Press Release - Texas Early Learning Council Announces Early Childhood Data Summit in Austin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOUSTON - July 21, 2011
The Texas Early Learning Council will host an Early Childhood
Data Summit to solicit critical stakeholder feedback on The
On-Track System (TOTS), an in-development, integrated,
comprehensive early childhood data collection system for
Texas. The Data Summit will take place on July 25, 2011 at
the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the
campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
The Council recently contracted with Deloitte Consulting, LLP,
one of the largest consulting services companies in the United
States, to: develop a strategic plan to achieve information sharing
among the various early education data-collecting entities in
Texas; conduct a stakeholder review; and, design a framework for
the new TOTS data system.
The Data Summit will bring together more than 100 early
childhood stakeholders from across the state, representing all
early childhood education sectors, including educators, center
directors, researchers, and policymakers. The full-day event
will consider the feasibility of TOTS.
The development of recommendations for an integrated early
childhood data system is a required deliverable for all State
Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care throughout
the United States, as authorized by the Improving Head Start for
School Readiness Act of 2007. However, the Texas Early
Learning Council hopes to move beyond recommendations by creating a
unified early childhood information exchange system in Texas,
merging data from multiple agencies and increasing access for all
stakeholders, while maintaining data security.
"Right now we are trying to learn as much as we can about the
many different types of early childhood data collected and stored
in the state, and how we might best combine and reorganize that
data," says John Gasko, Ph.D., Council Chair. "The Data
Summit will give us the information we need to take critical steps
towards making TOTS a reality."
The Texas Early Learning Council hopes that TOTS will one day
support and inform parents, teachers, child care providers, and
policymakers on the quality and effectiveness of early childhood
programs in Texas.
The Texas Early Learning Council is a 19-member,
governor-appointed advisory council on early childhood education
and care. In 2010, the Council began an ambitious three-year
federal grant to improve school readiness in Texas. Over the
next three years, the Texas Early Learning Council will embark on
dozens of key strategic improvements to the Texas early care and
education system. For more information, please visit www.earlylearningtexas.org.