Monday, December 31, 2007

Internet use and libraries study

Internet-savvy young adults drawn to libraries
Computer-savvy adults ages 18 to 30 were the biggest library users in the U.S. this year, according to a recent survey. Internet users were more than twice as likely to patronize libraries as non-Internet users, according to the survey. More than two-thirds of library visitors in all age groups said they used computers while at the library. 65% of them looked up information on the Internet while 62% used computers to check into the library's resources. One major surprise was our finding that those who live in the Gen Y generation cohort are more likely than their elders to use libraries when they face problems. Those in Gen Y are also more likely to patronize libraries for all kinds of reasons"Internet use seems to create an information hunger and it is information-savvy young people who are most likely to visit libraries."
Pew Internet & American Life Project. (2007). Information Searches That Solve Problems. Washington, DC: Author.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Library impact study

Powerful Libraries Make Powerful Learners: The Illinois Study
This Illinois State study links student achievement (e.g., test scores) to strong student libraries; major factors include staffing, computer access to OPACs and DBs, library visits, and collections.
Lance, K. (2007). Powerful Libraries Make Powerful Learners: The Illinois Study. Canton, IL: Illinois School Library Media Association.

Online learning study

Online learning growth and needs
30 states now offer state-led online learning programs or initiatives, 42 states have either supplemental of full-time online learning programs for K12. More oversight is needed is this trend increases because some programs do not adhere to high-quality standards. Furthermore, programs need to be accessible for all, and require teacher training.
North American Council for Online Learning. (2007). Keeping pace with K-12 online learning. Vienna, VA: Author.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Social skills study

Social-Skills Programs Affect Academic Achievement
New research suggests that teachers should take time to teach students to manage their emotions and to practice empathy, caring, and cooperation.
Rand Corp. (2007). Caregiver well-being affects academic achievement. Santa Monica, CA: Author.

New teachers studies

New Teachers Outdo Peers of Last Decade on Academic Scales
A new study concludes that teachers entering the profession today have higher academic qualifications than their counterparts a decade ago. Those who used alternative routes and those in traditional programs show equally strong gains over the earlier test-takers. The improvements held equally for men and women, for different racial and ethnic groups, and across those aiming for careers in elementary and secondary teaching, the report says. Less positively, though, the profiles of those seeking a license to teach in elementary school, special education, or physical education remained “markedly” lower, it says, than the profiles of those seeking to teach an academic subject in high school. And takers of the tests for middle school teaching—including experienced teachers seeking federal “highly qualified” status—“much more” strongly resembled elementary school teachers in their weaker academic qualifications.
Gitomer, D. (2007). Teacher quality in a changing policy landscape. Princeton, NJ: ETS.

Reports Renew Debate Over Alternative Preparation
Only half the teachers in high-needs schools trained via alternative routes said they were prepared for the first year of teaching, according to survey findings. Only half the teachers in high-needs schools trained via such routes said they were prepared for the first year of teaching, compared with 80 % of teachers prepared in traditional programs, according to survey findings in the report released last week.
In addition, 54 % of teachers prepared in alternative programs said they could have used more time working with a classroom teacher during the preservice period, and 16 % say they spent no time with a teacher before their first jobs.
Public Agenda and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. (2007). Lessons Learned: New Teachers Talk About Their Jobs, Challenges and Long-Range Plans. New York: Author.

Two organizations slammed a majority of the 49 programs surveyed as providing “woefully inadequate training and support” to their candidates.
Walsh, K., & Jacobs, S. (2007). Alternative certification isn't alternative. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. (2007).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Startling evidence for the power of reading

A review of PISA 2000 testing: Startling evidence for the power of reading (and of course libraries)

Brozo, W., Shiel, G. and Topping, K. 2007. Engagement in reading: Lessons learned from three PISA countries. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 51 (4): 304-315.

The PISA is a reading test given to 15 year olds in 31 countries, in the language of the country. The mean score is 500. Finland was number one, at 546. USA was 504, in the middle.

Here is the finding of greatest importance to us, in my opinion: Reading engagement can help overcome the effects of poverty. “Engagement in reading” was a stronger predictor of reading performance than SES (socio-economic status, or poverty). The data is in: Kirsh, I., de Jong, J., Lafontaine, D., McQueen, J., Mendelovitz, J and Monseur, C. 2002. Reading for Change: Performance and Engagement across Countries. Results from PISA 2000. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on pages 119 and 120. Here is an example –

SES defined here as parents’ occupational status.
Low SES group with the highest reading engagement scored 540. High SES group with the lowest reading engagement scored 491. The low SES readers did better than the high SES non-readers.
Kirsch et al also report that:
All students who were “highly engaged” in reading did better than the international mean. All students not highly engaged did worse than the international mean.

The Brozo, Shiel and Topping paper gives specific details about the US, Ireland, and the UK. They conclude that “there needs to be an increase in time allocated to personalized reading” (p. 311), especially for those in poverty. There is only one (very brief) mention of the importance of school libraries (p. 314).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

High school /college courses study

Students who take college courses while in high school are more likely their their peers to succeed in college. The sources more benefit males, students from low-income families and academic strugglers. Duel-enrollment programs, allowing students to take college courses for both HS and college credit, have become more popular.
Community College Resource Center. (2007). Postsecondary achievement of participants in duel enrollment. New York: Author.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Teen communication study

Teens still value face-to-face communication
Despite the popularity of social-networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, 31% of teens say they have actual face time with friends every day. Nearly 40 percent of teens say they talk to friends on a traditional wired phone every day, and 35 percent say they do so on cell phones. Fewer teens say they communicate daily using IMing or other social-networking sites.
Pew Internet and American Life Project. (2007). Teens and social media. Washington, DC: Author.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

math studies

U.S. Middle-Grades Teachers Found Ill-Prepared in Math
Aspiring middle school teachers in the United States take fewer math courses and are less knowledgeable in the subject than their counterparts in South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries. That gap in teacher preparation, coupled with curricular differences, could help explain achievement disparities between American students and their peers in other industrialized nations. The teacher-candidates from the United States and Mexico also reported that their undergraduate programs covered less content in advanced math, analysis, and algebra than the other countries’. The American teacher-candidates were also less equipped for the practical aspects of teaching math to middle school students than their counterparts in all but Germany.
Moreover, teachers who pursue certification specific to middle school education, as opposed to elementary or secondary programs, are the least primed of all.
Schmidt, W. (2007). Mathematics teaching in the 21st century. East Lansing: Michigan State University.

Math and science learning linked
Another international study looks in part at the intersection between math achievement and science learning, which experts say suggests the broader importance of good math instruction.
American Institutes for Research. (2007). Lessons learned from U.S. international science performance. Washington, DC: Author.

Math teaching training needed
In its preliminary recommendations, the National Mathematics Avisory Panel highlighted the need for “systematically improving teacher-preparation programs, as well as professional-development strategies for teachers already in the field.”
National Mathematics Advisory Panel. (2007). Preliminary report. Washington, DC: Author.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Library youth programs study

This ILMS-sponsored study focuses on understanding informal learning.
"Young people respond to appropriate structure, positive relationships,
and a sense of accomplishment - and they need more than schools alone
can offer. Libraries and museums help fill the gaps through
complementary leadership, rich resources, and effective programs."
Museums and libraries bring unique assets to youth development,
according to the study. They include dedicated, knowledgeable staff;
authentic objects, artifacts, and information resources; opportunities
for personalized, hands-on learning; support for cognitive and social
development; and experiences to help parents, families, and caregivers
make learning fun and rewarding. According to the study, the most
effective youth programs:
*include long-term, trusting, supportive relationships between and among youth,
staff, and other adults;
*partner with community-based organizations and other cultural institutions;
*substantively involve youth in program design and decision making; and,
*regularly assess or evaluate, using what's learned to improve the program and
strengthen other youth development efforts
Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2007). Engaging America's Youth:
Final Report of a Study of IMLS Youth Programs, 1998-2003. Washington, DC: Author.

