Education Commission of the States has researched K-3 Quality policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. Click on the questions below for 50-state comparisons showing how all states approach specific K-3 Quality policies. Or, choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.
- Eighteen states plus D.C. provide guidance for the pre-K to kindergarten transition process. This guidance often includes written transition plans, family engagement, teacher/provider meetings and assessment data linkages.
- Some form of teacher preparation and/or professional development in reading is required for educators in K-3 in at least 37 states. Many of these requirements include training on reading instruction, using reading assessment results and providing interventions.
- Twenty-one states plus D.C. require some level of parental involvement in the promotion/retention process.
- Thirty-six states plus D.C. emphasize social-emotional learning in grades K-3 in statute, rules or regulations. Usually, social-emotional learning is emphasized in kindergarten entrance assessments, school readiness definitions, and/or teacher training requirements.
- Does the state require full-day kindergarten?
- How many hours are required for grades K-3?
- What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grades K-3?
School Readiness and Transitions
- Are kindergarten entrance assessments required?
- What are states required to do with the results of the KEA?
- Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process?
- Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness?
- What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform?
- What are the re-classification procedures for ELL students?
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
- Are assessments required in grades K-3?
- What do the results of K-3 assessments inform?
- Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten?
- What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3?
- Is there a third grade retention policy?
- What are the requirements for teacher training or professional development in reading?
- What ELL training or professional development is required of general classroom teachers?
- For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement?
- Do states require family engagement for the families of ELL students?
- For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required?
Companion Document: 50-State Comparison of K-3 Quality, Alyssa Auck, Bruce Atchison, ECS (2016)
Initiatives from Preschool to Third Grade: A Policymakers Guide Bruce Atchison, Emily Workman, Sarah Daily, ECS (2014)
PUBLISHED: July 18, 2016
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison