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Research & Innovation

Developing a Data Culture

CAP Tulsa strives to build a culture of continuous improvement through the use of meaningful data. Throughout the organization, various types of data are collected, analyzed and used to improve organizational and educational practices. Further, CAP Tulsa is committed to being a leader in its use of data to support early learning, and so seeks to build partnerships and network relationships in order to share knowledge and learn from others. 



  • Measuring and Analyzing

    CAP Tulsa has an agency-wide commitment to holding ourselves accountable for intended results and to using data to drive decisions. To accomplish this, the agency collects meaningful qualitative and quantitative data at every level, including:

    • Child-level – CAP Tulsa strives to support and nurture the whole child by collecting descriptive data in a variety of domains, including social-emotional development, mathematics, literacy, language, cognitive development, child health, and needs for behavioral or developmental services.
    • Classroom-level – Observational data is collected regarding classroom quality, teacher practices and characteristics.
    • Family-level – Descriptive data about families’ strengths and needs is collected, as well as participation in program offering. 
    • Program-level – Finally, CAP Tulsa collects evaluative data about operational performance, including child attendance and dosage and employee and parent satisfaction surveys. 

    Further, CAP Tulsa often seeks to link and integrate different data in order to more fully understand the impact the program has on children and families. To learn more about CAP Tulsa’s innovative use of data, see: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/fi...

  • Improving Practices

    CAP Tulsa goes beyond simply measuring efficacy, and uses the data it collects to identify opportunities to improve practice. Teachers consistently use data to individualize instruction in order to meet student needs. School Leaders use data to monitor overall school performance, instructional quality, and family strengths and needs. The agency as a whole also uses data to make large organizational changes to further support children and their families. Some recent examples include:

    • Longer Enrollment – Based on data that shows increased benefit for children who had longer participation in the program, CAP Tulsa has been working to refine its enrollment process in order to prioritize enrolling children for more than one year in the program. This has led to increased access to high-quality early childhood experiences for young children, as well as increased rates of school readiness. Further, this provides families with longer program contact and more opportunities to participate in and benefit from CAP Tulsa’s innovative two-generation programs.
    •  Early warning systems – CAP Tulsa is currently developing and piloting multiple early warning systems that identify children who may benefit from additional support or services so as to better meet students’ needs. In an effort to increase attendance on the 1st day of school, CAP Tulsa has created an early warning system to identify children at risk of not attending the first day of school.  Families of identified children are contacted by our enrollment team to determine whether the parent intends to enroll the child at CAP Tulsa or has chosen to enroll their child in another early childhood program. This allows CAP Tulsa to fill slots more effectively, and the effort has increased attendance on the first day of school, and led to more children having access to early childhood education and care.  CAP Tulsa is also currently designing and refining a classroom placement system that identifies students who may need extra behavioral support and helps school leaders appropriately place students in classrooms in a way that ensures that all children, including students with diverse needs, are matched to classroom environments where they can receive support.

  • Sharing Knowledge

    Finally, usable findings and promising practices are shared with staff, families and community partners in a variety of ways, including parent-teacher conferences, internal dashboards that promote data-driven decision-making, and newsletters. CAP Tulsa strives to embed meaningful data throughout our organizational culture, so that all staff and participants feel empowered to use data to drive improvement in their roles. One of the ways CAP does this is by publishing a regular ‘Dive Into Data’ that spotlights data and findings that are relevant to the agency’s mission. If you or your organization would be interested in learning more about how CAP Tulsa uses data to improve practice, please email researchandinnovation@captulsa.org for more information.