Reading and drop-outs study

For every 100 ninth-graders, 68 graduate on time, and 40 of those go to college. But by the following year, 13 of them have dropped out. To a large extent, these behaviors are correlated to reading habits.
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. (2004). Educational pipeline loss rate. San Jose, CA: Author.

(Note: older study but still relevant...)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Summer reading study

Students from lower SES families progress in reading competence about the same as advantaged students during the school year, but fall behind during the summer. This gap grows over the elementary school years, and may limit their later educational opportunities.
Alexander, K., Entwisle, D., & Olson, L. (2007, April). Lasting consequences of the summer learning gap. American Sociology Review.

Children's Internet home use study

The vast majority of parents talk with their children about online safety and ethics, but far fewer parents explain how to critical evaluate information. Parents are less likely to talk with Children ages 6-10 about online issues.
Cable in the Classroom. (2007). Media smart parents. Washington, CD: Author.

Book banning support study

Since 1999, support for the idea of banning books from public school libraries has declined from 5% to 46%, the lowest level of support of the past 20 years.
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. (22). Trends in political values and core attitudes, 1987-2007. Washington, DC: Author.

Teen drug use study

U.S. teens less involved overall with illicit drugs
U.S. teenagers are less likely to use drugs than a decade ago, but ecstasy and prescription-drug abuse are still at worrying levels. "The cumulative declines since recent peak levels of drug involvement in the mid-1990s are quite substantial, especially among the youngest students."
U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2007). Monitoring the future. Washington, DC:
U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse
Beginning teachers have better academic credentials than their predecessors did a decade ago, suggesting that tougher requirements at all levels — from the federal government to the local teacher's college — have forced teachers' colleges to improve offerings while luring more qualified candidates into teaching. The gains hold across gender, racial and ethnic lines.
Educational Testing Service. (2007). Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape: Improvements in the Teacher Pool. Princeton, NJ: ETS.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Student achievement studies

Children left behind before school starts
Four major factors driving students' standardized test performance aren't even within schools' control, according to a new study. Simply by knowing the percentage of students who were often absent, raised by a single parent, not read to daily or watched five or more hours of TV daily, researchers were able to predict each state's results on a federal test with "impressive accuracy." The states that scored lowest tended to be those that had the highest percentages of children who met each of the four criteria.
Educational Testing Service. (2007). The Family: America's Smallest School. Princeton, NJ: Author.

Poverty plays greater role in determining U.S. test scores
U.S. students' test scores are significantly more likely to be negatively affected when their parents are struggling financially compared with their peers in other countries who scored better in the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment. An estimated 18% of variation in U.S. teens' science scores was tied to the students' socioeconomic status, more than twice that of high-performing Finland and Canada.
PISA. (2007). 2006 Program for International Student Assessment. Paris: PISA.,3343,en_32252351_32236191_39718850_1_1_1_1,00.html

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Teen birth study

Teen birth rate up 3%
For the first time in 15 years, the U.S. teen birth rate is up, rising 3% from 2005 to 2006. Opponents of abstinence-only health education that doesn't include discussion of other birth control options said the findings bear out their concerns over the effectiveness of such an approach, while health officials cautioned that the statistics may only be an anomaly.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Births: Preliminary Data for 2006. Atlanta: Author.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Teacher experience study

Teacher experience tied to student success
An analysis of several studies indicates that student achievement improves when teachers are more experienced. Arming a teacher with an advanced degree, however, had a negligible effect on student achievement.
Washington State Institute for Public Policy. (2007). Basic education finance. Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

Math and science study

Several countries outperform U.S. in math, science
Teenage students in several other developed countries have a better understanding of math and science than students in the U.S., according to new results from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment, released today. "It's a sad state to be in," said Gerald F. Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association.
OECD. (2007). 2006 Program for International Student Assessment. Paris: OECD.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cyberbullying studies

Cyberbullying studies quantify growing problem
As many as one in three, or as few as one in 10, U.S. children are bullied online. About 17% of early adolescents are still victims of in-person bullying, while 64% of cybervictims were not harassed in person.
David-Ferdon, C., & Hertz, M. (2007, Dec.). Youth Violence and Electronic Media: Similar Behaviors, Different Venues? Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6). Supplement 1, A1-A4, S1-S68.

Student over-confidence study

Self-testing may offset students' overconfidence
Students who are overly confident in their learning abilities may benefit from more self-testing, say two Kent State psychologists studying metacomprehension. "Our research consistently shows that without checking, people often believe they've remembered something correctly when in fact they haven't."
Dunlosky, J., & Rawson, K. (2007). Middle School Students 'Extremely Overconfident' In Their Own Learning. Kent State University. Kent, OH: Kent State University.

International reading literacy study

U.S. ranks 14th among countries in literacy study
U.S. fourth-graders scored about the same on the Progress in International Reading Literacy test as they did in 2001. While the U.S. score, on average, remained above the international average, students in Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore, which were previously outranked by the U.S., now are the top-three scoring countries, Intl. Assn. for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. (2007). An international perspective on fostering reading development. Boston: Boston College.

Parents and teens study

Role that parents play in teens' development
An ongoing study from researchers at the University of Oklahoma is exploring which parenting techniques may result in well-adjusted teens and which may lead to risky teen behaviors. "We can say it over and over that one person can make a difference in the life of a child, but now we can provide it with numbers," said Anne Roberts, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy's executive director. "We're trying to determine if the protective factors in their lives as kids carry through to help them as adults."
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. (2007). Youth asset study. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.

Latino ELL study

English fluency rises dramatically in second-generation Hispanics
Although foreign-born Hispanics may struggle to speak English well, 88% of their children are fluent and 94% of subsequent generations speak English fluently while losing most of their Spanish, according to a four-year series of surveys of more than 14,000 adult Hispanics in the U.S.
Pew Hispanic Center. (2007). English Usage Among Hispanics in the United States. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Teacher professional development studies

A shift to greater school-level control of teacher professional development may be responsible for "perceptual discrepancies" over who is primarily responsible for organizing teachers’ learning activities, according to a survey of 1400 teachers, principals, and district superintendents. Principals and teachers in larger schools tended to have the greatest sense of school-level influence over professional development; however, in low-income schools, district administrators were perceived to have more authority. Districts were seen as the main source of financial support for teacher professional development, but the findings "also suggest a fair amount of discretionary authority at the school level to select and purchase materials and services specific to their needs."
PBS Teacher Line/Hezel Associates.(2007). The PBS TeacherLine National Survey of Teacher Professional Development. Syracuse, NY: Hezel Associates.

