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TD&C Winter 2003 Meeting Notes

February 24-25, 2003
Salt Lake City, UT

Monday, February 24, 2003

Vice-Chair Election
Task Force Reports
Task Force Partnering with External Organizations
Gathering Feedback on Forum Resource
      Use After Publication

Forum Product Development & Dissemination Guide
TD&C Document Review Schedules
SIF/NCES Coordination

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Data Model Task Force Request
Docufide Student Record Transfer Presentation
Pilot National Course Classification System

Monday, February 24, 2003

Issue: Vice-Chair Election

Discussion: Chair Roger Young announced that Joe Pangborn (RI) has accepted another job, which means that he will no longer be a Forum member and will not be able to fulfill his responsibilities as TD&C Vice-Chair.

Decision: Tom Purwin (NJ) was elected to serve the balance of the term as Vice-Chair.

Issue: Task Force Reports

Technology in Schools (Tom Ogle): The task has been completed; the book has been released (and is well-received); and the task force has officially been disbanded. The task force met for a long period, largely because of the difficulties associated with defining scope for such a broad subject area. In an effort to keep the document “current” some language in the publication was deliberately made generic so as not to become outdated. The State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) will be using the document as a foundation for developing more resources…a good example of collaboration with outside organizations that can facilitate product dissemination.

Weaving a Secure Web (Joe Pangborn): The document is done but still undergoing final NCES layout. A PPT is also available. The group attributes its ability to complete its task so quickly (18 months) because it was small (six people) and dedicated. Members really took the lead writing chapters. AASA partnered throughout, although the two prime contacts retired and resigned since the completion of the document.

Data Quality (Blair Loudat): The task force is composed largely of LEA representatives and does not have an external organization as a partner. They have identified the body of their content and are now working to organize and present the information so that it is succinct and easy to read. They do not want the document to be too text-heavy for fear that this would make it less readable…“School secretaries need to be able to read this.” To this end, the task force envisions creating more of a pamphlet (e.g., 10-20 pages) than a book. It will have the feel of “What steps are required to ensure data quality?” They would also like to develop a brochure and web page (e.g., an informal “Are you data aware?” type page). They hope to receive external comments in April and complete the task by July 2003.

Facilities Maintenance (Roger Young): The document is available on the Forum website, although the paper copies are still at GPO. The task force has been disbanded. Roger thought it was good for a task force to reflect on the development process upon completing its task, which is what the group did at its last meeting. Key findings: 1) direct partnership with ASBO and indirect associations with other organizations (e.g., the EPA) created both excitement and a natural distribution channel, as well as feedback throughout development and publicity afterwards; 2) chapter-by-chapter ownership by task force members was important; 3) articles and publicity throughout development kept everyone (developers, partners, and users) excited; and 4) site visits ensured real user feedback that may be more difficult to gather through a form/mailing type approach.


Issue: Task Force Partnering with External Organizations

Discussion: Everyone agreed that partnering with an external organization (e.g., AASA or ASBO) was desirable for a task force when the task force and the organization had comparable interests. Ideally, partners will help to develop the resource, review the resource, and publicize/disseminate the resource. In other words, everyone (developers, reviewers, and users alike) will be more excited about the project. It was acknowledged that it was best to invite partners to join task force activities as early as is feasible in the development process so as to engender “ownership” in the project from its onset.

Decision: Because not all task forces will have natural partners for their tasks, partnering should be encourage but not mandated.


Issue: Gathering Feedback on Forum Resource Use After Publication

Discussion: It would be good if TD&C could collect information about user opinions of Forum resources as well as suggested changes for future revisions of those resources. There was much discussion about querying resource users without generating an official survey for NCES to have approved. The idea was that if feedback cards can be added to paper products, why can’t a comparable mechanism be added to electronic resources (e.g., as a part of or in addition to a PDF file)? Also, it would be great to collect statistics on Forum resource downloads from the NCES Web Products Pages.

Decision: Roger will follow up with Ghedam about adding a Web feedback form. Tom Szuba will look into collecting user/download statistics on Forum resources from the NCES products web pages.


