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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 201718 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.

Data Collection Schedule

  • Base Year data (grade 6) was collected in winter/spring of 2018 with a first follow-up in winter/spring 2020 when most of the students in the sample will be in grade 8.

Types of Data

  • At each wave of data collection, students’ reading and mathematics achievement, socioemotional development, and executive function is assessed. Students also complete a survey that asks about their engagement in school, out-of-school experiences, peer group, and identity development. Parents are interviewed about their background, family resources, and parental involvement. Students’ teachers 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 report on middle grade-specific programs and practices, school supports and services, as well school climate. Student information is abstracted from school records and field staff complete an observation checklist on the school physical plant and resources. The teachers of special needs students for whom testing accommodations are not possible 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. Documentation of these methods as well as specifications for the survey instruments are available at the Office of Management and Budget web site.


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

For more information contact:

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