A good research roundup on this topic is available at:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Drug use study

About 80 percent of teenagers in high school have witnessed drug dealing and drug use, and 31 percent of high school students and 9 percent of middle school students see such activity at least once a week, says a report from Columbia University. Twenty-four percent of teenagers surveyed said they view drugs as the primary problem for them and their peers, the report says, while only 11 percent of parents deemed drugs the primary concern. Forty-five percent of parents said that the primary problem for teenagers is social pressure. The annual report includes survey results from more than 1000 young people ages 12 to 17, and from 550 parents.
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. (2007). The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XII: Teens and Parents. New York: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Online learning study

K12 Online learning grows
More than 40 states have official K-12 online-learning programs, and in almost half those programs student enrollments are growing at a rate of 25 percent annually, says a study by a team of educational institutions. The report also says that 59 percent of online-learning programs operate in most of the school districts within a state. The data for the report are based on 82 Web surveys completed by the members of various online-learning programs and on interviews with state education agencies.
Evergreen consulting Associates. (2007). Keeping pace with K-12 online learning. Vienna, VA: North American Council for Online Learning.

Teacher preference study

Parents consider more than test scores when requesting teachers
Parents are more concerned about teachers' abilities to meet students needs than to raise test scores, according to a new study. The study examined a U.S. school district where parents are allowed to request certain teachers. In more the half those requests, parents asked for teachers with high "satisfaction" ratings rather than teachers with high achievement ratings. "What parents want schools to produce is much broader than test score gains."
Jacob, B., & Lefgren, L. (2007). What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(4), 1603-1637.

Reading study

Oral reading tests may result in inappropriate placements
Oral reading tests fail to distinguish children who have trouble understanding words from those with language-based disorders, according to a new study by German and Newman. The use of such screening tests can result in students being inappropriately placed or delay treatment for learning disorders, researchers say. The study suggests the use of silent reading tests and limited use of oral screenings.
German, D., & Newman, R. (2007, Nov.). Reading Psychology.

Library database licencing study

Survey of library database licensing practices
This 100-page study presents data from 90 libraries—corporate, public, law, academic, state, and nonprofit—about their database licensing practices. Some of the findings are: The mean number of independent licenses for electronic content held by the libraries in the sample tripled from 2000 to 2007; consortium purchases accounted for a mean of 30%; and participants reported spending an average of $7,300 on dues and fees to consortia.
Primary Research Group. (2007). The Survey of Library Database Licensing Practices. New York: Primary Research Group.

Internet use study

Internet could max out in two years
Consumer and corporate use of the internet could overload the current capacity and lead to brown-outs by 2010 unless backbone providers invest up to $137 billion in new infrastructure—more than double what service providers plan to invest. The study suggests that demand for web applications such as streaming and interactive video, peer-to-peer file transfers, and music downloads will accelerate, creating a huge demand for more capacity.
Nemestes Research. (2007).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Online learning study

Reports reveal online learning's successes, needs
Online learning continues to grow at a rapid pace, with 30 states--six more
than last year--now offering state-led programs or initiatives, according to
the latest report from the North American Council for Online Learning
(NACOL). But the group warns that more oversight of online learning programs
is needed if this growth is to continue, and it urges administrators to make
sure their online courses are equally accessible to all students.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

IMLS report

IMLS publishes FY06 state library report
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has issued its first library statistics report on state library agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for state fiscal year 2006. The includes a wide array of information on topics such as libraries’ internet access, services, collections, staff, and revenue, and is used by state and federal policymakers, researchers, and others.
Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2007). State Library Agencies: Fiscal Year 2006. Washington, DC: IMLS.

Body image study

Primary school pupils should be taught how the media use airbrushing to manipulate pictures of women, according to a report revealing that girls as young as seven are worried about their bodies,linking appearance to happiness and self-esteem.
Even at seven, they believe girls who are slim and pretty are more likely to be happy, well-liked, friendly and clever, while those who are overweight or less attractive are more likely to be unhappy, lonely or victims of bullying. Negative comments and teasing by family members about appearance and weight are one of the most damaging influences on girls' self-image, according to the research, which calls on parents and others not to criticise looks and to offer reassurance instead.
Girl Guiding UK. (2007). Girls shout out! Under ten and under pressure. London: Girl Guiding UK.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Urban schools study

Scores on Urban NAEP Inch Up
Students in large urban districts made progress in reading and mathematics, with the strongest gains coming in math and from low-performing youths, in keeping with recent trends.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2007). Trial Urban District Assessment. Washington, DC: Author.

ELL study

Strong English Seen as Key to Immigrants' School Success
English proficiency is the biggest predictor of the academic achievement of immigrant students. The study also found that how well students learn English is also very strongly correlated with the quality of schools they attend. Other predictive factors influencing students’ level of English included:
• School’s percentage of students at (or above) proficiency on the state English/language arts exam
• Parents’ English proficiency
• Parental literacy
• English use in informal settings
• Prior schooling
• School’s average attendance rate
• Time in the United States
Suárez-Orozco, C. & M. (2008). Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Monday, November 19, 2007

School violence study

Report: Schools underreporting violence
Widespread underreporting of violent incidents is undermining the NCLB provision to identify "persistently dangerous schools," according to an audit by the U.S. Education Department's inspector general. Only 46 U.S. schools carried this designation in the past school year.

Reading study

Americans appear to be reading less for fun, and as that
happens, their reading test scores are declining. At
the same time, performance in other academic
disciplines like math and science is dipping for
students whose access to books is limited, and
employers are rating workers deficient in basic
writing skills. These findings are based on
an analysis of data from about two dozen studies from
the federal Education and Labor Departments and the
Census Bureau as well as other academic, foundation
and business surveys.
National Endowment for the Arts. (2007). To read or not to read. Washington, DC: NEA.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cheating study

Study: High moral aspirations may lead some to rationalize cheating
People who describe themselves as "honest" or "caring" may be more likely to cheat on tests or in the workplace, according to a new study published in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology. "When faced with a moral decision, those with a strong moral identity" are more likely to rationalize cheating as a means for them to achieve their ultimate altruistic goals, said researcher Scott Reynolds.
Reynolds, S., & Ceranic, T. (2007). Journal of Applied Psychology.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)issued its first library statistics report on state library agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for state fiscal year (FY) 2006. The State Library Agency Report for FY 2006 includes a wide array of information on topics such as libraries' Internet access, services, collections, staff, and revenue, and is used by state and federal
policymakers, researchers, and others. The report covers seven main topics:

1. Governance, Allied Operations, Electronic Services, and Internet
Access-describes the organizational location of state library agencies
within state governments, related operations that are usually beyond the
scope of state library agencies, and statewide electronic services,
information, and networks.
2. Services to Libraries and Cooperatives-identifies activities and
programs that support public, academic, school, and special libraries,
and library cooperatives.
3. Outlets and User Groups, Public Service Hours, and
Collections-describes the availability of state library locations and
bookmobiles to provide services to the public or specific
constituencies, public service hours during a typical week, and state
library holdings of materials in various formats.
4. Service Transactions-characterizes library use, such as
circulation and reference transactions.
5. Staff-reviews functions performed by employees of state library
6. Revenue-identifies various sources of income.
7. Expenditures-describe how state library funds are spent.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reading studies

Stephen Krashen contribution (email sent to CALIBK12):

Direct Instruction and Heavy Phonics: No "Lasting
Benefits" for Struggling Readers
Sent to the Providence (RI) journal, November 15, 2007

Seven schools in Providence are doing “direct
instruction,� a phonics-heavy program, because of
the results of a study done in 1977, showing that
direct instruction produced “lasting benefits.�
(“Some schools turn to direct instruction to master
basics,� November 14.)

