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)

Friday, September 21, 2007

School beverage study

Report: Students drink less sugary soda under new national guidelines
About 45% fewer full-calorie soft drinks were shipped to U.S. schools in the 2006-07 school year vs. 2004, following implementation of new nutritional guidelines last year, the American Beverage Association said. The average high school student drank an average 5.9 ounces of regular soda per week, compared to about 12.5 ounces in 2004.
FoodNavigator (9/20/2007)

Social networking study

It's official: Teens love MySpace and Facebook
MySpace and Facebook are favorite destinations of U.S. Internet users ages 12 to 17, according to a report by NielsenNetRatings. According to August numbers, 80% of Facebook users also logged time at MySpace.
Mediaweek (9/20/2007)

Smoking impact study

Study: Secondhand smoke harms academic performance
Teens exposed to secondhand smoke at home may be 30% less likely to pass standardized achievement tests, according to a new Temple University study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. "It's important that we help smoking parents learn how to reduce their children's exposure to secondhand smoke," said lead author Bradley Collins, an assistant professor of public health.
Science Daily Magazine (9/20/2007)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mixed grouping study

They say diversity is the spice of life—and apparently it’s also the key to greater achievement in the classroom, according to recent studies. Research conducted by professors at the University of Sussex, in London, found that children placed in mixed--ability math classes outperformed those grouped by ability.
One four-year study followed 700 U.S. teenagers in three high schools, and examined the results of different math-teaching methods. The approach that gave students a “shared responsibility for each other’s learning” saw significant improvement among both high- and low–achieving students. The mixed grouping also saw improved social skills, such as good behavior and respect among the group members.
Another Sussex study found that social class was more important than perceived ability and prior attainment, in determining a student’s ability grouping, and that working-class students are more likely to be placed in low-ability groups, than middle-class students with the same test results. This finding emphasized the necessity of mixed-learning environments, researchers said.

Jo Boaler, Marie Curie Professor of Education at Sussex,

Dr Dunne, M., et al. (2007). Teaching and learning for pupils in low attaining groups. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families.

SAT study

More top colleges skeptical of SAT writing test
A sampling of four-year colleges showed that 56% ignore the writing section of the SAT in making student admissions decisions, while others minimize its importance.
The Boston Globe (9/20)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

AASL school library survey

Survey calls for targeted school library support
The average school library today is a well-connected facility with significant numbers of computers for students and staff to do research, according to an AASL survey of school library media centers. But the survey also suggests that school district leaders need to pay more attention to their elementary school libraries and that larger schools should be spending more per pupil on their libraries than they do now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Healthy students study

Minnesota children healthiest in nation, Mississippi worst off
Minnesota children are the healthiest and best off in the country, with the state knocking New Hampshire out of the top spot in the annual Kids Count survey, conducted by Baltimore's Annie E. Casey Foundation. Mississippi ranked last overall. Overall, California ranked 19th.

Rural education study

Study: Rural students better in science, math
The one in three U.S. public schools located in rural areas boast better science and math scores than their urban counterparts, a U.S. Education Department study found. Rural educators were also more content with teaching conditions, even though their salaries were lower.
Status of Education in Rural America

Friday, September 14, 2007

College readiness study

Report: High schools inadequately prepare most students for college
Even if they earn a high school diploma, two of three graduates may be ill-prepared for college, according to industry statistics. Kim McClung, a Washington state English teacher, said too many teachers aim their class at the "lowest common denominator."
eSchool News (9/13)

Math and science study

Study: 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 improved college performance only in those specific subject areas, according to a new study of 8474 students, reported in the journal Science for July, 2007.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Teacher quality and race study

A new study out of Pittsburgh suggests that improving teacher quality across the board may be the surest way to close the racial achievement gap. The study, which looked at Pittsburgh students’ test scores over a two-year period, found that a student’s teacher was a better predictor of his or her performance than race. The scores varied widely depending on the teachers’ ranking, the study says, regardless of students’ race.
Strauss, Robert. (2007). Education Policy Research and Professional Training at SUPA and the Heinz School. Heinz School Review, 4, (1 ).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Public Library study

Study: Public library internet use flourishes, but funding lags
Ever-growing patron demand for computer and internet services in public libraries has stretched existing internet bandwidth, computer availability, and building infrastructure to capacity, according to a new study, Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2006–2007, conducted by ALA and the Information Use Management and Policy Institute at Florida State University. The study found that more than 73% of libraries are the only source of free public access to computers and the internet in their communities. Listen to an audio interview ( summarizing the survey, featuring ALA Project Manager Larra Clark and American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela Goodes.

Food and students study

Study: Serving free breakfast in class benefits poor children
More poor children would benefit if schools served free breakfast in classrooms, poverty advocates say. Just 29% of eligible New York City students ate free breakfasts in the cafeteria before class, while more than 90% of eligible students ate in Oregon and New Jersey classrooms. The New York Times (8/8)

Videos and language development study

Study: Educational videos for babies hinder language development
Rather than becoming smarter, 8-month to 16-month-old infants know six to eight fewer words for every hour spent daily watching videos like "Brainy Baby" and "Baby Einstein," according to a survey carried out by professors at the University of Washington in Seattle and published Tuesday in the Journal of Pediatrics. "...[A] parent who spends a good deal of time reading to their child but then puts them in front of baby videos ... every day, may be undoing all the benefit of their hard work," said lead study author Frederick Zimmerman.
Los Angeles Times (8/8)

Library book circulation study

Library book circulation per user has no strong, long-run trend.
From 1856 to 1978, library users borrowed from U.S. public libraries about 15 books per user per year. From 1978 to 2004, book circulation per user declined approximately 50%. The growth of audiovisuals circulation, estimated at 25% of total circulation in 2004, accounts for about half of this decline. These figures depend on estimates and disparate samples of libraries with varying circulation and user accounting methods. Nonetheless, these figures are of sufficient quality to suggest that historically established institutions significantly stabilize borrowing behavior.

Student achievement in economics study

More seniors proficient in economics than in reading, math or history
In the first NAEP test on economics, 79% of high school seniors demonstrated at least a basic understanding of key economics concepts, and 42% were at least proficient in the subject matter. Economics courses are required in about one of three states as a condition of graduation. The Washington Post (8/9)

Scheduling and learning study

Study: Young students gain little from modified schedules
Children in year-round kindergarten and first-grade may not learn more than students following traditional calendars, according to a new study by a researcher at Ohio State University, presented at a recent American Sociological Association conference. The study compared test scores of public and private elementary students with those of students attending schools with year-round schedules, meaning they spread vacations over the entire year without adding more school days.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (8/11)

Neighborhoods and student achievement study

Study: Neighborhoods may play minimal role in achievement
While inner-city neighborhoods have long been blamed for poor academic achievement, 4,248 families who were randomly issued or denied federal housing vouchers to move out of such neighborhoods showed no significant difference in children's average academic performance after seven years, according to an Education Next study . However, some critics of the findings said the new neighborhoods still may not have been good enough to have made a difference.
The Washington Post (8/14)

Printer study

Some printers pose health risks, study suggests
A study that suggests several common laser printers may emit harmful levels of toner particles is prompting educators to rethink the printer models they use in their schools.

ACT scores study

ACT scores up slightly
Only 23% of students who take the ACT show full readiness for college-level work, but average scores on the college-readiness exam have increased 0.4 points since 2003. "...[W]e do seem to be making some encouraging progress," said Richard Ferguson, ACT's chairman and CEO.
Houston Chronicle/Associated Press (8/15)

Internet user reading study

Web users read more, say less
Internet users are spending nearly half their online time reading content, a 37% increase in share of time from four years ago, according to the Online Publishers Association. According to the OPA’s Internet Activity Index, conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings, communications accounted for 46% of consumers’ time online in 2003. A dramatic shift has taken place since then, with consumers now spending 47% of their time with content, compared with 34% four years ago.
Online Publishers Association, Aug. 13

Public library YA services report

Statistical report highlights key YA data
PLA’s 2007 PLDS Statistical Report includes a special section on young adult library services. Some findings in this special section include: Young adults comprise an average of 11.28% of a public library’s service area, and about half of all libraries surveyed have at least one full-time equivalent librarian dedicated to YA services.

