NASET News Alert

Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS)

May 26, 2006

Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS)  Data Available

The Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS) is a study of school-age students funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education and is part of the national assessment of the 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 97). From Year 2000 to 2006, SEELS is documenting the school experiences of a national sample of students as they move from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. One important feature of SEELS is that it does not look at students' educational, social, vocational, and personal development at a single point in time. Rather, it is designed to assess change in these areas over time.

SEELS is being conducted to help policymakers and other interested people understand what is happening with students who are receiving or have received special education services. This will help us know how students who receive special education services are doing, what services schools are providing to students and families, and to what extent special education is helping students and families. Because this study uses a nationally representative student sample, SEELS will provide an important national picture of special education.

Like all the studies associated with OSEP's national assessment of IDEA, SEELS is intended to be a national resource for teachers, parents, advocates, policymakers, and researchers.  The data includes parent interviews, direct assessments, school background, teacher surveys and school program surveys. SEELS data cover a wide range of topics, including student and household characteristics, students' functional skills, parental involvement/expectations, school experiences, academic achievement, classroom instruction, social skills, self concept, assessment, accommodations and much more.

To learn more about the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS), visit

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