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The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 201718 (MGLS:2017) is the first study to follow a nationally-representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades. The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the experiences and lives of all students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes. Because mathematics and literacy skills are important for preparing students for high school and are associated with later education and career opportunities, the study is placing a focus on student growth in these areas and on their instruction.