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Elementary Education

These learning buddies at Sawyer Road Elementary School in Marietta in 2010 seem to feel the joy of the elementary experience. These students should now be in high school!

Here you will find reports/research/articles about the elementary years. Posting here does not imply Georgia Partnership endorsement. Please report broken links here.

Current K-12 News provided by EducationDive:

June 11
June 9 – Weekend Edition
June 8


50 State Comparison: State Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade Policies
Education Commission of the States

High-quality, early elementary years offer a critical opportunity for development and academic learning for all children. ECS has researched the policies that guide these key components of quality in all 50 states to provide this comprehensive resource. (June 5)


Learning from Student Voice – Student Engagement: Elementary Students Feel More Engaged, Pride in Their Work
YouthTruth Student Survey

This survey finds elementary students feel a greater engagement and pride in their work than older middle and high school students who also question the relevance of their studies to their future lives. Related story. (December 11)

50 State Review – Full-Day Kindergarten: A Look Across the States
Education Commission of the States

Research indicates that a full-day, high-quality kindergarten experience is a crucial component in setting students up for ongoing academic success, yet vast differences exist in the quality of kindergarten programs and how they are funded across the states. Related story.(Released September 2016, posted August 23, 2017)

How Do Students’ 3rd Grade Reading Levels Relate to Their ACT/SAT Performance and Chance of Graduating from High School?
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA)

The study finds that students who earned higher scores on the 3rd grade reading CRCT had higher high school graduation rates, were more likely to take the ACT or SAT, and had higher average ACT and SAT scores compared to students in the other performance levels. Introduction. (March 22)

Strategies for Recess in Schools
CDC and SHAPE: Society of Health and Physical Educators

This describes strategies for planning and providing recess in schools to help increase participation in physical activity and improve academic achievement (e.g., performance, behavior, attention). Related. (February 1)


K-3 Policymakers’ Guide to Action: Making the Early Years Count
Education Commission of the States

The preschool through third-grade years are foundational in a child’s journey towards lifelong learning. Developmentally, these early elementary years are when children best acquire the academic and non-academic skills on which long-lasting educational success depends. Introduction. (December 2)

The Wisdom of Mandatory Grade Retention

Mandatory grade retention is clearly popular, at least among many state legislators. This is understandable given the importance of early reading skills for future outcomes and the shockingly low levels of basic reading proficiency in many communities. (October 5)

50-State Comparison: K-3 Quality
Education Commission of the States

Education Commission of the States has researched K-3 Quality policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. Companion report. (July 19)

Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?
University of Virginia

Recent accounts suggest that accountability pressures have trickled down into the early elementary grades and that kindergarten today is characterized by a heightened focus on academic skills and a reduction in opportunities for play. Abstract. Study snapshot. Related article.(June 21)

Science Achievement Gaps Begin Very Early, Persist, and Are Largely Explained by Modifiable Factors
Education Researcher

Science achievement gaps present between racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the eighth grade already exist when those children are in kindergarten. Related storyPress Release (March 8)