I suggest that Providence administrators take another
look at those “lasting benefits.� Direct
instruction children did better on “word reading�
in grades 5 and 6, but did very poorly (15th and 16th
percentile) on tests of reading comprehension. In
other words, they were able to read words aloud that
were presented on a list, but had serious problems on
tests in which they had to understand what they read.
This is identical to the pattern California State
University researcher Elaine Garan found for more
recent studies.

Some basic phonics instruction is helpful for
beginning readers, but the groups that lag behind in
reading, the “struggling readers,� are those that
are read to least and have the least access to books,
not those who get the least phonics instruction.

Stephen Krashen

Becker, W. and Gersten, R. 1982. Follow-up of
Follow-Through: The later effects of the direct
instruction model on children in fifth and sixth
grades. American Educational Research Journal 19 (1):

Garan, E. 2001. Beyond the smoke and mirrors: A
critique of the National Reading Panel Report on
phonics. Phi Delta Kappan, 82: 500-506.

Krashen, S. 2004. The Power of Reading. Portsmouth:
Heinemann and Westport: Libraries Unlimited.

Some schools turn to direct instruction to master
November 14, 2007

Latinas article

Adult and youth services must work together to help this at-risk population.
A fine article in Library Journal points out several statistics and study findings about the obstacles facing Latina teens. For instance, that population is most likely to attempt suicide, is over-represented in being at risk for HIV/AIDS while having less health coverage, and more likely to drop out of school. Librarians need to address their needs.
Dempsey, B. (2007, Nov. 15). Latinas in need. Library Journal

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Public libraries study

Public Libraries in the United States: FY2005
The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics released a report that includes national and state summary data on public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report, based on data from the Public Libraries Survey for fiscal year 2005, includes information on population of legal service area, service outlets, library collections and services, full-time equivalent staff, and operating revenue and expenditures.
U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics. (2007). Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2005. Washington, DC: U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics.

Librarianship research agenda report

Research agenda for scholarly communication
A new report by ACRL explores the gaps in librarians' understanding of the ways that scholars create and share new knowledge. “Establishing a Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication: A Call for Community Engagement” encourages academics, librarians, and their key partners to gather more data on practices that both enable and inhibit the production of scholarship and its communication. The document is available online for public comment.

At-risk school study

School leaders must link arms to create a different model for turning around the worst-performing schools, including a "protected space" free from many traditional rules. The report envisions a broad-based and highly cooperative system of rapid school improvement. States and districts would form small, specialized units to supervise and coordinate the work of locally based “lead” turnaround specialists, who would partner with a range of providers to supply an integrated array of services to schools.
Mass Insight Education and Research Institute. (2007). The turnaround challenge. Boston: Mass Insight Education and Research Institute.

International math and science study

Students in the highest-performing U.S. states rank well below their peers in the world's top-achieving countries in mathematics and science skill, according to a new study that compares the performance of 8th graders. The analysis found that, on the one hand, most American states are performing as well as, or better than, most foreign nations in the study in math and science. But it also concludes that even students in high-performing states do not match students in top-performing foreign countries.
Phillips, G. (2007). Chance Favors the Prepared Mind: Mathematics and Science Indicators for Comparing States and Nations. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Math studies

High school math key to success in sciences
Students who took more math in high school did better in all types of college science, while students who took high school science courses such as chemistry or physics, only improved college performance in those specific subject areas, according to a recent study of 8474 students.
Sadler, P., & Tai, R. (2007, July). TRANSITIONS: The Two High-School Pillars Supporting College Science. Science 27(317), 457-458.

Most parents don't see need for advanced math, science
While educators, lawmakers and business leaders are increasingly eager to improve math and science classes, 70% of parents are satisfied with the status quo.
Public Agenda. (2007). Important, but not for me. New York: Public Agenda.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Laptop study

Mid-year laptop study

Friday, November 9, 2007

Faculty eBook survey

Faculty Attitude about Ebooks
Faculty members expressed an increasing preference for online resources but a somewhat lukewarm response to ebooks. Among the survey's notable findings: fully half of faculty said they now prefer to use online resources, while just 18 percent said they prefer print. Some 89 percent of respondents use "educational, government and professional" web sites for research, class preparation, or instruction, followed closely by e-journals (86 percent). Ebooks rank "down with personal and corporate web sites," with approximately 54 % citing their use. This corresponds with ebrary's librarian survey, where 59 % of librarians said ebook usage was "fair to poor."

The survey suggests a combination of factors conspire to slow the uptake of ebooks, including ease of use, instruction, and the quality of ebook collections. The bright spot, however, is that once users receive some instruction and become familiar with ebooks, they then prefer them, citing features like 24/7 accessibility, currency, and tools like keyword searching. Another significant reason for low usage is that ebooks have simply not yet hit critical mass at many institutions.
Global Faculty eBook Survey. (2007). Palo Alto, CA:ebrary

Thursday, November 8, 2007

California drop-out study

California dropout spike coincided with onset of exit exams
In the first year that California high school students were required to pass exit exams, some 24,000 seniors dropped out, according to a report presented to the state's board of education. The report recommended California consider alternative means for seniors to prove their proficiency.
Human Resources Research Organization. (2007). Independent evaluation of the California high school exit examination. Alexandria, VA: Human Resources Research Organization.

Sex education study

Study: Abstinence programs have little effect on teen behavior
Comprehensive sex education does more to delay and reduce teen sex than abstinence-only programs, according to a new study by the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners," the study concludes.
Kirby, D. (2007). Emerging answers 2007. Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Teacher study

Teachers Seen as Making Difference in World's Top Schools
The world’s top-performing school systems and those coming up fast have a lesson to teach the others: Put high-quality teaching for every child at the heart of school improvement. School system success hinges on getting the right people to become teachers, helping them learn to teach, and crafting a system that ensures every child will get access to the teaching he needs. Neither resources nor ambitious reforms have been the answer to the need for school improvement. Top-performing systems are typically both restrictive and selective about who is able to train as a teacher, recruiting their teachers from the top third of each group leaving secondary school. Teachers are offered good starting compensation, usually on a par with other college graduates, but the status of the profession is at least equally important in maintaining quality. Once the right people are secured, the top-performing systems help them become first-class teachers by enabling them to learn from each other, widespread coaching of their practice in the classroom, and developing strong school leaders skilled in instruction. Some high-performing systems, the report notes, focus greatly expanded resources on teachers’ first year.
Barber, M., & Mourshed, M.(2007). How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top. New York: McKinsey.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Math study

Study: Gesturing may prime children's brains to learn math
Students told to gesture are four times more likely to correctly express new ways to solve a math problem, according to a study of third- and fourth-graders by researchers at the University of Chicago. Children told to gesture who then received a lesson were able to solve 1.5 times more problems correctly than those told not to gesture.
Broaders, S., et al. (2007). Making Children Gesture Brings Out Implicit Knowledge and Leads to Learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136(4).

Educational trends study

Doing the Right Things Right
Although we acknowledge that change is a constant, few of us have systematically mapped out its impact. Colleagues at the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, working with the Institute for the Future, have devised a complex map of the external forces affecting education from 2006 to 2016. More than 40 trends are identified, including increased diversity and urbanization, personalized learning plans, and fragmenting preferences.
Green Schools: Thinking Outside the Schoolroom Box. (2007, Nov.). Education Update, 49(11).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Exercise and academics study

Exercise improves decision-making, possibly math skills
Daily exercise for three months can improve the brain function of overweight children, according to a new study of 200 overweight, inactive 7- to 11-year-olds that was presented this week at The Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting. "We hope these findings will help persuade policymakers, schools and communities that time spent being physically active enhances, rather than detracts from learning," said the study's lead investigator, Dr. Catherine Davis.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Social networking study

Social networking and libraries
The practice of using a social network to establish and enhance relationships based on some common ground—shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic location—is as old as human societies, but social networking has flourished due to the ease of connecting on the Web. This OCLC membership report, Sharing, Privacy, and Trust in Our Networked World, explores this web of social participation and cooperation on the internet and provides insights into the values and social-networking habits of library users.
OCLC. (2007). Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World. Dublin, OH: OCLC.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Who says teens don't read?

Who says teens don't read?
Teens say they're attracted to the printed word because today's literature honestly reflects their lives.

By Erinn Hutkin, The Roanoke Times, October 23, 2007

* A poll of 1,200 12- to 18-year-olds done this year for the American Library Association found that 31 percent visit the public library more than 10 times a year, and 70 percent use their school library more than once a month.
* Of those who regularly use libraries, 78 percent indicated they borrowed books or other materials for personal use; 60 percent said they did so from school libraries.
* According to the Public Library Data Service Statistical Report, nearly 90 percent of public libraries surveyed offer young adult programs, with more than half — 51.9 percent — employing at least one full-time worker dedicated to young adult programs and services. In 1995, just 11 percent of libraries had employees dedicated to youth services.

Despite the Internet, video games and technological pastimes, teens are still reading. In fact, from 1999 to 2005, teen book sales increased 23 percent, said Albert Greco, a Fordham University marketing professor and publishing expert.

With the emergence of cable TV, children are exposed to adult topics at an earlier age. YA novel "themes and the characters are far more mature than Sweet Valley friends," Greco said. "Kids tend to grow up faster, and the publishers saw this and put the product out." "Kids want books that reflect their real lives," he said. "It's OK to write about kids who have problems."

Teens spend $170 billion annually: toward music and movies and books. Most teens spendstime on the Internet but find reading more fulfilling. And while teens have electronic options, technology can bring teens closer to books. For instance, they can order literature online. Authors now create MySpace pages for themselves and their books. Blasingame predicts the connection between the book and the game will change attitudes about reading. "I think the Internet is enhancing reading," he said.

Public Library Association. (2008). Public Library Data Services Statistical Report. Chicago: ALA

Health study

Schools improve at encouraging healthy lifestyles
U.S. schools have made progress in eliminating junk food, prohibiting tobacco use and increasing physical activity of students, but there still is room for improvement, according to a CDC report. A CDC director says school boards, families and administrators must work together to keep improving child health.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). School health policies and programs study. Atlanta: Author.

Friday, October 19, 2007

childhood aggression study

Study examines chronic aggression among children
Chronic aggressive behavior can't be unlearned, according to a new study of 35,000 Canadian children spanning more than 20 years. "It's surprising that the idea that children and adolescents learn aggression from the media is still relevant," said study leader Richard Tremblay, a University of Montreal professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and psychology. "Clearly youth were violent before television appeared."
Tremblay, R. (2007). he joint development of physical and indirect aggression: Predictors of continuity and change during childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 19 (1), 37-55.

Gaming study

Young children spending more time playing video games
Gamers are getting younger and younger, with a new report from NPD Group showing that first-, second- and third-graders are spending 75% more time playing video games than they did a year ago.
NPD Group. (2007). Amount Of Time Kids Spend Playing Video Games Is On The Rise. Pt. Washington, NY: Author.

NCLB Standards study

States lowering standards to meet NCLB goals
States that have set very low definitions of proficiency may be the only ones that meet the NCLB's requirement that all students test proficiently by 2014, some educators say. As more states realize this, some states that have set especially lofty achievement goals, such as California and South Carolina, are lowering their standards, according to a study.
Fordham Institute. (2007). The proficiency illusion. Washington, DC: Author.

Poverty, not race, not ethnicity

It’s not race, it’s not ethnicity. It’s poverty. Yes, minority students score lower on tests and do not do as well in school. But it is not because they are minorities, it is because they are poor. This was confirmed by two separate analyses in Darling-Hammond (2007), analyses that also show that teachers make a difference.

Darling-Hammond carried out two multiple regression analyses to determine which factors predict low scores on high-stakes state exams in South Carolina (percent who scored below basic) and Massachusetts. Multiple regression allows researchers to determine the impact of one predictor at a time, with the others held constant, that is, as if all the others had the same value.

In South Carolina, the strongest predictor was poverty. Other significant or near-significant predictors were the percentage of teachers with substandard teaching certificates, the percent of teachers teaching outside of their area, and teacher salary. The percentage of African-American students was not a significant predictor, nor was the student-teacher ratio.

A similar analysis in Massachusetts produced a similar result: The strongest predictor of performance on language arts and math was poverty. The percentage of minority students and percentage of English learners who were tested were not significant predictors. And once again, the teacher factors were important: As in South Carolina, teacher certification and teacher salary were either significant predictors or near-significant. School spending was also a significantly predictor, but student-teacher ratio was not. For math, the only differences were that paraprofessional qualification was a significant predictor and teacher qualification was not.

What this all means is that the reason minority children do worse in school is not because they are minority but because so many live in poverty. Darling-Hammond (2007) also provides data showing this is true, citing data showing that 73% of African-American children and 59% of Hispanic children attend schools in which more than half of the students are eligible for free or reduced-prince lunch. Only 23% of white students do. According to a Cornell University study (Lang, 2005) in 2000, 33% of African-American children and 27% of Hispanic children were living in poverty, compared to only nine percent of white children.

Not mentioned in Darling-Hammond’s analysis, however, is the fact that one aspect of poverty makes a dramatic impact on school performance, one that is relatively easy to deal with: Access to books. Poor children have far less access to books than do children in high-income families and have much less access to book at home, at school, and in their communities (Krashen, 2004). The solution, of course, is improved libraries.

The finding that the percent of English learners was not a predictor of test scores when poverty is considered might be surprising to some, but we found similar results: High SES English learners did about as well as, and in some cases better than, low SES fluent English speakers on a number of tests (Krashen and Brown, 2005). Social class (poverty) is indeed a powerful factor.

Darling-Hammond, L. 2007. The flat earth and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. Educational Researcher 36 (6): 318-334.
Krashen, S. 2004. The power of reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann and Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Krashen, S. and Brown, C.L. 2005. The ameliorating effects of high socioeconomic status: A secondary analysis. Bilingual Research Journal 29(1): 185-196.
Lang, S. 2005. Working mothers, and particularly single mothers with jobs, are helping reduce U.S. child-poverty rate, Cornell study finds. Chronicleonline.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Copyright use study

Fair use confusion threatens media literacy
In too many classrooms across the country, sweaty palms and the fears associated with a call to the principal’s office aren’t just student afflictions: Educators, especially those who teach media literacy, are experiencing a collective anxiety about what is legal and what is not when using digital images and recordings in their lessons, according to a new report (PDF file) by the American University Center for Social Media. The educational goals of cultivating critical thinking and communication skills are compromised by unnecessary restrictions and a lack of understanding about copyright law.
American University Center for Social Media. (2007). The cost of copyright confusion for media literacy. Washington, DC: Author.

Teen telecommunications study

Teens and online stranger contact
A new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggests that 32% of teens who go online have been contacted by someone with no connection to them or their friends, and 7% say they have felt scared or uncomfortable as a result of contact by an online stranger. Several behaviors are associated with high levels of online stranger contact, including social networking profile ownership, posting photos online, and using social networking sites to flirt.
Pew Internet and American Life Project. (2007). Teens and online stranger contact. Washington, DC: Author.

21st century skills study

Two-thirds of U.S. voters say 3R's no longer sufficient
Some 66% of U.S. voters say students need more than just reading, writing and arithmetic, and about 88% believe students are ill-equipped in critical-thinking, problem-solving and communication skills, according to poll results released by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. "Voters generally are not happy with the direction our schools are headed with respect to ensuring we have the skills to compete," the report's authors said.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Drug education study

Study: Peer-based anti-drug programs more effective
High-risk teens are about 15% less likely to use drugs when they participate in peer-led substance abuse prevention programs than in a similar educator-led class, according a study by researchers at the University of Southern California. "Generally, our study emphasizes the power of peers," said Thomas Valente, a USC assistant professor of preventive medicine. "We found that social network-tailored prevention curricula can be very successful in achieving long-term behavioral changes in teenagers."
Valente, T. (2007). Peer acceleration: effects of a social network tailored substance abuse prevention program among high-risk adolescents. Addiction,102(11),1804-1815.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Parents and performance study

Study: Parents make the difference in performance
Poor students who attend private and parochial schools scored about the same as their peers at urban public schools, according to a study released today. This study suggests that parental participation and other family characteristics account for differences in performance among poor students.
Wenglinsky, H. (2007). Are Private High Schools Better Academically Than Public High Schools? Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy.

Sleep study

Studies link sleep deficits, student performance
Sleep-deprived students fare far worse academically and emotionally than students who get adequate sleep. MRI scans show that a lack of sleep inhibits the body's ability to refuel itself. Some districts have tried to encourage students to get more sleep by starting school later in the morning.
Bronson, P. (2007, Oct. 15). Snooze or lose. New York Magazine

Information Literacy Testing study

Feds tout computerized tests for 21st-century skills
A federal report funded by the National Center for Education Statistics says computer-based testing holds promise for measuring higher-order thinking skills that cannot be measured easily via traditional pencil-and-paper exams—a finding that is sure to resonate with advocates of teaching 21st-century skills in classrooms. The report is based on a study of how more than 2,000 8th-grade students from U.S. public schools performed in one of two computer-based testing scenarios administered in 2003: a search scenario and a simulation scenario

Bennett, R. (2007) Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments: A Report From the NAEP Technology-Based Assessment Project. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reading reward study

"This is a remarkable study that presents evidence
against the use of rewards. Subjects were third
graders, classified as “average” readers. All children
were asked to read about 250 words of a storybook,
written one year below their reading level, and were
told that the experimenter wanted their opinion of the
book (design similar to McLoyd, 1979). The
experimenter told them a little about the available
books and the students choose what they wanted to
After the reading, the experimenter told the child
that they had some free time and could stay in the
same room for a few minutes. The available activities
were reading more, doing a math game, or a jigsaw
The basic conditions were: children were offered a
reward of a book for doing the activity, a “token”
(e.g. friendship bracelet, Nerf ball, key chain, Pez
dispenser), or no reward. (I am simplifying a bit;
Some children were given a choice of what book or
token, some not. This had no effect on the results. I
present here the results only for groups given a
The investigator observed their behavior for these few
minutes and noted whether the children selected
reading or a token as their first choice, how many
minutes they spent reading (some children who selected
a token at first did some reading later) and how many
words they read.
The results: Children given a reward of a book or no
reward overwhelmingly choose a book as their first
activity (13/15 of the book group, 11/15 of the no
reward group). Only two out of 15 of token-reward
group choose a book.
Those in the book-reward and no reward groups also
spent much more time reading, and read far more words.
An important point is that all the children liked to
read: At the end of the study all children were asked,
"If your best friend asked you what was the best or
most fun thing to do in this room, what would you tell
them?" All participants agreed that reading was the
“most fun” activity in the room.
Using books as a reward did no harm: Apparently,
using books sends the message that reading is a
worthwhile thing to do. But using tokens as rewards
had a profoundly negative effect. These results agree
with those of McLoyd (1979)."

Barbara Ann Marinak, 2004, dissertation, University of

McLoyd, V. (1979). The effects of extrinsic rewards of
differential value on high and low
intrinsic interest. Child Development, 50, 636-644.


Peer tutoring study

Peer Tutoring Gets a Push

Family dynamics, not biology, are behind the IQ gap between firstborns and their younger siblings, according to a study published by two Norwegian scientists. This study has implications for educators because it proposes that firstborns spend more time engaged in peer tutoring with their younger siblings and that these teaching opportunities help solidify and extend the older siblings' own knowledge. Researchers also determined that second-born men with an older sibling who died in childhood had IQ scores that were nearly as high, on average, as those of firstborn children.

Bjerkedal, T., et al. (2007). Intelligence test scores and birth order among young Norwegian men (conscripts) analyzed within and between families. Intelligence, 35(5), 503-514.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Preschool teachers and reading study

Study: Preschool teachers benefit from mentorship, data
Knowing more about their students' pre-reading skills helps teachers even if they haven't received formal education training, according to a University of Texas study of 158 preschools in four states. Mentor programs and a handheld computer that provided feedback greatly improved students' learning, regardless of whether a preschool teacher was certified or formally trained.

Landry, S. (2007). Let's Begin with the Letter People; Doors to Discovery. Houston: University of Texas Health Science Center.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

rewards and reading

Some evidence that rewarding children for reading can inhibit reading.

Barbara Ann Marinak, 2004, dissertation, University of Maryland

This is a remarkable study that presents evidence against the use of rewards. Subjects were third graders, classified as “average” readers. All children were asked to read about 250 words of a storybook, written one year below their reading level, and were told that the experimenter wanted their opinion of the book (design similar to McLoyd, 1979). The experimenter told them a little about the available books and the students choose what they wanted to read.

After the reading, the experimenter told the child that they had some free time and could stay in the same room for a few minutes. The available activities were reading more, doing a math game, or a jigsaw puzzle.

The basic conditions were: children were offered a reward of a book for doing the activity, a “token” (e.g. friendship bracelet, Nerf ball, key chain, Pez dispenser), or no reward. (I am simplifying a bit; Some children were given a choice of what book or token, some not. This had no effect on the results. I present here the results only for groups given a choice.)

The investigator observed their behavior for these few minutes and noted whether the children selected reading or a token as their first choice, how many minutes they spent reading (some children who selected a token at first did some reading later) and how many words they read.

The results: Children given a reward of a book or no reward overwhelmingly choose a book as their first activity (13/15 of the book group, 11/15 of the no reward group). Only two out of 15 of token-reward group choose a book. Those in the book-reward and no reward groups also spent much more time reading, and read far more words.

An important point is that all the children liked to read: At the end of the study all children were asked, "If your best friend asked you what was the best or most fun thing to do in this room, what would you tell them?" All participants agreed that reading was the “most fun” activity in the room.

