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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.)


Trends in teacher certification: Equipping teachers to prepare proficient readers - To make sure that they are up to the task, several states now require that early education teacher candidates pass a reading instruction test before being licensed. This is a shift in focus. Typically, states have concentrated on the student rather than the teacher by pursuing policies that identify struggling readers for special instruction. (Julie Rowland, ECS, January 2015)...

Third-grade reading policies - This report provides a comprehensive look at third-grade reading policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It summarizes statutory provisions on the identification of, intervention for and retention of struggling readers in the P-3 grades. (Emily Workman, ECS, December 2014)...

2013 Legislative Session – P-3 Policies - ECS conducted a scan of enacted policies from the 2013 legislative sessions to capture the ongoing work that lawmakers across the country are engaging in to strengthen their P-3 systems. The diversity of policies seems to demonstrate state policymakers are increasingly recognizing that the developmental supports a child receives in the earliest years provide lifelong payouts for both child and community. This report provides summaries of 38 bills from 25 states that illustrate the breadth and depth of P-3 policies enacted in 2013 legislative sessions. (Emily Workman, ECS, Nov. 2013)...

A Problem Still in Search of a Solution: A State Policy Roadmap for Improving Early Reading Proficiency PDF - A Problem Still in Search of a Solution: A State Policy Roadmap for Improving Early Reading Proficiency provides a framework to help state leaders and policymakers create more effective policies that will result in improved reading performance. (September 2012)...

Third Grade Literacy Policies: Identification, Intervention, Retention PDF - This paper examines policies to promote 3rd-grade reading proficiency, including early identification of and intervention for struggling readers, as well as retention as an action of last resort. The authors outline case studies in both Florida and New York City, and identify decisions policymakers must consider as they implement policies around 3rd-grade literacy. (Stephanie Rose and Karen Schimke, ECS, March 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)...

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)...

What is Holding Back Reading Achievement - Hear what Robert Pondiscio had to say about reading at the 2011 ECS National Forum on Education Policy....

Reading/Literacy: Which practices matter most? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Adolescent Literacy - This database provides 50-state information on 13 approaches to address student literacy needs in grades 4-12. (Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States, June 2008)...

Adolescent Literacy PDF - Traditionally reading is taught in the primary grades. However, a growing awareness of the need to address the reading skills of adolescents has resulted in states incorporating literacy instruction in their secondary-level teacher preparation and certification requirements, modifying and aligning curriculum standards, and establishing state policies to guide change. (Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States, September 2008)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Reading/Literacy--Adult Literacy - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

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

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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