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I am trying to work with the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey Kindergarten cohort data or some other data that will allow me to look at the impact of school year length (especially long school year calendars) on student achievement.
Do you know of any other sources of education data?
One longitudinal study is the Beginning School Study (Baltimore, MD). It is available from the IQSS Dataverse Network:
One drawback to this study is that the time period precedes some of the more recent school reform initiatives.
NCES now has a unit dealing with various State Reform initiatives, including achievement testing and other methods of evaluating school performance. To find these links, do an NCES search on State Reform.
School attendance and graduation policies, including the number of days that schools are in session, are generally set by state education agencies. In some states a local school district may have some latitude in this, but the trend is for states to require more accountability for local districts to comply with state-wide policy. There are two organizations that track these policies.
First try the CCSSO at http://ccsso.org/. Click on Publications. In the search box enter Key State Education Policies. In the second box select “All Key Words.” Scroll through the products until you find the most recent publication. Download the pdf version. You will find tables on attendance etc. policies in the first chapter.
Another source to try is http://ecs.org/. Do a search on “state policies” or “education reform.” There should be something about the policies.
Some states also have provision for year-round schools if a district wants to have them. There are various configurations for these schools. More information can be found at http://nayre.org/.