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[seul-edu] Schoolforge Operating Procedures webpage draft

Here's my first draft of a webpage that gives our operating
procedures.  I modified my postings from the 27th slightly to come
up with this, and when I needed to specify a number (where the
original post had listed a range) I just picked one.  Look it over,
and if anyone has any recommendations for changes let us know
quickly.  Thanks!

Doug Loss                 All I want is a warm bed
Data Network Coordinator  and a kind word and
Bloomsburg University     unlimited power.
dloss@bloomu.edu                Ashleigh Brilliant

Title: Schoolforge Operating Procedures

Schoolforge Operating Procedures


Schoolforge membership is by groups, not by individuals. Individuals can, and ought to be, members of one or more of the groups in the coalition, but not members of the coalition itself. The coalition doesn't do much of the actual work of promoting free resources in education. It just provides a unified face to the various groups for the outside world to see, and gives them an easy means of communicating among themselves. Individuals should be where the work is, in the member groups.

To be a Schoolforge member, a group must be furthering the advancement of free resources into the educational field in some way. That could be by providing educational software that runs on Linux, providing discussion fora for educators and techies on using free software and other resources in the schools, providing documentation on using such resources, providing support services for such resources, etc.

Member groups agree to post an agreed-upon logo and the text, "A member of the Schoolforge coalition" prominently on their website and promotional literature. They also agree to post a press release to Linux PR or the equivalent announcing their joining Schoolforge.

Member groups will post a list of links to the major coalition areas on their websites, in some non-obscure area. This could be on the front page, or on some linked page, or could be just a front page link to the coalition website.

Groups in the coalition would need to be active, defined as having their website/CVS/documents/whatever-their-primary-project-is updated at least once every 6 months. Groups not meeting this requirement will be declared inactive members, with no vote in coalition management until they do begin updating things again. After a similar period as inactive members, groups would be removed from the coalition.


Each member group will designate one person to be its representative to the coalition. At least that one person (and any more who desire) from the group must subscribe to the coalition management mailing list and monitor it regularly. When questions about managing the coalition arise, these people would be expected to take part in the discussion of the question. In most cases agreement on questions will likely be reached casually and consensually, but there may be occasions when formal votes are called for to resolve issues. At some point these questions will be put to votes, with the designated person from each group having one vote. Majority of votes would determine the answer to each question. The designated person would be expected to keep his or her group apprised of the questions and the discussions, but would be under no hard and fast rules about that.

The person responsible for calling for votes on the various questions will be one of the group representatives, selected for a period of one month from the list of groups. After one representative's period ends, the representative of the next group on the list will assume the responsibility.

Management of the coalition website itself will be the responsibility of one of the member groups, which might be its contribution to the coalition.

Each member group will be expected to join a coalition mailing list devoted to its primary purpose and subscribed to by similar groups. Again, at least one but potentially as many as would like to may subscribe from each group. These mailing lists would be the primary means of inter-group communication. They may be augmented by IRC channels, weblogs, etc., but the mailing list will be a minimum requirement.

Each group will be expected to consult with other coalition members before starting a new effort that might impact an already-existing effort. For example, if group X decided to set up a public weblog about using free software in teaching the sciences, it will first ask other coalition members if they already had anything like this. If so, the first priority ought to go to sharing resources with the existing effort. If not, other interested groups ought to be invited to help with the development and deployment of the new feature. Again, no hard and fast rules, but an expectation of courtesy.