Drug use study

Survey: U.S. teens say school drug problems on the rise
Some 61% of high school students and 31% of middle-school students say their schools have problems with drugs, according to a Columbia University survey released today. That's up from 44% at high schools and 19% in middle schools in 2002.
MSNBC/Associated Press (8/16)

Reading Recovery study

Reading Recovery earns full What Works approval
None of the most popular reading programs on the market had sufficient scientific backing to make it into the federal What Works Clearinghouse in a two-year review of such products. Only Reading Recovery, which federal officials criticized for a lack of scientific evidence, was found to have significant research backing its effectiveness in all four tested areas.
Education Week (8/15)

Social networking study

School Boards: Net Dangers Overrated; Bring Social Networks to School
Ninety-six percent of 9- to 17-year-olds with Internet access say they use social-networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook and Webkinz, and nearly half say they discuss schoolwork. "There is no doubt that these online teen hangouts are having a huge influence on how kids today are creatively thinking and behaving," said Anne L. Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association, which released the survey. The study concludes that the Internet isn't as dangerous as people think, and teachers should let students use social networks at school. At least half the adolescents who exchange messages for hours with their friends online or by cell phone spend part of the time discussing their schoolwork.

California testing and race study

California's achievement gap skews along racial lines
Poor white California students continue to outscore middle-class blacks and Latinos on the state's latest standardized tests. "These are not just economic achievement gaps," state Superintendent Jack O'Connell said. "They are racial achievement gaps, and we cannot continue to excuse them."
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.)) and San Diego Union-Tribune (8/16)

Movies and illiteracy study

Hollywood blamed for scientific illiteracy
Two University of Central Florida professors argue that the disregard for the laws of physics evident in Hollywood films is contributing to students’ poor understanding of science. The paper, “Hollywood Blockbusters: Unlimited Fun But Limited Science Literacy” by Costas J. Efthimiou and R. A. Llewellyn, makes no effort to establish a causal link between viewing impossible physics and believing the world works the same way. Rather, it assumes exposure leads to ignorance.

Adult reading habits study

The reading habits of AmericansOne in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press–Ipsos poll released August 21. Of those who did read, women and seniors were the most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices. Excluding those who hadn’t read any, the usual number of books read was seven.
Associated Press, Aug. 21

Boys and reading study

Study: Boys respond better to female reading aides
Boys struggling to read develop better feelings about themselves as readers when working with female teachers, according to a new Canadian study of 175 urban third- and fourth-grade boys published in the May 2007 issue of Sex Roles. "The strategic hiring of male teachers as a way to address boys' poor reading scores may be naïve," said University of Alberta professor Herb Katz. ScienceDaily (8/23)

Learning study

Study: Techniques aid more efficient learningStudents can learn more efficiently when they know what they don't know, something most people don't judge very accurately. By summarizing or rereading chapters, however, students become better at evaluating their learning, according to an article published in the August issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science. ScienceDaily (8/24)

California exit exam findings

California exit exam scores still laggingFewer rising California seniors have passed the state's exit exam than in previous years as new requirements force students with disabilities to take the exams as well. Outside of students with special needs, most of the others who have not passed are black or Hispanic. Los Angeles Times (8/24)

Obesity studies

Study: Obese girls far less likely to attend collegeObese girls are half as likely to attend college as girls of normal weight, according to a new University of Texas at Austin study. In high schools where overweight girls comprised 20% of the student population, however, obese girls had normal odds of college attendance.
Crosnoe, Robert. (2007, July). Gender, Obesity, and Education. Journal of Sociology, 241-260.

Study: Overweight teens already at risk for heart disease
Overweight 8-year-olds are seven times more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and elevated blood sugar and insulin by the time they are 15, according to an Australian study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. "The consequences of childhood obesity are devastating," said lead author Dr. Sarah P. Garnett. Scientific American(9/21)

Study: U.S. adults, children are gaining weight
Some 25 million U.S. children are now obese or overweight, three times the rate in 1980, a new Trust for Americas Health study found. Adult obesity also is growing in most states, with Mississippi at the top of the list for the third consecutive year, with 30.6% adults reaching obese levels.
Scientific American/Reuters (8/27)

