California Educational Data Processing Association
The DataBus - Vol. 37, No. 3
April-May, 1997

President's Corner

Greg Lindner, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools

What's new with CEDPA? Quite a bit actually. We are very close to having in place a listserver (see related article-Ed.). We are meeting with another association to leverage our two strengths to play a bigger role with Technology in California K12 Education and we are making progress on our Minimum Threshold of Computer Equipment document.

The listserver that is almost in place will allow us to setup a CEDPA listserve group. This will allow people to autosuscribe and then post and receive messages of interest to CEDPA members. We envision this as an excellent way to share information with each other and to gather information from each other. How many times have you wished you had a way to ask your peers, "What are you using for an email server?" or "Who has found the best price on xyz's software product?", or "Our district is thinking about migrating to Schedule+ but we need both our Macintosh's and PC's to be able to access calendars - has anyone done this?". I think you can see the CEDPA Listserve will be beneficial to all of us in the K12 Technology Arena.

Recently members of the CEDPA Board had an introductory meeting with members of the CASH (Coalition for Adequate School Facilities) Board. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how we both might benefit from a closer association. Currently, technology is receiving quite a spotlight for facilities upgrades and for Technology acquisition and training. We have found ourselves too many times on the implementation end of legislation and really haven't had a significant impact on shaping legislation so that it meets K12 Technology needs.

A recent example is the exclusion of Frame Relay from the PUC Rate reduction. A great majority of districts and county offices of education connect to the Internet via Frame Relay although Frame Relay was not part of the original reduction. Current efforts are underway to add it. However, had we shown more of a unified presence, perhaps Frame Relay would have been included when the original document was drawn up.

CASH has been very effective in working with the legislature and the SAB (State Allocation Board). Our goal is to continue discussions with them and to possibly form a partnership whereby when legislation occurs regarding K12 Technology, CEDPA is at the idea stage and not at the implementation stage. Many times issues come up and the legislature has no one to turn to for a technical viewpoint. What better group to turn to than CEDPA? There are many issues to resolve and to discuss on this subject. As stated, we have had an introductory meeting but feel there are many benefits to a partnership for both CASH and CEDPA. I will keep you up-to-date on these discussions as they progress. Please pass along your thoughts to me ([email protected]) about how you feel this would benefit or not benefit our organization.

Our Minimum Threshold of Computer Equipment is coming along, albeit rather slowly. This list will contain criteria that will assist schools and districts in establishing minimum standards for the computers they purchase. Minimum is meant in this instance as, "the minimum computer you should purchase if you want to do the following is: .......". CEDPA has already put together a working committee on this project. Once the initial analysis has been completed, the board will review the minimum guidelines and seek input from the association. The final minimum thresholds will be placed on the CEDPA home page (cedpa-k12.org) for the benefit of all K12 education. If you already have a list similar to this, please share it with me

As I said in our last newsletter, I am excited about CEDPA. I feel this year brings us to a cross-roads. We are in a position to enhance the effectiveness of our organization. Tools such as our listserver will allow us to communicate state wide in a fraction of the time it took us before. CEDPA is also starting to gain recognition when it comes to Technology Issues in the California K12 environment. To repeat what I have said before:

"Our members are the people who design, plan, implement, support, and manage every network in K12 Education today. We have solved or know someone who has solved thousands of technical problems. We know what works in a small, medium and large organization. We know who to go to for help, and who to stay away from. We know how to get discounts on equipment and how to get training. We know and understand the issues of security, data reliability and supportability. Our members work in almost every County Office of Education and District throughout the state and in several school sites."

Return to April-May index