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IES Contract

Title: Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study
Center: NCSER Year:
Principal Investigator: Carlson, Elaine Awardee: Westat
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards      [Program Details]
Award Number: ED04CO0059

Additional Contractors: Warger, Eavy and Associates, Mesa Consulting, Alicia Agnese & Associates, and MPR Associates, Inc.

Key Staff: Elaine Carlson , Project Director (Westat), Linda LeBlanc (Westat), Hyunshik Lee (Westat)

Purpose: This contract is supporting new data collection to examine 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 (including academic achievement, social development, and participation in the classroom and community) The study will follow a nationally representative sample of children through 2008.

Research Questions
  1. What are the characteristics of children receiving preschool special education?
  2. What preschool programs and services do they receive?
  3. What are their transitions like-between early intervention and preschool and between preschool and elementary school?
  4. How do these children function and perform in preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school?
  5. Which child, service, and program characteristics are associated with children's performance over time on assessments of academic and adaptive skills?

Design The proposed design calls for information about the children, their families, and instructional/service programs, to be collected repeatedly over several years. 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. IES will determine in April 2008 whether to exercise the first option year which will include a final data collection of children's academic skills in 2009.

Duration: 48 months base (October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2008) with optional extension of 24 months.

Cost: $11,542,820 base total (with option years $2,307,790 in FY 2009, $495,247 in FY 2010).

Reports: Reports for this study will be announced on

Current Status (December 2007): As of December 2007, the contractor has prepared three overview reports, a methodology report, three manuscripts accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals, restricted use datasets, and datasets to be released to the public via the web.