Using books as a reward did no harm: Apparently, using books sends the message that reading is a worthwhile thing to do. But using tokens as rewards had a profoundly negative effect. These results agree with those of McLoyd (1979).

McLoyd, V. (1979). The effects of extrinsic rewards of differential value on high and low intrinsic interest. Child Development, 50, 636-644.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Arts study

California failing in the arts, survey shows
Researchers say California's schools need to rethink how they teach the arts because 89% failed to meet prescribed state standards for arts education, according to a survey of 1123 schools. Those standards were adopted six years ago, but the survey shows solid arts programs are more likely in wealthy districts and that enrollment, along with funding, has dwindled.
Contra Costa Times (3/2)

Black students study

Black students take harder classes
More than 50% of black graduates in 2005 took high school courses of at least "mid-level" difficulty, catching up for the first time to their white counterparts.The gap was 11 percentage points as recently as 1994.
U. S. Dept. of Education. (2007).
National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: Author.

Charter schools study

Report: Charters improve more rapidly but still trail in achievement
California charter schools may be improving at a faster pace than traditional public schools, but they continue to trail regular public schools in academic achievement and ELL programs, according to a new University of Southern California report. The report aimed to gauge "academic momentum" and "school productivity," not just test scores.
Los Angeles Times (5/4)

Internet use study

Fully 85% of American adults use the internet or cell phones - and most
use both. Many also have broadband connections, digital cameras and
video game systems. Yet the proportion of adults who exploit the
connectivity, the capacity for self expression, and the interactivity of
modern information technology is a modest 8%. Half of adults have a more distant or non-existent relationship to modern information technology. Some of this diffidence is driven by people's concerns about information overload; some is related to people's sense that their gadgets have more capacity than users can master; some is connected to people's sense that things like blogging and creating home-brew videos for YouTube is not for them; and some is
rooted in people's inability to afford or their unwillingness to buy the gear that would bring them into the digital age. The typology categorizes Americans based on the amount of ICTs they possess, how they use them, and their attitudes about the role of ICTs are in their lives.
Ten separate groups emerge in the typology.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project. (2007). A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users. Washington, DC: Author.

California graduation study

Study: 50,000 fewer graduated after California exit exams began
California graduation rates fell significantly in 2006, with an analysis showing that around 50,000 fewer students statewide earned diplomas last year compared to previous years, just as the state began requiring exit exams, according to UCLA researcher John Rogers. State officials have taken issue with those findings, saying Rogers' analysis is based on incomplete data. San Francisco Chronicle (5/8)

Television studies

  • Infants and toddlers watching more TV
    According to research from the University of Washington, 40% of three-month old infants and 90% of 2-year-olds are watching TV on a regular basis, and there is a 24-hour network geared toward these youngsters, as well as video series like Baby Einstein providing programming.
  • Christakis, D. (2007). Early television exposure and subsequent attention problems in children. Pediatrics, 113(4), 708-713.
  • Study: Too much TV leads to attention, learning problems: Teens who watch TV three or more hours daily are at higher risk for attention and learning disorders, new research suggests. Forbes/HealthDay News (5/7)

Self-efficacy study

Students Learn to Thrive by Not Being Bystanders
According to a recent study, a kid's academic success may depend on whether he believes in his own ability to grow smarter.
A federal program designed to give preschoolers a boost in early reading got a mixed report card.The Early Reading First Program has had a positive effect on children's print and letter knowledge. But the study also found the program has had no impact on phonological awareness, which includes rhyming, or oral language, which includes vocabulary development. The program has led to more professional development for teachers, according to the study.
Carlisle, J., & Zeng, J. (2006, July) Is Reading First an Effective Intervention Over Time for Students At-Risk for Reading Difficulties? Annual Conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Vancouver, BC.

Graduation study

As college's importance grows, dropouts face uncertain future
Those without high school diplomas face increasingly bleak prospects as some college is now necessary for most high-paying jobs, according to publication released today. Despite this, 1.23 million students will not graduate from high school this year, and nationwide, just 70% of ninth-grade students graduate in four years, a figure that is closer to 50% for black and Hispanic males.
Diplomas Count. (2007). Education Week

Habits of mind study

‘Soft Skills’ in Big Demand
Interest in teaching students habits of mind for success in life is on the rise.

Children's health study

Study: Prepare for generation of chronic illnesses
The number of children with chronic illnesses is nearly four times the rate of childhood disease when their parents were children, according to a new study. Obesity rates have nearly quadrupled in the past three decades, asthma rates have doubled and attention deficit disorder rates have risen, and public health officials should be prepared for a wave of chronically ill young adults, the researchers say.
van der Lee, J., et al. (2007). Definitions and Measurement of Chronic Health Conditions in Childhood: A Systematic Review. JAMA, 297, 2741 - 2751.

Tutoring study

Study: Tutoring paying off for some students
NCLB tutoring in reading and math is paying off in some urban schools, according to a new Rand study conducted for the U.S. Department of Education, with tutored students in five of nine large urban districts showing improvement.
Rand Corporation. (2007).
School Choice, Supplemental Educational Services, and Student Achievement. Santa Monica, CA: Author.

Social networking study

Study: MySpace, Facebook increasingly split along class lines: MySpace draws younger teens from lower-income families, while Facebook attracts more college and college-prep users, a new University of California-Berkeley report finds.

Cyberbullying and online harassment study

One-third (32%) of all teenagers who use the internet say they have been targets of a range of annoying and potentially menacing online activities - such as receiving threatening messages; having their private emails or text messages forwarded without consent; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or having rumors about them spread online.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project. (2007). Cyberbullying and Online Teens. Washington, DC: Author.
Technology Educators Decry New Digital Divide
The report "A National Consideration of Digital Equity" offered ideas for addressing the digital divide, such as using project-based learning to "explore the intellectual capacity of non-English-speaking students."

Video games study

Study: Video games cut into children's study time
When kids play video games on school days, boys spend 30% less time reading and girls spend 34% less time on their homework, compared to kids who did not play video games. Gaming did not cut into time kids spent with family and friends.
Hope M. Cummings, H., & Vandewater, E. (2007). Relation of Adolescent Video Game Play to Time Spent in Other Activities. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 161, 684 - 689.

Summer reading study

Much of Learning Gap Blamed on Summer:

Two-thirds of the reading achievement gap between 9th graders of low and high socioeconomic standing in Baltimore public schools can be traced to what they learned—or failed to learn—over their childhood summers. The study points out that various characteristics that depend heavily on reading ability—such as students’ curriculum track in high school, their risk of dropping out, and their probability of pursuing higher education and landing higher-paying jobs—all diverge widely according to socioeconomic levels.

Alexander, K., Entwisle, D., & Oslen, L. (2007). Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap. American Sociological Review, 72(2), 167-180.

News report

Young Adults Are Giving Newspapers Scant Notice
Most teenagers and adults 30 and younger are not following the news closely at all, according to a recent report.
Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. (2007). Young People and News. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Internet safety study

Report: Teach children to maximize their Internet safety
Computer networks are most secure when students are taught about cyberdangers, according to a company's School Safety Index project. Although 95% of districts filter student access, 89% place monitors in view of adults and 81% track Internet activity, just 8% of districts teach students about Internet safety, the survey found. (7/13)

Math interest study

Fathers have a major impact on the degree of interest their daughters develop in math. That's one of the findings of a long-term study that has traced the sources of the continuing gender gap in math and science performance.
Davis-Kean, P. (2007). Educating a STEM Workforce: New Strategies for U-M and the State of Michigan. Paper presented at Educating a STEM Workforce Summit, Ann Arbor, May 21.

