The On Track System (TOTS)

A key priority of the Texas Early Learning Council is to develop recommendations regarding the establishment of a unified data collection system for public early childhood education and development programs and services throughout the State, as indicated in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007.  In our grant application, the Council set its own, more ambitious, goal related to data collection-The On Track System (TOTS).  However, as the TOTS Strategic Plan illustrates, this project faced key feasibility issues.  Learn more about our work in early childhood data systems in the TOTS Strategic Plan.

The Council initially intended to design and implement TOTS during the course of our three-year grant.  However, due to the critical feasibility issues, the Council voted to draft recommendations to the Governor to inform the build of TOTS in the future, and reinvest funds previously reserved for the design and implementation of TOTS.  Check out the Council's recommendations on TOTS:

TOTS Jelly Button

The Vision of TOTS is to serve as a robust early childhood information exchange system in order to increase the efficacy of early childhood programs through data usage, planning, and ongoing improvement.  Ideally, TOTS will cut through long established silos in Texas government, increasing cooperation and collaboration among agencies and policymakers so that young children and families receive the highest quality, most effective programs and interventions possible.  It is the hope of the Council that when complete, the system will bring together the varied data collection systems and house pertinent early childhood data in one accessible and useable location. From this system, parents, school districts, researchers, and policymakers will have a much clearer picture of early childhood education system in Texas, particularly of the programs and services impacting our youngest Texans, and they will be better equipped to determine whether children are on-track to succeed.

Initially, the Council intended to develop TOTS into a fully functional early childhood information exchange system that will tie into the state's K-college/workforce data system, which is currently being revamped into the innovative Texas Student Data System.  Unfortunately, the TOTS Strategic Plan outlined critical feasibility concerns to the development and implementation of the system.  The feasibility concerns included:

  • Lack of interagency data standards
  • Lack of interagency agreements for sharing data
  • Long-term sustainability concerns

To read the entire TOTS strategic plan, click the image below:

TOTS Strategic Plan

Check out the The On-Track System Strategic Plan.

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F
Appendix G
Appendix H
Appendix I
Appendix J
Appendix K


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