August 6, 2008

As Approved by the EOA on 8-21-08







The August 6, 2008, meeting of the ETC Organizational Analysis Committee (EOA)  was held at Iowa Public Television and various ICN sites.  The following committee members were present at the meeting:  Kay Runge (ETC), chairperson; Dean Cook (ETC), Joe Cassis (ICN), Julie Thomas (RTC), Greg Davis (ETC), Mary Wieser (ETC), Michael Stokes (ICN Scheduler), Sally Lindgren (ETC), and Kathy Borlin for Terry Rinehart (ETC).  The following guest was also present: Tami Fujinaka (ICN).




Kay Runge opened the discussion explaining the issue as presented to the ETC at the June meeting:


At the June meeting of the ETC, Joe Cassis asked the ETC to consider an evaluation or analysis of organizational restructuring of the whole ETC/RTC - ICN/IPTV process that has been in place for 15 years. 

Identification of issues that could be focused on—

·         the organization (ETC/RTC/ICN)

·         the way in which funds are allocated or identified for usage

·         what kinds of enhancements could be done on performance metrics


A sub-committee was established to begin discussion on the organizational restructuring issue.  Those who volunteered to be on this sub-committee were: Terry Rinehart, Kay Runge, Sally Lindgren, Julie Thomas,  Kathryn O’Shaughnessy, Mary Wieser,  Mary Gannon/Greg Davis, Ken Clipperton, and Michael Stokes.


Ken Clipperton has since resigned from the ETC and will not be a member of this committee.


She stated that the intent of this meeting was to provide some feedback to the ITTC at their August 20 meeting. To that end, Kay invited Joe Cassis and Tami Fujinaka to start the conversation with some history of the ICN relationship with the ETC and RTCs.  Joe provided a document that illustrates some of the changes that have occurred in the 15 years since the ETC first began as well as the “charge” for this committee.  He also distributed a copy of an article from the July 28, 2008, edition of the Wall Street Journal concerning high speed internet access in Kentucky.

Kay Runge asked members to preview the charge of the committee and after a lengthy discussion the following charge for the committee was adopted:


“To analyze the Education Telecommunications Council (ETC) organization, duties, and policies established because there have been dramatic changes in technology, the telecommunications market, educational methodologies, laws, and funding since its inception over the past 15 years.  This analysis will provide the ETC with recommendations on how to enhance and/or modify its duties to address the issues that are identified and to recommend changes as authorized in Chapter 8D.5 of the State Code of Iowa to be presented to the legislature for their consideration.”


Kathy Borlin suggested that the RTC funding guidelines be analyzed to determine how to maintain the basic infrastructure with the appropriation that is currently available. 

*      Does the generality of the RTC responsibility matrix still fit? 

*      Do those categories still apply?

*      Does that document need to be tweaked? 

*      What are the resources, what funding is needed?

*      What data do we have to support that there is a demand for funding?

*      Are the ETC and RTCs roles still the same?


Kay Runge suggested that a subcommittee be formed to look at this matrix and the available technology.  Those who volunteered to be on this subcommittee are:  Sally Lindgren, Greg Davis, Julie Thomas, and Kathy Borlin.  This subcommittee will look at the following issues as discussed:  1). data collection; 2). Organizations-ILO and other entities; 3). State telecommunications; and 4). Accessibility.


Greg Davis stated that the Iowa Learning Online (ILO) group is promoting distance learning and could possibly help in making the case for RTC needs for funding.   Kathy Borlin is the ILO registrar and stated that ILO was developed with Star Schools funds and is a Department of Education initiative.  Kathy suggested that Gwen Nagel, the director of ILO, be invited to be a part of the discussion, as well as Susan Walkup and Cynthia Knight, other DE staff who are involved with ILO. They are working on a large project to deliver both curriculum content and also tracking of students that are involved as offenders in the correctional system or in residential systems using that online environment.  


Kathy Borlin explained that the RTCs submit a yearly progress report to IPTV.  This progress report is based on the responsibility matrix discussed previously and includes how they provided technical assistance to network classrooms, planning and troubleshooting of local area networks, scheduling, the other related support such as staff development, equipment, and they asked to compare their budget with their unmet needs.  She suggested that the committee look into how the data could be collected from some of these things. 


As the work order system is implemented the ICN customer support system will have data available.  The number of video sites scheduled per region is another report that is not readily available and would be a great tool for gathering information.  If those pieces of data could be collected automatically from the systems we have in place that would really provide some good information for year to year comparison.


Sally Lingren said that data should be collected formally on the polycoms or video conference techniques.  Region 16 is already doing so and has some ideas on how we might do it statewide.  We’re centralizing all the scheduling through a system for the use of the codians in the three parts of the state.  We could probably go back and collect at least the request for the sessions.  That would give us some indication of the scope of their use and then the polycoms within the regions and we’re hosting the database for the directory of all the polycoms in the state.  So we have a few indicators that we can use as measures that might be worth taking a look at.


Greg Davis  said that the DE has the ILTC grant program that collects data.  As part of that initiative they collect proposals from across the state to get some good data about what kind of interest there is in terms of having more technology.  Also, in the BEDS report they collect data about how much districts are spending on technology and provides some indication about how much tax-payer money is being spent on technology.  School districts also have to report the usage of their ICN classroom to the DE.


Kathy Borlin says there some schools that are using multiple sources for their online offerings to students.  Things the community colleges might find in ILO they’re purchasing directly from other content providers such as Apex.  Kirkwood CC distance learning opportunities for K-12 students are on the ILO web site. Other community colleges are also working with students in their regions to provide community college credit classes. 


Julie Thomas stated that a lot of the RTCs have minimal if any staff development monies left.  RTC 6 is one of the few RTCs that still has limited funding, but its all devoted to staff time.


Greg Davis explained that ILTC was created by the DE five years ago from a group that branched off the ETC called the Education Advisory Council.  The legislature appropriated some money for this grant and created the ILTC.  The ILTC is the main body that advises the DE on technology. 


Sally Lindgren stated that the ETC look into what rules would have to change to permit  school districts to have an ICN connectivity and to be able to expand out into their community to meet the needs of the students from wherever they might be.


It was suggested that the ETC present a new vision for the whole of the state of Iowa, to carry the vision forward and communicate this vision. The vision should focus on the Iowa learner.


EOA committee members could present ideas concerning the new vision at the In-Toto Conference on Sept. 24 and 25 and will include it on the agenda for the next ETC meeting in December.




The August 6th meeting of the ETC Organizational Analysis Committee was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.  The next meeting will be held on August 21 at 11:00 a.m. at Iowa Public Television.




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