Children’s classroom engagement was measured at the end of Kindergarten using the Classroom Engagement Scale. This 14-item scale assesses children’s academic and social engagement. Skills are rated on a 3-point scale: 0 (Improvement Needed), 1 (Satisfactory), and 2 (Outstanding). Third Grade Outcomes. The same assessments of social-emotional development, Approaches to Learning, and Classroom Engagement that were given to students in Kindergarten were given again in third grade. If necessary, updates to items on all assessments were made to make them more developmentally appropriate. SEP Attendance. The ECSRS asks both parents and the child’s special education teacher if the child attended SEP (or received services at their home). Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 5 are entitled to special education services which they can receive in their preschool, child care, or Head Start program. If a child is not in one of these settings, schools are required to provide services to the child in another setting (i.e., their home) (NCLD, n.d.). If either the parent or special education teacher indicated that the child attended SEP, it was coded as such. Special Education Status. The fall parent and special education teacher questionnaire also asks if the child currently has an IEP and is receiving special education services in Kindergarten. If either the parent or special education teacher indicated the child has an IEP, it was coded as such. Covariates. The ECERS data set contains a rich amount of data on child-level, family-level, and school-level characteristics. This is important in order to for us to be able to accurately predict the likelihood of a student attending SEP or not. Past research looking at the effectiveness of special education has included a variety of covariates including gender, race, socio-economic status, maternal age, and child care experiences prior to Kindergarten (e.g., Morgan et al., 2010; Sullivan & Field, 2013). Variables that have either empirical or theoretical support to predict a child attending SEP that are in our data set are included in the analysis. Analysis: Question 1: What are the effects attending SEP on children’s transition to Kindergarten?
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