Study: Weight affects school attendance
Children may add twice as many pounds during summer vacation, according to a new study of kindergarteners and first-graders. And that may mean they miss more school. Obese and overweight children are more likely to be absent from school than healthy children, a study of students in Philadelphia found. The absences are probably more related to psychological and social issues than health ones, one expert says. The study found fat is a better predictor of fourth- to sixth-grade absenteeism than any other factor. The Washington Post/Associated Press (8/10) and The New York Times (8/21)

Banning cars around schools would encourage walking, reduce obesity
The Institute for European Environmental Policy blames over-use of cars for fuelling the "twin crises" of global warming and an obesity epidemic. Researchers found the amount of walking fell from two hours a week to just one when households started using a car. They say banning cars around schools would instil good habits early on and call for "concerted action". The IEEP study says that if people walked one more hour a week - the typical difference between those who own a car and those who do not - it could mean a reduction in average weight of up to two stone in a decade.

Report: Overweight children face near-universal bias
Overweight children face bias from their parents, teachers and other children as young as age 3. Even with 50% of North American children expected to be overweight by 2010, the stigma does not seem to be lessening.
Puhl, R., & Latner, J. (2007). Stigma, obesity, and the health of the nation's children. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 133(4), 557-580.

Preschool impact study

Study: British preschool enhancements may not improved skillsBritish policies to bolster preschool education have had no effect, according to a study of 35,000 children. Children enter school with no more vocabulary, counting or shape-identification skills than they did before the preschool push began six years ago, the study asserts. BBC (8/28)

Science gender study

Stereotypes still keep girls out of math, sciencesIn elementary school, 66% of girls and 68% of boys report liking science, but as they become more aware of stereotypes in later grades, twice as many boys express interest in math and science careers as do girls. Five common myths persist vis-a-vis girls' preferences and strengths when it comes to scientific subject matter, according to the National Science Foundation's Research on Gender in Science and Engineering program. MSNBC/LiveScience (8/27)

Senioritis study

Senior Year: A Teenage Wasteland? In 2001, U.S. secretary of education Richard W. Riley called the high school senior year a 'wasteland.' In 2005, researchers Martha McCarthy and George D. Kuh studied data from the national High School Survey of Student Engagement and concluded that the majority of high school students were not challenged during their senior year in reading, writing, or math. -- Teacher Magazine (

SAT figures

Class of 2007 posts lowest SAT scores in eight yearsAs record numbers of students took the college-placement exam, national average reading and math scores dropped slightly for the second year in a row. The combined math and reading scores were the lowest in eight years, the AP reports. The New York Times (8/29)

Google trust study

In Google they trustAn eye-tracking experiment at Cornell University revealed that college students have a substantial trust in Google’s ability to rank results by true relevance to the query. When participants selected a link to follow from Google’s result pages, their decisions were strongly biased towards links higher in position, even if the abstracts themselves were less relevant. While the participants reacted to artificially reduced retrieval quality by greater scrutiny, they failed to achieve the same success rate....
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 12, no. 3 (2007)

Blogging librarians survey study

Survey of the Biblioblogosphere 2007Meredith Farkas offers some findings from her recent survey of library bloggers: “33.6% of all library bloggers work in academic libraries and 29.3% are public librarians”; and “Want to be happy? Well, you may want to become a school librarian, work in a law library, or work for a consortium or library system, because those three got the highest scores for job satisfaction.”...Information Wants To Be Free blog, Aug. 25

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NCLB Studies

Report: Some failing schools taking no action
Even after failing NCLB targets for five consecutive years, at least 6% of schools have made no major changes as the law requires. A Government Accountability Office report says the Department of Education fails to monitor whether states are requiring such restructuring. Education Week (9/10)

Report: NCLB failing good students
Some 3.4 million high-achieving children from disadvantaged backgrounds are falling behind, according to a new Civic Enterprises and Jack Kent Cooke Foundation study. The foundation's executive vice president urged lawmakers to broaden NCLB so that schools teach higher achievers as intensely as those struggling for proficiency.
Education Week (9/10)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Social networking and schools studies

chool Boards: Net Dangers Overrated; Bring Social Networks to School
A National School Boards Association study concludes that the Internet isn't as dangerous as people think, and teachers should let students use social networks at school. -- (