Digital equity in education study

An examination of issues related to digital equity in education recommends the following five strategies to help make progress toward digital equity:
1. Legitimize the significant role culture plays in students' educational experience.
2. Continue to challenge perceptions about the role of technology in education.
3. Encourage others to recognize the critical link between technology, professional development and classroom practice.
4. Create opportunities for students to access technology outside the classroom.
5. Continue to seek funding for technology in spite of challenges.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). A National Consideration of Digital Equity. Salem, OR: ISTE.

Student statistics

Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment, High School Completions, and Staff From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2005-06
These are the newest numbers -- with LMT numbers now down to 1210 in CA.

Standards study

Study: Some top states set standards low
Many states that claim large shares of their students can read and do math proficiently have set less stringent standards than lower-performing states.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2007). Nation's report card. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Reading study

On the day that Harry Potter 7 was released, the Chair of the Nat'l Endowment for the Arts and Nancy Pearl discussed NEA's report on the future of reading in America on NPR.
National Education Association. (2007). Reading at Risk. Washington, DC: National Education Association.

Gaming studies

Online gaming community reaches 217 million
A global study of online gaming shows that the number of unique visitors to these sites has reached almost 217 million worldwide—a year-on-year growth of 17%. The comScore World Metrix study took into account all sites that provide online or downloadable games, excluding gambling sites. Yahoo! Games was the largest property, attracting 53 million unique visitors, with MSN Games following in second place.

Study: Teens play violent games to deal with stress, anger
A new study suggests that playing violent video games helps young people deal with their anger. The report also found that 94% of kids surveyed had played games in the prior six months, and that M-rated games were more likely to be played in groups.
Olson, C. (2007). Factors Correlated with Violent Video Game Use by Adolescent Boys and Girls
Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(1), 77-83.

Teen sexuality study

Once in decline, teen sex rates level off

A new analysis of a federal survey finds that a long decline in teen sexual activity plateaued starting in 2001. The years between 1991 and 2001 saw significant declines in the percentage of teenagers who reported ever having sex.

Ventura, S. (2007). Recent Trends in Teenage Pregnancy in the United States, 1990-2002. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Immigrants study

Study: Adult children of immigrants often lose touch with their native language
Even when children of immigrants grow up speaking their parents' language, by the time they reach adulthood, their preference is to speak English, according to recent research findings. Thirty-four percent of those individuals surveyed who grew up speaking their parents' native language at home reported still being proficient in the language as adults, according to a University of California at Irvine study of 5,700 young adults.
Rumbaut, R. (2007). The Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS-III).

NCLB studies

Study: NCLB impacting classroom focus
According to a study from the Center on Education Policy, a significant number of school districts nationwide have reduced the amount of classroom time spent on subjects that are subject to testing under No Child Left Behind. The report indicates that schools are focusing more on reading and math at the expense of social studies, science and other subjects.
Center on Education Policy. (2005). From the Capital to the Classroom: Year 3 of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Study: Scores increasing since NCLB implementation
Student scores on state math and reading tests have improved, and the achievement gap between black and white students has narrowed somewhat since 2002, the year NCLB was implemented, but it isn't possible to determine whether NCLB was responsible.
Center on Education Policy. (2007). Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind? Washington, DC: Center on Educational Policy.

Study: NCLB may not be working on the margins
Under NCLB, students in the middle have made the largest gains, while gifted students stagnate and the bottom 20% may even lose ground, according to a new University of Chicago study. Neal, D., & Schanzenbach, D. (2007). Left behind by design.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Internet studies

Survey: Parents talk about Internet behavior but not analysis
Some 85% of parents talk to their children about Internet behavior, according to a new survey of 2,030 adults. Far fewer, however, discuss how to determine the validity and potential bias of information found online.
eSchool News (10/1)

Broadband connection study:
Nearly half (47%) of all adult Americans now have a high-speed internet connection at home. Among individuals who use the Internet at home, 70% have a high-speed connection while 23% use dialup. The 12% growth rate from 2006 to 2007 represents trails the 40% increase in the 2005 to 2006 timeframe, when many people in the middle-income and older age groups acquired home broadband connections.
Pew Internet & American Life Project. (2007). Broadband
Adoption 2007 report. Washington, DC: Author.

Language study

Studies: Native languages shape toddlers' learning
Children may be shaped by their native language earlier than previously understood, and by 18 months ignore sounds irrelevant to the language spoken around them, according to a psychology study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Babies raised in bilingual environments, however, focus less on individual sounds and more on overall words, according to new University of British Columbia and Ottawa research.
Science Daily Magazine (10/2) , Science Daily Magazine (9/30)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Internet study

Survey: Parents worry about Internet use but see benefits
One in three parents believe their children are online too much, according to a new survey. Although some 80% said Internet research helped at school, a fourth worried that online time would be better spent outside.
Common Sense Media:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blogging study

Why librarians blog
In his recent Ph.D. dissertation, “Modeling the Role of Blogging in Librarianship,
Michael Stephens examines the answers to his question: “Why do you blog?” The most frequent response (40%) was “to share information or insight,” with only 16% of respondents saying they did it for fun.

Teacher salary study

U.S. teacher salaries among lowest in developed nations
Compared to the country's economy, U.S. teacher salaries are near the bottom of 30 developed countries even though primary-level teachers log on average of 1,080 hours annually compared to an average 803 in other countries, according to an international education survey. The U.S. average $40,000 annual pay for an elementary teacher with 15 years experience ranks 12th internationally, but among the lowest when compared to the U.S. gross domestic product; the same teacher would earn $88,000 in Luxembourg.
OECD. (2007). Education at a glance. Paris: OECD.,3343,en_2649_201185_39251550_1_1_1_1,00.html

Leadership study

Study: Leadership doesn't equal assertiveness
The best leaders know when to assert themselves and know when to sit back -- being perceived as too assertive or not assertive enough is one of the most common weaknesses of aspiring leaders. "Aspiring leaders who are low in assertiveness can't stand up for their interests," said Daniel Ames, a professor at Columbia Business School, and one of the lead researchers. "On the other hand, people high in assertiveness are often insufferable."
What Breaks a Leader: The Curvilinear Relation Between Assertiveness and Leadership. Ames, Daniel R.; Flynn, Francis J.; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 92(2), Feb 2007. pp. 307-324.

Leadership study

Study: Leadership doesn't equal assertiveness
The best leaders know when to assert themselves and know when to sit back -- being perceived as too assertive or not assertive enough is one of the most common weaknesses of aspiring leaders. "Aspiring leaders who are low in assertiveness can't stand up for their interests," said Daniel Ames, a professor at Columbia Business School, and one of the lead researchers. "On the other hand, people high in assertiveness are often insufferable."
What Breaks a Leader: The Curvilinear Relation Between Assertiveness and Leadership. Ames, Daniel R.; Flynn, Francis J.; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 92(2), Feb 2007. pp. 307-324.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Superintendent study

Survey: U.S. superintendents stressed but content
Some 90% of superintendents are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs and 96% believe they are effective in their positions, according to an American Association of School Administrators survey of more than 1,300 U.S. superintendents. But 59% report considerable job stress, and 43% said NCLB was very detrimental.
Education Week (9/24)