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As presently envisaged, the development of the Educational Information Center will take place in three phases; planning, pilot operation, and full operation. The first two phases will require a total period of approximately 18 months divided into two equal parts. Realization of the operational phase of course, will depend on the success of Phases I and II and to some extent on the availability of additional support.
The following sequence of activities approximates the order of development of staff and services. Some activities, of course, will proceed simultaneously. Some will be long term or indefinite, and other finite, but in general the plan procedure is described below.
1. PHASE I: PLANNING
When the appointments of the Director and Assistant Director have been confirmed, an immediate next step will be to secure facilities. Simultaneously, the formation of the rest of the professional staff should begin so that these specialists, in particular the reference librarian and data processing specialist, can participate in selecting equipment and materials relating to their responsibilities. Because it will serve as a laboratory for staff orientation and training, the facility should be at least basically equipped as early as possible.
When the professional staff has been formed, a series of visits to successfully operating information centers will take place. So that coverage will be as extensive as possible, the staff will be subdivided into three groups, each of which will visit a different selection of three sites. Observations and reactions will be systematically recorded and pooled for use in completing the Indiana facility and making further plans. This exchange of information will take place in staff workshops that will occur after site visits. Discussion and organization of each experience will increase the value of the next experience as well as providing a useful set of records.
Also at this time the staff will begin an intensive public awareness program within the educational community of the state. The statewide Advisory Board will be appointed and include representatives from local education agencies throughout the state, higher education, school boards, professional organizations, and other agencies directly concerned with education. Members of the Advisory Board will be involved in some staff workshops and will also be present in their areas at local “drive-in" conferences, a series of regional meetings conducted by the Director and Assistant Director to provide initial orientation for all educational personnel to the new program. These conferences will be followed up with systematic visitation to all local systems throughout the duration of the project, Other functions of the Advisory Board will be to meet periodically with project staff, provide evaluation, and make recommendations concerning procedures.
The Educational Research Specialist will begin to work closely with a core of field consultants, recruited on a part-time basis from the various service divisions of the Department of Public Instruction. These consultants will also participate in statewide communication and training efforts. In addition, they will help to identify specialists in other agencies throughout the state, including colleges and universities, who can be contracted to provide consultant services locally. Ultimately, a statewide network of available consultants representing each major field of expertise will be developed assuring that no back-up of requests for services will occur.
The Education Research Specialist will also initiate a systematic survey of needs throughout the state. Questionnaires will be sent to high level administrators in every Local Education Administration, who in turn will be asked to survey the body of professionals under him for their input. These questionnaires will be sent out in advance and collected at the regional drive-in conferences, following further discussion of the nature and goals of the program. The information obtained in this way will be supplemented by personal interviews, and together these sources of information will provide the basis for setting priorities for collection of materials, acquisition of equipment, development of data processing operations, and provision of other services.
At an early point in the planning phase the Data Processing Specialist will begin working with the Reference Librarian to design an information storage and retrieval system that will accommodate all materials as they are shelved. He will also begin to categorize service areas and act in an advisory capacity to public schools as they become familiar with the system.
2. PHASE II: PILOT OPERATION
The pilot state of operation will involve implementation of the services dereloped so far. At this point operations will be concentrated in the areas of greatest population density, with facilities centrally located. This location will provide access to school systems located within reasonable driving distance and representing both rural and highly urbanized settings. Defining this area as the pilot field does not, of course, exclude other areas in the state from services. It should be emphasized that conceptually the Center is not a new organ to be grafted onto the present structure of the Department's present stage of growth and organization. The center itself will be physically, a new entity, and as such must begin serving a limited area and expand systematically as its facilities are tried, evaluated and made complete. Many educational information services are already available from various segments of the educational community, and from the beginning the transition to a central organizing agency will involve these segments of the educational community of the state. The school systems will receive systematic communication, be involved in education and evaluation programs, and of course, have the advantage of close proximity to the initial facility.
For the specialists on the staff the work of Phase II will be largely a continuation of assignments begun in Phase I, the acquisition of materials and equipment and the implementation of procedures to expedite their use. By the completion of the Pilot Phase it is expected that a comprehensive shelf collection of researeh information and resources will include a core collection of professional volumes for circulation; up-to-date sets of key professional periodicals; basic education indexes and abstracts; government newsletters, bulletins, information kits and other documents relevant to the field of education ; subscriptions to both government and commerical research services; publications of leading education associations; selected monographs and other documents on microfilm; a complete file of state legislation relating to education; a curriculum resource section, including a collection of basic textbooks and selected syllabi and other materials successfully tested in the classroom; bibliographies; and, of course, a complete collection of all ERIC materials and publications of the U.S. Department of HEW, Office of Education and Office of Economic Opportunities. Also to be developed, though, possibly not within the period of Phase II, is a collection of multi-media materials such as films, film strips, and audio and video tapes. Equipment will include computer hardware, copying facilities, microfilm readers and reproduction machines, standard furnishings for browsing and study, and audiovisual devices such as tape players and projectors.
