From the Chair - July 28, 2011
July was another incredibly busy month for the Texas Early
Learning Council. I am continually impressed with our Council
Members and our staff and their ability to produce high level,
quality work. We conducted two very important events in July.
The first was a plenary session at the Texas Early Childhood
Leadership Summit, held at the Austin Convention Center. The
Session was a dynamic event where we collected a great deal of
critical feedback from among 1,000 early childhood
stakeholders. You can read more about it in our closer look
section. The depth of feedback from this session, as
well as the other sessions I attended, was a great learning
experience. We have such a wealth of expertise and knowledge
in our state, and it is my hope that the Texas Early Learning
Council can harness and leverage these assets to truly move the
needle on school readiness in Texas.
The other event we conducted was a day long Summit on Early
Childhood Data Systems at the AT & T Executive Conference
Center at UT Austin. A diverse array of 100 early childhood
stakeholders gathered to learn more about the power and importance
of early childhood data systems, and to help the Council understand
the data needs of Texas' diverse populations and communities, as
well as help us continue to refine our vision of The On-Track
System (TOTS). Visit www.earlylearningtexas.org
in a couple of weeks to see a complete summary of the day's events
and to download critical resources related to the Summit.
What the Summit taught me was that Texas early education
stakeholders are hungry for progress, especially given the harsh
consequences of the 82nd legislative session. I was impressed
with the willingness of the attendees to jump in and wrestle with
fairly esoteric, yet important, issues related to early childhood
data systems, security, and sustainability.
Soon we will be reviewing proposals to select 6 Texas
communities to lead our Texas
Community Campaign for School Readiness. Stay tuned for more
information, and, we look forward to continuing to work with all of
you as the Council's work progresses!
John W. Gasko, Ph.D.