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research studies database
Research Studies provide concise, bulleted Findings, Policy Implications, and Recommendations on key issues, such as:

  • High school rigor and exit exams
  • Better serving English language learners
  • Boosting reading and math achievement
  • College entry and completion
  • Reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates
  • And many more!  (Go to the database.)

progress of education reform
progress of ed reformThe Progress of Education Reform addresses the hottest education issue and provides information in a concise and easy-to-read format based on the most recent studies and reports.

ECS Document Collections
ECS regularly issues useful compilations, summaries and/or comparisons of state policies—enacted or pending—on a wide variety of education topics, listed on the right. For a list of our most current documents, please see our What's New page.

Please use the links below to download PDFs that include all the documents for a given year.

If you'd like to order a print copy, contact the ECS Distribution Center at 303.299.3692 or

Reprint Permission
ECS is pleased to have other organizations or individuals share its materials with their constituents. To request permission to excerpt part of our publications either in print
or electronically, please e-mail, subject: Reprint Permission. State the full name of the document, and supply detail about how the permission will be used (audience, quantity, etc).  A response will be provided within 24 hours.



ECS Policy Analysis Topics:

(Note: Not all topics have an ECS document associated with them. If you are looking for information on a specific topic, you can use our search function.)

P-3 Grades 1-3

The Progress of Education Reform: Science in the Early Years - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform explores the benefits of including a strong science curriculum in the early years and includes recommendations for policymakers. (Kimberly Brenneman, National Institute for Early Education Research and the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science, June 2014)...

12 for 2012 - 12 for 2012 is an ECS “read of the field,” built on our scrutiny of new reports and research, and our analysis of emerging drivers of change. The 12 policy areas do not represent an exhaustive list of the critical issues for the coming year, nor is this report intended to dictate your education policy priorities for 2012. Rather, 12 for 2012 is intended to stimulate thinking around how best to craft the “2.0” of powerful policy across the states. (ECS, 2012)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Pre-K-12 Literacy PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform examines: 1) low K-12 literacy levels nationally, especially for low-income and diverse student populations; 2) trends on U.S. students’ reading proficiency since the 1970s; 3) the negative impacts correlated with low reading levels; and 4) policy recommendations for improving literacy instruction and achievement, particularly in the early grades. (Karen Schimke, ECS, December 2011)...

Linking Ready Kids to Ready Schools: A Report on Policy Insights from the Governors' Forum Series - Governors in Arizona, Connecticut, Ohio and Pennsylvania worked with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to convene Governors’ Forums: Linking Ready Kids to Ready Schools, to review and accelerate strategies to help children move seamlessly from the early years to elementary school and beyond. This report provides policy insights from the Governors' Forums series. (ECS and W. K. Kellogg Foundation, March 2009)...

The Road to High-Quality Early Education PDF - Quality in early childhood programs will be essential if children are to be proficient readers at the end of 3rd grade. This brief highlights Colorado’s efforts to create structures and governance to support quality. A second part of the brief describes one classroom-level approach to achieving high-quality early education. (Stephanie Rose and Karen Schimke, ECS, December 2011)...

Pre-K-3 Newsletter, November 2011 PDF - The November issue of the ECS Pre-K-3 newsletter includes several notes on activities in the states, an update to the Race-to-the-Top Early Learning Initiative, and recent reports which are of interest to educators and policymakers working to improve Pre-K to 3rd grade education. (Education Commission of the States, November 2011)...

Pre-K-3 Newsletter, October 2011 PDF - The October issue of the ECS Pre-K-3 newsletter includes several good reads of issues relevant to early educators and links to four very informative tables from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012 including changes in readiness skills from 1993-2007 and parental involvement in home literacy activities....

PreK-Grade 3 Reading and Literacy Practices That Matter PDF - This Research Review is a snapshot of five recent research studies that address reading and literacy in the early grades. The studies examine topics such as: parental investment in education, instructional practices in a balanced literacy approach, late-emerging reading difficulties, phonics and integrated language arts, and family literacy programs. (ECS, October 2011)...

Preschool: How ready is ready for school? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titled will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

From the ECS State Policy Database: P-3 Grades 1-3 - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Progress of Education Reform: Chronic Early Absence PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform looks at two recent research studies on the issue of chronic early absence and addresses the following: 1) What are the impacts of chronic early absence? 2) Why has it been overlooked? 3) What contributes to chronic early absence? and 4) What can be done to reduce chronic absence in the early grades? (Mimi Howard, Education Commission of the States, March 2010)...

Transition and Alignment: Two Keys to Assuring Student Success PDF - This policy brief looks at Transition and Alignment — two key components for creating continuity across early learning and the early grades and provides examples of successful state efforts. (Mimi Howard, Education Commission of the States, February 2010)...

Making the Case for P-3 PDF - Supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the SPARK initiative, this ECS Issue Paper presents a concise and highly operational definition of P-3, outlining key guiding principles and provides a compelling case for "why P-3 now?" To that end, the paper includes arguments from both research and experience that address: How P-3 benefits children in the early years and early grades; How P-3 makes education reform more child-friendly; and How P-3 benefits state and local policymakers. (Kristie Kauerz, Education Commission of the States, July 2007)...

Online Databases
Roll over each database for a description.

p-3 archived databases
kindergarten artscan
k-12 choice
12-grade transitions highly qualified requirements for special ed
charter NCLB
choice-open enrollment NCLB snaps
citizen-ed kindergarten
dual leadership
english language learners Paraprofessionals: Explore our findings for Title I Instructional Paraprofessional qualifications and certification requirements, paraprofessional professional development programs and state assessments for paraprofessionals.
high school literacy
K-12 teacher certification
school accountability teacher comp
state funding for students with disabilities Teacher Professional Development
service-learning teacher prep
teacher tenure special-ed teacher certification
postsecondary dual
blueprint charter
transfer and articulation Postsecondary
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