utilizing The DataBus to document progress and comment on issues. Another opportunity is to utilize more evenly-scheduled SIG meetings as functional forums to develop positions and recommendations for lobbying decision-making bodies. Many of our SIG participants have crossover interests. A strategy being suggested is to host a small number of one-day mini-conferences in addition to the fall conference, and oriented towards issues in lieu of SIG meetings based on technology interests or job function.

The Databus editor was distinguished as a permanent Board position as a result of a by-laws change voted upon at the conference. Responsibility for The Databus has long been one of most, if not the most, challenging assignments on the Board. Addison has shouldered this responsibility during the past two years with unadvertised distinction. During his tenure as Editor production costs have been substantially reduced while the product has improved. Along with ensuring that volunteer writers meet production timelines (no small task with everyone's schedule these days) Addison is also responsible for the fall Conference Announcement and Program printing. This organizational structure change, along with changes in the focus areas of the SIG Chairs, are structural changes to position the Board to be responsive to opportunities.

The coming year is filled with the promise of activity and opportunity. We have begun a dialog with CUE leadership to discuss possible linkages between our two organizations' activities. The CEDPA Board of Directors meeting in December is a planning meeting to discuss issues such as the types of resource sharing and linkages CEDPA should have with other associations, as well as best approaches to leverage CEDPA membership expertise in an advocacy role. I am personally excited about the prospects for CEDPA members and the potential to make an impact on the events to come.