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Nov 19 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, invites public comments to OMB regarding the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2023-24 (ECLS-K:2024) Kindergarten and First-Grade Field Test Data Collection, National Sampling, and National Recruitment. Comments should be submitted by January 20, 2022.
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) program, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), draws together information from multiple sources to provide rich, descriptive data on child development, early learning, and school progress. The ECLS program studies deliver national data on children's status at birth and at various points thereafter; children's transitions to non-parental care, early care and education programs, and school; and children's experiences and growth through the elementary grades. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2023-24 (ECLS-K:2024) is the fourth cohort in the series of early childhood longitudinal studies that began with the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) and continued with the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011).

In preparation for the ECLS-K:2024 data collections, several OMB packages have been cleared or have been planned for submission. Prior to the field test collection of data from parents of preschool-aged children, in-person focus groups with parents of preschoolers and usability testing of the preschool parent survey instruments were conducted in 2019 (OMB 1850-0803 v.246 and OMB 1850-0803 v.253, respectively). The field test with preschool parents was conducted in the spring of 2020 (OMB 1850-0750 v.19). In order to test recruitment messages and materials for the field test and national data collections, online focus groups with school administrators, teachers, and parents were conducted in fall 2019 and spring 2020 (OMB 1850-0803 v.255 & v.264). Additionally, usability testing of the kindergarten and first-grade field test instruments was conducted in early 2021 (OMB 1850-0803 v.280).

This current request is to conduct a field test of the ECLS-K:2024 kindergarten and first-grade data collection activities to evaluate the design of the national study's kindergarten and first-grade surveys and child assessments, as well as the operational procedures (that is, sampling and recruitment) for the national kindergarten and first-grade data collections in the fall 2023, spring 2024, and spring 2025. This data collection to evaluate the kindergarten and first-grade instruments and procedures is referred to throughout the remainder of this package as the K-1 field test. District and school sampling and recruitment activities for the K-1 field test will occur in spring 2022, while student sampling will occur in August and September 2022. From September through November 2022, trained study field staff will visit the participating schools to conduct in-person, one-on-one child assessments. Parents, teachers, and school administrators will also be asked to complete web surveys. As testing and development continues, it is anticipated that changes to the surveys, website language, and respondent materials will be necessary; a change request describing these changes will be submitted in spring 2022 prior to the K-1 field test data collection. Furthermore, this package also includes a request to conduct national district and school sampling and recruitment from fall 2022 to spring 2023. These recruitment activities will closely mimic what will be done in the K-1 field test but will occur over a much longer period of time.
ECLS Program website: https://nces.ed.gov/ecls/
ECLS-K:2024 submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202109-1850-001 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FR notice inviting comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/19/2021-25307/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-for   
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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