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Apr 30 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) invites comment to OMB by May 30, 2024 on the proposed Materials Revision Request for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2023-24 (ECLS-K:2024).

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 nonparental 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. The study will advance research in child development and early learning by providing a detailed and comprehensive source of current information on children's early learning and development, transitions into kindergarten and beyond, and progress through school. The ECLS-K:2024 will provide data about the population of children who will be kindergartners in the 2023-24 school year. The ECLS-K:2024 will focus on children's early school experiences continuing through the fifth grade, and will include collection of data from children, parents, teachers, and school administrators.

The request to conduct the first three national data collection rounds for the ECLS-K:2024 was approved in April 2023 (OMB# 1850-0750 v.26). Revisions to procedures and materials for the first two rounds of data collection were approved in subsequent revisions (OMB# 1850-0750 v.27-29). The ECLS-K:2024 fall kindergarten data collection was conducted August 2023 to January 2024. It will be followed by the spring (March-July 2024) kindergarten round, and the spring (March-July 2025) first-grade round. Each of these rounds of data collection will involve advance school contacts, for example to conduct student sampling activities, collect teacher and school information, and locate families whose children may have moved schools. Future OMB packages are planned for the third-and fifth-grade field test (to be conducted in March-July 2026), as well as for all future currently-planned rounds.

This current revision request (accompanied by 30 days of public comment) is to update study respondent materials, web surveys, and website designs that will be used in the spring 2025 first-grade data collection activities. Many of the revisions in this package were made based on analyses of the fall 2022 field test data (OMB# 1850-0750 v.25), as well as additional discussions with design experts. Other changes occurred after further discussion on operational procedures. An additional revision request will be submitted to OMB in August 2024 for revisions to the spring first-grade materials as the surveys and study website move into programming. Additionally, this August 2024 revision request will address the new federal statistical standard for race/ethnicity items (Statistical Policy Directive No. 15: Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (SPD 15)). NCES is at work on its action plan for compliance with the new SPD15 standards, and early discussions suggest that implementation of these standards will be particularly complex and delicate in data collections where race and ethnicity data is reported both by individuals about themselves and also provided by third parties. Compliance for ECLS involves revising multiple race/ethnicity items e.g., adult self-reports, adult reports of others, school reports of the school composition, teacher reports of the classroom composition, field staff collection of school reports of sampled children.

ECLS Program: https://nces.ed.gov/ecls/
NCES submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202404-1850-007 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-09312

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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