Nicholas Ortiz

Education Researcher and Technical Assistance Specialist, SRI Education

Nicholas Ortiz, MPA, brings 14 years of experience helping public and private organizations use data to improve outcomes for young children and their families. He has provided training and technical assistance (TA) to numerous state and local education agencies around early childhood data analysis, visualization, reporting, governance, management, integration, quality assurance and systems development. He also specializes in quantitative analysis of state early childhood administrative data, including data from assessment and services related to special education, state-funded preschool and foster care.

At SRI, Ortiz supports state early intervention and preschool special education data systems through the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy Center). He is a TA liaison for several states and leads TA work around data analytics and processes. He is also a TA provider for the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, helping states accurately report on outcomes for young children with disabilities and facilitating learning communities for early childhood assessment users. His other TA work at SRI includes development of a comprehensive data governance plan for the state of North Dakota’s early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) and coordinating data use agreements for a multistate study of structural disparities for children with early communication disorders.

In the research space, Ortiz is analyzing administrative data from two states under federally funded child care policy research partnership grants. This work includes research on facilitators and barriers to inclusion of children with disabilities in federally subsidized child care in California, and on improving access to high-quality child care for children in Arkansas foster care.

Before SRI, Ortiz served in state government for more than a decade. He oversaw data quality assurance, accountability reporting, and other data services within the Colorado Department of Education’s Preschool Through 3rd Grade Office. He co-designed Results Matter, Colorado’s nationally recognized preschool assessment system, which served as a model for the state’s eventual kindergarten school readiness assessment. Ortiz championed several efforts to integrate the department’s early childhood data with other intra- and inter-agency data warehouses. He pioneered Colorado’s first longitudinal evaluation of state-funded preschool using its statewide longitudinal data system. He was an active member of several state data governance bodies, including the Early Childhood Leadership Commision’s Data Subcommittee.

Ortiz has training and experience with several data visualization tools, including ArcGIS, Tableau and Microsoft Excel. He has completed and provided training on several authentic preschool assessment tools, including Teaching Strategies GOLD, HighScope COR Advantage and Work Sampling System. In addition, he is certified in online learning course design and has developed several assessment data use modules for the early childhood workforce.

Ortiz earned his MPA with an emphasis in education policy from the University of Colorado Denver and his BA in psychology from Northwestern University.

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