*Names in bold indicate Presenter
To that end, the paper will review two projects exploring how to study data use in local Head Start programs, and to develop an understanding of how data are being used. The first project draws on the research of other disciplines to create a conceptual framework for examining the process of continuous quality improvement systems in Head Start programs broadly. The second project focuses specifically on improving understanding of how local Head Start and Early Head Start grantees define, measure, and communicate school readiness goals, and how they use these goals in program planning to improve program functioning.
The paper will discuss the conceptual framework built from an interdisciplinary perspective on data use for continuous quality improvement drawing from literature in the disciplines of educational management and leadership, healthcare, nonprofit management, public management, performance management, and organizational learning. Data collection regarding exploration of the processes and systems of quality improvement (i.e. collaborative inquiry, distributed leadership, data systems, etc.), and the specific efforts of Head Start programs to define and use School Readiness Goals in program planning, will begin a few months before the conference. The paper will describe those research efforts, what can be learned from those efforts so far to inform both a local and coordinated systems perspective on data use for quality improvement, and how these studies may be used both within the early childhood field and beyond for understanding how to better study the issues of data use.