By Monroe Nichols, ImpactTulsa COO
In our 2015 Community Impact Report, improving data access and quality was identified as “The Next Big Step.” The need to link academic and non-academic data across the entire education pipeline is critical to dramatically improving student outcomes. To that end, the ImpactTulsa team along with UPD Consulting and six community partners launched an innovative proof of concept project looking at early learning and access in our urban core.
This project featured 10 years of longitudinal data and nearly 50,000 de-identified student records. The project was initiated to help us answer two questions at the community level:
- What are the characteristics of families who do and do not enroll their children in identified partner early childhood education and/or other partner youth programs in Union and Tulsa Public School Districts?
- What is the relationship between involvement in early childhood education programming provided by project partners and attendance and formal assessment results in grades K-3?
The findings include vital information about where pockets exist of low-income kids of color who are not accessing the early childhood education system. While this project gives substantial insights on how we can improve systems, it is only a snapshot or a proof of the possible. The report includes recommendations about building an automated system, which would make Tulsa a national innovator and model in data linking, with guidance on how to achieve this important goal.
The project provided the proof that an integrated system for early childhood data is not only feasible and within reach, but also necessary. This work is not about linking data for the sake of linking data, but instead to provide clarity on how we work together, where we work together and to show the real time impacts of our collective action!
To read the full Executive Summary, CLICK HERE