Alexandria, VA --
Cable in the Classroom (CIC) today announced a new mission and strategic plan, designed to re-focus the cable industry consortium as a leader in providing the educational benefits of broadband services and content to students, teachers, and parents.

Approval of the plan by the CIC Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) follows an intensive six-month strategic review of the relationship between cable and education that included input from dozens of cable industry executives and education experts.

The strategic plan approved by the cable industry includes this statement of CIC’s new mission:

"CIC and its member companies will target cable industry resources to improve teaching and learning for children at home, in school and in their communities. By focusing on the five elements essential to a good education in the 21st century – visionary and sensible use of technology; engagement with rich content; meaningful community with learners and teachers; excellent teaching; and the support of parents and other adults – the industry will seek to be a leading catalyst for positive change in education."

The new mission is designed to enhance the role the cable industry will play within the education community by offering stronger education tools and resources to school districts, teachers, families and students. "Since CIC was founded in 1989, public interest in school quality has intensified. Knowledge about how people learn and about the school and home conditions that support learning has increased dramatically," said Dr. Peggy O’Brien, Executive Director of CIC. "It is important that we understand those changes and redeploy our assets to meet the growing needs and changes of the community."

"This new strategic plan will better focus our efforts on key aspects of teaching and learning and allow for cable operators and programmers to be more directly involved in the process of educating our children," said Judith A. McHale, Chair of the Cable in the Classroom Board and President & Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Communications, Inc.

"Industry consolidation, deployment of new services and increased competition have intensified our efforts to assure consumers that the cable industry remains a steady, active community partner," said Michael Willner, Chairman of NCTA and President & CEO of Insight Communications.

"Consumer demand for broadband is rising, based largely on the benefits of its content and technology. The growing and widespread deployment of broadband technology provides an excellent opportunity for our industry to renew its commitment to the education community, and the students, teachers, and parents the education community represents," said Robert Sachs, President & CEO of NCTA.

Objectives and Initiatives
The new strategic plan identifies six major new objectives for CIC. They are to:
  • Establish the common ground on which cable and education interests meet.
  • Become the cable industry’s primary source of education knowledge and expertise, and share knowledge regularly with members.
  • Give renewed focus to the cable industry’s basic commitment to schools (free cable service and commercial-free educational programming) by placing a greater emphasis on the educational benefits.
  • Highlight the industry’s educational role as a provider of broadband technology, as well as video and content resources.
  • Create regional demonstration projects with national visibility that showcase cutting-edge technologies, cable content resources, and best practices.
  • Share cable’s education story with multiple audiences including educators and consumers.
The objectives for CIC will give rise to a wide variety of programs and initiatives. Among them, CIC will:
  • Convene national advisory groups of education leaders and teachers to provide real-life guidance on educational needs.
  • Conduct original research on the impact of technology in education.
  • Better utilize the World Wide Web along with print publications as platforms for training and the exchange of information.
  • Sponsor demonstration projects which will use and study the effect of state of the art broadband technology and content resources and involve key companies in the cable industry.
  • Actively communicate with the industry’s constituents about cable’s stake in, and commitment to, education.
More details on the actions that will flow from the CIC strategic plan will be discussed in the weeks ahead at a variety of industry functions, including the Texas Cable Show, the Cable Public Affairs Forum sponsored by the Cable Television Public Affairs Association, and Cable 2002, the National Cable Show.

Background on the Strategic Plan
In June 2001, cable industry leaders asked CIC to review its mission to assure that CIC would continue to make a unique and valuable contribution to education in the U.S. During the intensive strategic planning process, every element of CIC was examined and the cable and education communities were thoroughly studied. The new strategic plan was developed with the counsel of key stakeholders in the cable industry and education community. The plan provides a foundation for work, which will allow CIC member companies and networks to clearly see benefit from their commitment to education.

According to O’Brien, key to the new mission and strategy is an underlying education philosophy and a working business philosophy, which will serve as the foundation for all CIC programs and efforts. [Those philosophies follow the release.]

"We’re glad to have completed the planning process, and we’re eager to put the new plan into action," O’Brien said.

Cable in the Classroom
Founded in 1989, CIC represents the efforts of local cable operators and national cable networks to partner with the education community by providing schools with basic cable service, commercial-free programming, online resources and new technologies.

Cable in the Classroom Foundational Philosophies
Education Philosophy

Students and Educators have the right to learn and teach in learning environments that value and provide the five most essential elements of a good education in the 21st century:
  • Visionary and sensible use of existing and emerging technologies to extend and deepen learning.
  • Engagement with deep, rich content.
  • Meaningful community with other learners and teachers.
  • Excellent teaching.
  • The support of parents and other adults.
Business Philosophy
So that the cable industry can sustain and enhance its substantial and long-standing commitment to education, Cable in the Classroom members can expect:
  • A CIC that serves members by taking a proactive, leadership role.
  • Expert advice and strategic guidance with respect to their educational activities.
  • Collective benefits from participation in an industry-wide effort.
  • Clear evidence of CIC’s effectiveness.