Social Networking Can Have Educational Benefits, Survey Finds
At least half the adolescents who exchange messages for hours with their friends online or by cell phone spend part of the time discussing their schoolwork, a new study shows. -- Education Week (

Friday, September 7, 2007

Audio study

Study: Majority of MP3 users face hearing risk
A report issued by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People found that more than two-thirds of regular MP3 users risked early hearing damage. The U.K. study found that volumes of many players can easily surpass the level needed to damage hearing and have called for more stringent warning labels. BBC (9/7)

Kindergarten and boys

Study: Kindergarten teachers underestimate short boys
Kindergarten teachers tend to underestimate the intellectual skills of the shortest boys in the class, according to a study of nearly 9,000 boys published in the Journal of Educational Research. The attitude remained even after researchers accounted for poverty and age. Education Week(9/4)

Poverty study

Report: Schools can't solve poverty alone
School quality has a minimal impact on closing the achievement gap between low-income and advantaged students, according to a new report for U.K. charity Joseph Rowntree Foundation. "What this means is that if you simply looked at factors which varied from one school to another -- there would not be that much difference in educational performance. Looking at children's social background had much more of an impact," said Donald Hirsch, author of the report. BBC (9/6)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

ADHD study

Inconsistency in ADHD Treatment

Are children with mental health illnesses like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder being overtreated? No, according to a recent Washington Post article citing a mental health study that says most children who meet the criteria for ADHD do not receive medicine consistently enough. “There’s a perception that ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated, so we wanted to see if that was true among those who met the disease criteria,” says Tanya Froehlich, a doctor at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and lead author of the study.

The study found that more than two million participating children ages eight to 15 met the criteria for ADHD, but only a third consistently received medication last year. Only 16 percent of poor children received medication, and were two-thirds less likely to receive medicine consistently. Although the study counters overtreatment of ADHD, another study, reports the Post, questions the validity of the increase in the number of children diagnosed with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Merit study

Study: Student achievement improves under merit-pay plans
Student achievement improves when their teachers are paid for their performance, according to an analysis published in the September issue of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. "The evidence certainly suggests when you offer incentives, you're likely to get better results," said co-author Michael J. Podgursky, a

Obesity studies

Studies: Myriad factors push obesity rates higher
Too much junk food, TV and a lack of physical-education classes or other exercise make it difficult for U.S. youth to stay at a healthy weight and likely contribute to skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity, according to studies published in a special supplement of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Oct, 2007), 33(4), A1-A6, 269-358. Minorities and children in poor neighborhoods are particularly vulnerable, the studies found.

Study: Obesity programs may also curb eating disorders
Middle school girls who attended an obesity-prevention program were less likely to develop bulimia, according to Harvard School of Public Health researchers. "We are hopeful that carefully designed health promotion programs like this one may help us prevent both eating disorders and overweight at the same time," said S. Bryn Austin, an assistant Harvard School of Public Health professor.
ScienceDaily (9/3)

Study: Obesity spreads among friends
Obesity is "socially contagious," with people being 71% more likely to become too fat if their same-sex friends become obese, according to a new study. The correlation appears unaffected by geographic barriers, with the pattern manifesting itself whether friends live next door or 500 miles away from one another.
New England Journal of Medicine (vol 357, 370-379, 2007)

Study: Obese girls far less likely to attend college
Obese girls are half as likely to attend college as girls of normal weight, according to a new University of Texas at Austin study.In high schools where overweight girls comprised 20% of the student population, however, obese girls had normal odds of college attendance.
Sociology of Education, July, 2007

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Child alcohol use study

Study: One in 10 fourth-graders have tried alcohol
Some 7% of fourth-graders say they've had an alcoholic drink in the past year, and that doubles by sixth grade, according to a new review of student surveys published in the September issue of Prevention Science. "Children are drinking, and our concern with underage drinking needs to start in elementary school, not in high school or college," said lead author John E. Donovan, an associate University of Pittsburgh Medical Center psychiatry and epidemiology professor. ScienceDaily (8/31)

School stress study

Study: Stress may affect children months before school starts
Anxiety over the first few days of school may start three to six months before classes, according to new British research. Lead author Dr. Julie Turner-Cobb suspects parents may pass their stress on to children. ScienceDaily (8/31)