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.