Issue: Forum Product Development & Dissemination Guide

Discussion: The group agreed that it was time to consider revision of the Forum Product Development & Dissemination Guide. Suggested additions included: 1) requiring submission of Word files from consultants; 2) providing guidance with regard to the roles of consultants, NCES liaisons, chairs; 3) suggesting product development partnerships with external organizations; 4) offering guidance for task force management (e.g., closing discussions to non-task force participants during task force meeting time…an issue that came up in the Steering Committee meeting); and 5) task force member selection criteria/procedures. The group doesn’t want to see the document rewritten. Rather, it suggested that the above content be added via appendices and/or revision of Exhibit 2.

Decision: The Forum Product Development & Dissemination Guide will be sent to all Forum members by TD&C Chair Roger Young for comment in spring 2003. Andy Rogers and Tom Szuba will collect and integrate comments and provide a draft to TD&C for comment/action in July 2003.


Issue: TD&C Document Review Schedules

Weaving a Secure Web: Consider review in twelve months (i.e., January 2004) due to development lag time in this fast changing field; 18 month reviews thereafter.

Technology in Schools: Consider review twelve months after SETDA recommendations are finalized (i.e., around July 2004); 18 month reviews thereafter.

Safeguarding Your Technology: Tom Purwin (NJ) will receive comments from TD&C members in spring 2003. Work with NCES to begin the review process, which is already overdue, in July 2003.

Technology @ Your Fingertips: Work with NCES to establish a review process by the July 2003 Forum meeting.


Issue: SIF/NCES Coordination

Discussion (Barbara Andrepont): SIF/NCES handbook coordination is going quite well. TD&C was pleased to receive this news because synchronization with vendors is one good way to help foster standard setting efforts using NCES/Forum publications as a foundation. Also, SIF and ISTE are having their first users’ group meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah concurrent to the NCES MIS Conference.

Decision: TD&C asked Barbara Andrepont to continue to provide updates on SIF activities at the Summer (July) 2003 Forum meeting.


Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Issue: Data Model Task Force Request

Discussion (Dennis Powell): Dennis Powell hopes to receive permission from PPI and the Steering Committee to begin a Data Model Task Force. If permission is received, he needed criteria for task force member selection, as he expects that numerous SEA/LEA partners will want to be represented in the group. He’d like to have a blend of people, representing those with/without student information systems experience, large/small systems, geographical diversity, etc.

Decision: TD&C recognized that task force member selection was an important issue. In the immediate future, TD&C suggested waiting to see if the Data Model idea would receive Steering Committee authorization before addressing these issues. In the longer term, this issue should be added as a topic during the revision of the Forum Product Development & Dissemination Guide.


Issue: Docufide Student Record Transfer Presentation

Discussion: Jeff Harris from Docufide, Inc. showed TD&C members the system his company has pioneered for exchanging individual student records between education organizations, particularly between secondary and post-secondary schools for students who are applying to college. The fee for use of the Docufide system is charged to a student in a manner analogous to a college application fee.

Decision: TD&C members supported the notion of offering invitations to vendors to present cutting-edge products to the group as long as it maintained to tone of information sharing rather than sales.


Issue: Pilot National Course Classification System

Discussion: Course classification standards are only becoming more important to SEAs and LEAs, especially, for example, with the onset of online courses that students are trying to transfer into their transcripts at an increasing rate. The Pilot National Course Classification System is still the best standard out there, but is in need of revision. Review considerations include Voc Ed standards and the option of adding elementary/middle school courses.

Decision: TD&C will request that the Steering Committee establish a working group to revise the Pilot National Course Classification System. Raymond Yeagley will chair the group, which is expected to submit to PPI a Product Development & Dissemination plan in July 2003.

 Meeting Notes


Publications of the National Forum on Education Statistics do not undergo the formal review required for products of the National Center for Education Statistics. The information and opinions published here are the product of the National Forum on Education Statistics and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education or the National Center for Education Statistics.