From the Chair - June 30, 2011
The Council is continuing to move forward on many of our
important goals. I am particularly excited to report about
efforts on our Data Systems project. As you may know already,
the Council is currently investigating the feasibility of building
an integrated early childhood data system for Texas, which we are
calling The On-Track System (TOTS). In
June, Council members met in Austin for a visioning session on this
project. Key themes explored were:
- What does long-term success of TOTS look like?
- What are key business questions to be considered in the
development of TOTS?
- Should TOTS measure the progress of children, programs, or
- How should information be delivered: system usability
- How aligned are systems in Texas?
The visioning session was a great step forward in consideration
of the feasibility of building TOTS. Our next step is to
conduct a summit on TOTS in July to solicit more critical
stakeholder feedback on the topic.
We are also excited to report that we released Where Do We Go From Here: Designing a
Quality Rating and Improvement System in
Texas, an in-depth working paper that maps
out the Texas early care and education system, and broaches
important subjects relevant to the development of a QRIS in our
state. If you would like to know more about the Council's QRIS
efforts, please visit our webpage
on the subject.
Two other exciting developments this month were the release of
the Texas Community Campaign for School Readiness
request for proposals and the start of our contract with the Ray
Marshall Center and the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas to
conduct the first statewide early childhood needs assessment in
Texas in 40 years. These two incredible needs identification
projects will go a long way in designing our state's approach to
early childhood issues, focusing resources in the most appropriate
ways, and informing stakeholders and policymakers about our most
critical early childhood needs.
Finally, Council members and staff continue to work diligently
to craft new Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines for the
state, creating new supports for the early care and education
workforce. More updates will come on these important projects
John W. Gasko, Ph.D.