The individual making use of the Center facilities will receive assistance in both computer and manual searches of the collection. Requests for assistance can be mailed, telephoned or made in person. Computer output will be reviewed for relevance and supplemented by manual searches through unprogrammed resources, the product being a software package which might include the computer output, copies of other abstracts and relevant articles, reference to other sources of information including resource persons, bibliographical references, and audiovisual materials where appropriate. As Phase II develops, procedures for making software packages available to out-of-state agencies will also be piloted.
As an important port of this information service, the Data Processing Specialist will conduct training workshops in the field to educate individuals in the use of the system being developed. Initially these workshops will involve school administrators who will transmit their training to their professional staff.
State personnel whose needs extend beyond the acquisition of information will have access to the consultative services included in the structure of the Center. With the provision of an information package a consultant might be dispatched to the originator of the request, or the information package might be dispatched to the originator of the request, or the problem might require a more extensive consultative arrangement. Such an arrangement might involve meetings with staff field consultants, identification of possible solutions, mutual agreement on the best solution for the given situation, selection of appropriate services and materials, and arrangement for further consultative assistance in integrating these into the school or classroom situation. This itemization of steps is, of course, an abstraction which will change in every actual problem setting and serves only to indicate the scope of assistance to be made available.
Although field consultant services as described above will be available only professionals within the state, the Center staff will also provide liaison with out
of-state representatives as they become organized to make use of the information services. Also at this time a reasonable fee or subscription schedule for other State Education Agencies will be devised to make the continuation of these services financially feasible.
Evaluation will be an important part of Phase I and II, consisting of both a continuing monitoring process and formal assessments at given points of the development of the program, including evaluation by outside agencies. The Educational Research Specialist will be responsible for designing and implementing formal evaluation procedures. Generally, these will entail an initial survey of needs in the area of educational information and services (described above) and follow-up surveys to measure the extent to which needs are being met and areas (both topical and geographical) in which they are not. Primary techniques will include questionnaires, site visits with structured interviews, tabulation uses of services and materials, and individual staff reports and ob. servations. Periodic progress reports circulated among the staff will record these findings and provide the basis for discussion and planning as the program derelops.
In as much as divisions now existing within the state agency will be involved in the provision of basic services, their own methods of evaluation will also be instrumental in achieving overall assessment. Individual users of the service will provide feedback, and consultants will informally report any observations or reactions obtained in the field. Both the process (the operations themselves and the various staff functions) and the product (the overall structure as it evolves and accomplishes the goals stated in the objectives) will be subject to close observation. Evaluation obtained during Phase I will influence the structure of Phase II, and all evaluation will provide the basis for going into the fully operational Phase III. Data will also be retained for the purpose of accumulating a long-range profile of both client and Center characteristics with a view toward continuous improvement of materials and services.
Vaturally, Mr. Chairman, we see the two initial Phases of the Center's work as research and development, and as such we fully hope that they will be fundable by the National Center for Educational Research and Development under the Cooperative Research Act authority and the authority of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
But as I look to the future I am aware that the regular operation of such an institution will be to carry out perhaps the single most important phase of the research task: the dissemination of research results. Would it be overambitious to suggest that a network of such dissemination institutions might legitimately become part of the apparatus of the National Institute of Education?
I have outlined here, Mr. Chairman, the hopes of Hoosier educators for new educational forms to be created as experimental schools, and I have outlined the shape and process of an institution we hope to help create, the Educational Information Center.
We at the State level are taking part in the same work as those at the Federal level, yourself included, who are working to create the National Institute of Education. Let me join you and the members of your subcommittee, Mr. Chair: man, in hoping that these initiatives together can mesh to remake American education.
If you have any questions, I shall be glad to answer them.
The East Chicago, Indiana, Public School System is a school
The city of East Chicago itself has all the typical problems of a city in the urban condition. Its population is declining although new arrivals are drawn to the city from the rural South, Southwest, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The school system is beset by typical inner-city problems, namely, poor achievement in skill subjects, hostile attitudes of alienated pupils and a professional staff that in many instances does not understand the needs and desires of disadvantaged minority group pupils.
The school populus is 10,165 pupils housed in eleven elementary
The School City, in the past, has proved it's competency to
In addition to having the expertise necessary to design and implement the above named federal programs, the School City has operational, in its Joseph L. Block Junior High School, a very sophisticated, professional quality television studio that is used for live television broadcasting in addition to video taping of