Fifth Grade: Findings From The Fifth-Grade Follow-up of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K)
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–99 (ECLS-K) is following a nationally representative cohort of children from kindergarten and into the later grades. The ECLS-K focuses on children’s school experiences beginning with kindergarten. It is a multisource, multi-method study that includes interviews with parents; collection of data from principals and teachers; and direct assessments of children. The ECLS-K has been developed under the sponsorship of the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.
The ECLS-K selected a nationally representative sample of kindergartners in the fall of 1998 and, to date, has followed these children through the spring of fifth grade. The focus of the current report is findings from the sixth wave of the ECLS-K data, when most of the ECLS-K children were in the spring of their fifth-grade year.
The full ECLS-K base-year sample is composed of 22,782 children who attended 944 schools with kindergarten programs during the 1998–99 school year. The base-year ECLS-K sample is nationally representative of the 3.8 million children enrolled in kindergartens in the United States during the 1998–99 school year.
The base-year (i.e., the kindergarten year) data were collected in the fall and spring of the 1998– 99 school year. Two more waves of data were collected in the fall and spring of the 1999–2000 school year when most, but not all, of the base-year children were in first grade. A fifth wave of data was collected in the spring of the 2001–02 school year when most, but not all, of the sampled children were in third grade. A sixth wave of data was collected in the spring of the 2003–04 school year when most, but not all, of the sampled children were in fifth grade.
The weighted school response rate for the kindergarten year was 74 percent. In that year, the child and parent completion rates were 92 percent and 89 percent, respectively. In the spring of 2000 (first grade), 88 percent of children and 85 percent of the parents who were eligible for first-grade data collection participated in the study. In the spring of 2002 (third grade), 80 percent of the children and 77 percent of the parents who were eligible for the third-grade data collection participated in the study. Finally, in the spring of 2004 (fifth grade), about 85 percent of children and 89 percent of parents who were eligible for the fifth-grade data collection participated (U.S. Department of Education 2006).