What Is ECDS?
The Early Childhood Data System (ECDS), formerly the Kindergarten Readiness System (KRS), is the first collection to be incorporated into the TSDS Core Collection.
ECDS is the platform used to collect voluntary and state mandated early childhood data. It is designed to inform school districts, communities, and early childhood programs about the effectiveness of prekindergarten, Head Start, and community based licensed childcare programs in preparing children for kindergarten.
ECDS provides a fully integrated data solution as part of TSDS and includes most kindergarten reading diagnostic instruments on the TEA Commissioner’s approved list. By integrating ECDS into TSDS, TEA had replaced, enhanced, and augmented the ECDS data collection workflow, submission, validation and reporting functions.
How Does ECDS Benefit my Local Education Agency?
The integration of ECDS into TSDS means that local education agencies (school districts and charter schools—LEAs) can use kindergarten data that they have loaded to populate their ECDS submissions.
ECDS allows schools and parents to gauge how well kindergartens and prekindergartens are preparing students for school, and especially for reading. ECDS provides performance data that administrators can track from year to year to follow their schools' progress. The system also empowers regional education service centers to compare results within their region to determine which programs are best serving students, and to encourage the sharing of successful strategies among districts.
As an added benefit, the children who enter the system in prekindergarten establish a longitudinal performance record tied to their Unique Identifier that educators can consult later in the students' careers to diagnose chronic problems and identify strengths.
LEAs with public kindergartens are required by the Texas Legislature to submit data to ECDS. LEAs will use the same TEDS data standards, LEA facing Operational Data Store, and TSDS platform for submitting data to this system as for TSDS PEIMS. All students submitted to ECDS will need a Unique Identifier, and all data will need to be submitted in XML format.
Like all other TSDS components, ECDS is supported by the ESCs and certified vendors, who also offer training in the new systems.
Public and Private Prekindergartens
Data submission is not required for public and private prekindergartens, but these entities have the most to gain from ECDS, which helps them measure how well they are preparing students for school, and allows the prekindergartens to track their programs' improvement over time. They can use this information to fine tune their programs and to communicate with the parents of prospective students.
Because prekindergartens may not have the same infrastructure in place to support TSDS that the K-12 LEAs have, TEA has provided a Validation Tool that allows them to transform their data from spreadsheet format to XML for loading to TSDS.
Easy to Use
ECDS and the Core Collection were developed on the model of TSDS PEIMS, using a similar workflow, organization, and design. Once the data has been loaded to the ODS, the process is as easy as 1-2-3: (1) users prepare their data by moving it into the ECDS application, (2) they use the system's reports to QA their submissions, and when they're ready, (3) they click "Complete."