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National Center for Special Education Research

Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS)


PEELS is following almost 3,000 children with disabilities as they progress through preschool and into their early elementary years. The study collects data on the preschool and early elementary school experiences of a nationally representative sample of children with disabilities and the outcomes they achieve. It focuses on children's preschool environments and experiences, their transition to kindergarten, their kindergarten and early elementary education experiences, and their academic and adaptive skills. The children were 3 to 5 years old at the start of the study in 2003 and were followed through to 2008.


Over several years, information about the children, their families, and instructional/service programs were collected using family interviews, child assessments, and multiple questionnaires. The PEELS sample consists of approximately 1,000 children in each age cohort (3, 4, and 5 year olds) receiving special education services at the study onset. The data collected through PEELS will be used for descriptive, as well as for explanatory research purposes. Direct assessments of children's academic skills and parent interviews have been conducted. In addition, questionnaires were sent to participating children's teachers, school principals, directors of local education agencies, and state 619 coordinators.

Publications and Products

To view PEELS publications and products, click here.

To gain access to the PEELS restricted-use datasets, contact the IES Data Security Office at or go to Researchers who have questions about PEELS data may contact Celia Rosenquist for more information.


Elaine Carlson
Linda LeBlanc
Hyunshik Lee

Dr. Kristen Lauer
(202) 219-0377