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Basic Facts


  • National Center for Education Statistics, Institute for Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Goals of MGLS:2017

  • A key goal of the study is to better understand the supports students need for academic success, high school readiness, and positive life development such as high school graduation, college and career readiness, and healthy lifestyles of all students. The study will track the progress students make in reading and mathematics and their developmental trajectories as they transition from elementary to high school and identify factors in their school, classroom, home and out-of-home experiences that may help to explain differences in achievement and development, and that may contribute to academic success and other outcomes both during the middle grade years and beyond.


  • The student sample will be representative of students in the U.S. who are enrolled in grade 6 in the fall of the 2017–18 school year. A two-stage probability sampling design will be used. Public, private, and charter schools will be sampled from the Common Core of Data and Private School Universe Survey. We anticipate that between 800 and 1,000 schools will be selected and asked to participate. Between 15,000 and 20,000 students will be sampled for the study. An additional sample of 3,600 students in three disability categories will be obtained in order to provide researchers with adequate power to analyze results for those groups.

Data Collection Schedule

  • Baseline data (grade 6) will be collected in winter of 2018 with annual follow-up in spring 2019 and spring 2020 when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively.

Types of Data

  • At each wave of data collection, students’ reading and mathematics achievement, socioemotional development, and executive function will be assessed. Students will also complete a survey that asks about their engagement in school, out-of-school experiences, peer group, and identity development. Parents will be interviewed about their background, family resources, and parental involvement. Students’ teachers will complete a two-part survey that asks about their background and classroom instruction and then asks teachers to report on each student’s academic behaviors, mathematics performance, and conduct. School administrators will be asked to report on middle grade-specific programs and practices, school supports and services, as well as school climate. Student information will be abstracted from school records and field staff will complete an observation checklist on the school physical plant and resources. The teachers of special needs students for whom testing accommodations are not possible will receive special questionnaires to report on student progress.

Data Collection Methods/Modes

  • Modes include self-administered tablet- and web-based assessments and surveys, and telephone interviews.


  • Products may include descriptive reports and tabular presentations of the data, and publicly available datasets and user documentation.

For more information contact:
Carolyn Fidelman, National Center for Education Statistics, Institute for Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (