Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Too many Newbery books turn off young readers
By honoring books that are too complex for most young readers and that deal with difficult emotional or social issues, the annual Newbery Medal children's literature award may be failing to help attract more young readers, some high-profile critics say.

Monday, October 13, 2008

California elementary achievement

California elementaries not on track to meet AYP targets in 2014
California elementary schools on average have boosted student proficiency by less than 4 percentage points annually since 2003, indicating that few will meet adequate yearly progress this year as the state requires a 11 percentage-point jump in proficiency rates, according to research led by a professor at the University of California, Riverside. "We're hitting a balloon payment scenario, to use a housing analogy, where the expectations set forth in the federal law are far higher than recent performance levels."
Bryant, M., et al. (2008, Sept. 26). ASSESSMENT: School Performance Will Fail to Meet Legislated Benchmarks. Science, 1781-1782

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Teens and sleep study

Too little sleep raises teens' risk of high blood pressure
Teenagers who get less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night have twice the risk of developing high blood pressure than those who get more rest, researchers report. Teens with troubled sleep had more than triple the risk. The survey of 238 youngsters found they got an average of 7.7 hours of sleep each night, while the recommendation for the age group is nine hours.
Redline, S. (2008, Sep. 2). Hypertension. Circulation.

Multitasking study

Multitasking may slow students down
College students' reading comprehension may not be hampered by interruptions from instant messages, but researchers found that those who try to multitask by reading an assignment and text messaging at the same time are about 15 minutes slower in working through their reading assignments versus their peers who work sequentially.
Bowman, L. (2008, Aug.). Media and Internet Psychology. American Psychological Association conference, Boston.

California Teacher Demand

A new report highlights expected demand for teachers driven by projected growth in student enrollment and looming teacher retirements over the next ten years. County-by-county analyses suggest that California's Central Valley (North and South San Joaquin Valley and Upper and Sacramento Metropolitan Valley) and Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) will face some of the highest demand for new teachers in the coming decade.
WestEd. (2008). Trends in California Teacher Demand: A County and Regional Perspective. San Francisco: Author.

College admissions tests study

School achievement should play larger role in college admissions
U.S. colleges should shift away from their reliance on using ACT and SAT scores as the bar for college acceptance and toward admissions exams that better correspond with high school coursework and achievement, asserts a yearlong study.
National Association for College Admission Counseling Commission. (2008). Report of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergrduate Admissions. Arlington, VA: Author.

Class time study

class time affects student test scores
Schools that cancel class for unscheduled purposes, such as snow days, can see a drop in student proficiency, according to findings by University of Maryland researchers. So far, however, there's been little research on whether additional class time can boost scores even though extended-learning initiatives are becoming more widespread.
Marcotte, Dave E. and Hemelt, Steven W.,Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance(July 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2923
Available at SSRN:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Algebra report

29% of lowest-scoring students enrolled in advanced math
Some 38% of U.S. eighth-graders are now taking algebra or other advanced math classes, but many may be missing out on arithmetic fundamentals, according to a new report based on National Assessment of Educational Progress data. Some misplaced students "don't know very much math at all and yet they're taking courses in advanced math," said the report's author, Tom Loveless. "It might make everyone feel better, but the whole arrangement is counterfeit."
Loveless, T. (2008). Brookings Institute.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Online homework help study

The report of a study, conducted by Virginia Walter and library programs consultant Cindy Mediavilla, on the California State Library's Out-of-School-Time Online Homework Help program is now available on the California State Library's website at The report looks at the effectiveness of the service provided by online homework help vendors and Brainfuse, as well as libraries' satisfaction with the program. A chart compares the features of both vendors' services. For more information about the study, please contact Cindy Mediavilla at or (310) 915-8588.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Podcast survey

19% of internet users have downloaded a podcast
As gadgets with digital audio capability proliferate, podcast downloading continues to increase. Currently, 19% of all internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they could listen to it or view it later. This most recent percentage is up from 12% of internet users who reported downloading podcasts in our August 2006 survey and 7% in our February-April 2006 survey.
Still, podcasting has yet to become a fixture in the everyday lives of internet users, as very few internet users download podcasts on a typical day. Even of those who say they download podcasts, just 17% do so on a typical day.
Madden, M. (2008). Podcast Downloading. Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Internet health information survey

The internet is changing the way Americans engage with information, whether they are choosing a president or making health care decisions. Two major drivers for this change are broadband adoption and personal motivation.
Between 75% and 80% of internet users have looked online for health information. This latest Pew Internet Project survey confirms that information gathering has become a habit for many Americans, particularly those in the 55% of households with broadband connections. Home broadband has now joined educational attainment, household income and age as the strongest predictors of internet activity.
Fox, S. (2008). The engaged e-patient population. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Technology in public libraries report

A new report describes technology access in public libraries.
Key findings include:
Libraries reported double-digit growth in online services: audiobooks and podcasts (up 33 percent), video (up 32 percent), homework resources (up 15 percent), e-books (up 13.5 percent) and digitized special collections (up almost 13 percent);
Funding data indicate libraries are relying more on non-tax funding sources;
66 percent of public libraries offer free wireless access, up about 12 percent over last year;
Almost two-thirds of all public libraries provide 1.5Mbps or faster Internet access speeds, with a continuing disparity between urban (90 percent) and rural libraries (51.5 percent);
74 percent of libraries report their staff helps patrons understand and use e-government services, including enrolling in Medicare and applying for unemployment;
73.4 percent of libraries provide technology training to library patrons;
Staffing levels are not keeping pace with patron demand -- both for those staff who provide training and other direct patron services, as well as those who maintain the IT infrastructure;
While the number of Internet computers available to the public climbed for the first time in several years, one in five libraries report there are consistently fewer computers than patrons who wish to use them throughout the day.
The ALA Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Institute at Florida State University. (2008). Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2007-2008. Chicago, ALA.

TV and achievement study

Study shows how TV may be good for the brain
A look at standardized test scores from 1965 by two University of Chicago Graduate School of Business economists was able to compare the results of students based on the relative levels of television penetration in their regions. The research suggests that exposure to television in early childhood correlates with higher test scores, especially among children in homes where English was not the first language.
Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro. (2008). Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123(1), 279-323.

Depression study

Depression affects one in 20 Americans
A CDC study shows more than one in 20 Americans over age 12 suffers from depression, with higher rates among women, blacks and baby boomers aged 40 to 59. Almost 80% of depressed people reported functional impairment, with 27% saying their depression makes it extremely difficult to work, get things done at home and get along with others.
Pratt, L., & Brody, D. (2008). Depression in the United States Household Population, 2005-2006. Atlanta, GA: Center for Disease Control. Atlanta, GA: Center for Disease Control.

Gender and math/science study

Self-confidence feeds girls' interest in math, sciences
Girls who show little initial interest in science may still excel if their parents and teachers help them build confidence in the subjects, according to a new study. "The relationship between confidence and interest is close," says researcher Nadya Fouad. "If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest." parent support and expectations emerged as the top support in both subjects and genders for middle- and high-school students. Also powerful for younger girls were engaging teachers and positive experiences with them. Both boys and girls perceived that teachers thought boys were stronger at math and science. For boys this represented a support, while for girls it acted as a barrier. Top barriers for all age groups and disciplines were test anxiety and subject difficulty, but these differed between boys and girls. In addition, the genders formed their perceptions of math or science based on the barriers and supports, but they often arrived at different views.
Ultimately, it's perception, more than reality, that affects the person's academic and career choices, says Fouad.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (2008, September 8). Tracking The Reasons Many Girls Avoid Science And Math. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/09/080905153807.htm

Digital preservation and copyright report

There are significant technical, financial and legal obstacles to digital preservation.
This Report focuses on the law – in particular, on copyright and related rights issues. As the laws of the countries discussed in the report demonstrate, in many cases exceptions and limitations do not accommodate the actions required for digital preservation. The copyright and related rights issues, and various strategies to address them, are discussed in detail in the report.
Library of Congress. (2008). International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation. Washington, DC: Author.

Latino students study

This study examines the increase in Hispanic/Latino public school students between 1990 and 2006 and projections for growth. It provides statistics on their grade distribution, demographics, languages, economic situations, living arrangements, and regions of residence.
Fry, R., & Gonzales, F. (2008). One-in-Five and Growing Fast: A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Whiteboard study

In a British study, English, history, mathematics and science teachers used interactive whiteboards (IWB) and data projectors in various ways. A unique strength of IWB technology is that it allows teachers and students to revisit previous sessions of saved activity, which helps to reignite and build on earlier learning. The researchers also found that using IWBs can: provide new opportunities for learners to express themselves publicly, receive critical feedback and reformulate their thoughts, stimulate discussion, and allow teachers to adapt to individual learning needs.

Economic & Social Research Council (2008, September 5). Computerized Whiteboards Improve Classroom Learning, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/09/080904082744.htm

Number sense and mathematics study

Math grades tied to primitive "number sense"
Students with good "number sense" -- the innate ability to rapidly estimate the number of items in a group -- tend to earn better math grades across their academic careers, according to new research. A study involving 64 14-year-olds found that the teenagers who did well on a test that measured their "number sense" were much more likely to have gotten good grades in math classes. The researchers discovered that a child's ability to quickly estimate how many things are in a group significantly predicts their performance in school mathematics all the way back to kindergarten. "Humans actually have two separate senses of mathematics," Halberda said. "We have this intuitive sense of numbers that you and I use when we are looking at the bus, and we have a second system, which is what we use to learn in school. It relies on language, and only humans have that."
Halberda, J., & Feigenson, L. (2008, Sep. 7). Individual differences in non-verbal number acuity correlate with maths achievement Nature.

Chart schools report

This fifth annual report by Education Week examines the leadership challenges facing the nation's rapidly growing charter school sector. It includes new research on the characteristics of charter school principals, and the pressing issues they face.
Education Week. (2008). Leading for learning.

Reading coach study

This study traces the implementation of a reading coach program to provide on-site support to teachers in Florida middle schools and its impact on teachers, principals, school climate, and student achievement. Includes literature review and recommended models.

Marsh, J. et al. (2008). Supporting Literacy Across the Sunshine State: A Study of Florida Middle School Reading Coaches. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Teen survey

This annual report is based on a survey conducted with U.S. teens, ages 14-18. The publication analyzes the students' responses and provides insights about their opinions and attitudes. This year’s report reveals some not-so-subtle shifts. While in 2003, 75 percent of teenagers felt hopeful and optimistic about the future of their country, only 53 percent felt that way this April, when the telephone survey of 1006 students fairly equally divided by gender and age level was conducted. Another interesting fact – 79 percent of high school students indicated that the pressure for good grades creates problems, though 67 percent of them say they have mostly B’s or better on their report cards. Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. (2008). State of Our Nation’s Youth . Alexandria, VA: Author.

Latinos and public libraries report

In partnership with the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, WebJunction surveyed more than 2,860 Latinos in six U.S. states about their library use and perceptions of libraries. The results indicate that 54% of the Latino population visited libraries in the past year, and that Latinos hold positive perceptions of libraries.
Edward Flores and Harry Pachon. (2008). Latinos and Public Library Perceptions. Dublin, OH: OCLC.

Academic profess reoprt

Elementary, Middle School Kids Make Gains
U. S. students are doing better in elementary school and middle school, but key indicators show little progress among high school and college students, according to a recent report. Last year, tests showed 33% could read and do math at grade level, compared with 25% in 2000, according to Education Department data. Minority students are doing better, too. The percentage of black and Hispanic students who could read and do math at grade level was 35% that of white children last year, the department found. But that has increased from 23% in 2000.
U. S. Dept. of Education. (2008). Indicators to Track Nation's Education Progress. Washington, DC: Author.

Video gaming reports

About 97% of U. S. teens play video games, a recent report asserts. The survey found that while young Americans don't necessarily play the same thing, nearly all of them — girls included — play video games of one kind or another. Nearly two-thirds play video games to socialize face-to-face with friends and family, while just over a quarter said they play with Internet friends.

Pew Internet & American Life Project. (2008). Teens, video games, and civics. Washington, DC: Author.

Another case for gaming in libraries
A Mills College report makes a very strong case for gaming in libraries, even though it doesn’t mention libraries at all. Gaming as part of civic engagement can be listed as another benefit. “These results suggest that the frequent concerns in the media and elsewhere about the ennui and disconnection among those who play video games for long periods of time may be misplaced…. Teens who play games socially (a majority of teens) are more likely to be civically and politically engaged than teens who play games primarily alone. Interestingly, this relationship only holds when teens play alongside others in the same room.”
Mills College Civic Engagement Research Group. (2008). The Civic Potential of Video Games. Chicago: MacArthur Foundation.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Skills and global competition report

US must revamp education to be globally competitive
A new report finds that the United States, in order to be globally competitive and for states to attract growth industries and create jobs, requires a fresh approach to education that recognizes the importance 21st-century skills play in the workplace. The report notes that as the world continues to shift from an industrial economy to a service economy driven by information, knowledge, and innovation, cultivating 21st-century skills is vital to economic success.
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2008). 21st Century Skills, Education, and Competitiveness

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Social skills tudy

High-school cliques may foretell future social skills
Teens' high-school niche and their understanding of how to leverage their own popularity may predict how well they navigate complex social structures later in life, as well as their own feelings of well-being in adulthood, according to new findings.
Prinstein, M. (2008).
McElhaney, K. , Antonishak, J., & Allen, J. (2008). "They Like Me, They Like Me Not": Popularity and Adolescents' Perceptions of Acceptance Predicting Social Functioning Over Time. Child Development, 79(3), 720-731.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

California teachers report

Williams Settlement Impacts Reported Out-of-Field Assignments
A new report released by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing announces an 88% increase in under-qualified teachers providing instruction to English learners in California.
Commission on Teacher Credentialing. (2008). Assignment Monitoring in California of Certificated Employees by County Offices of Education, 2003-2007. Sacramento: Author.

Interent use study

A new Pew study asserts that almost a half of internet users access search engines daily, and about 60% email daily. Other popular Internet activities include checking the news (39% do it daily) and checking the weather (30% do it daily).

Fallows, D. (2008). Search engine use. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Social networking study

What Kids Learn from Social Networking
Researchers have documented the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
Students observed for the study listed technology skills as the top lesson learned, followed by creativity, being open to new or diverse views and communication skills.
Greenhow, C. (2007). What Teacher Education Needs to Know about Web 2.0: Preparing New
Teachers in the 21st Century. In C. Crawford, D. A. Willis, R. Carlsen, I. Gibson, K.
McFerrin, J. Price & R. Weber (Eds.), Society for Information Technology and Teacher
Education International Conference 2007 (pp. 1989-1992). San Antonio, Texas, USA:
Video of research:

Global tech access report

U.S. Policies Slow Tech Access
The United States has slipped to number 9 on the World Economic Forum's World annual Global Competitiveness Report.
That list is not a look at school performance, but at business-centric measures of tech-friendly government policies and high-tech usage rates. The U.S. dominated the tech index for years, dropped to fifth place in 2006 and then to number 8 in 2007. Though the U.S. scores well in ICT usage, regulatory issues lowered the score. Sweden tops the list, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Honk Kong, and South Korea.

World library report

The new IFLA/FAIFE World Report details Internet access in libraries in 116 countries, is now available to order. This report provides an overview of how libraries around the world are tackling barriers to freedom of access to information and freedom of expression:how libraries are challenging anti-terror legislation, increasing women’s access to information, and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.
IFLA/FAIFE. (2008). Access to libraries and information: towards a fairer world. The Hague: IFLA.

Parent-child relations studies

A new study has found that students' anxieties often are based on exaggerated perceptions of what their parents expect. Many parents and students hold different perceptions of what the parents' expectations are. Students often are trying to meet goals far tougher than the ideals their parents have in mind.
Agliata, A., & Renk, K. (2008, Sep.) College Students’ Adjustment: The Role of Parent–College Student Expectation Discrepancies and Communication Reciprocity. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37(8).

A separate study is among the first to examine how parenting styles remain a strong influence on how students adjust to college. Students reported making smoother transitions to college if they have at least one parent whose style combines warmth, a demanding nature and democracy -- the same combination that is best for young children.
McKinney, C., & Renk, K. (2008). Differential Parenting Between Mothers and Fathers: Implications for Late Adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 806 - 827.

Kindergarten retention study

Few lasting benefits to delaying kindergarten
Students held back from kindergarten for a year may score better in the first few months of school, but they lose almost all that advantage by the eighth grade, according to a new study. "If it were true that older kids are able to learn at a faster rate, then the differences in test scores should get bigger as kids progress and the material gets more difficult. But we really see the opposite," said co-author Darren Lubotsky. "Older kids do better at first and younger kids do worse, but they catch up."
Elder, T., & Lubotsky, D. (2008).
Journal of Human Resources. [in press]

Gaming studies

Video Games Can Aid Students, Surgeons
Researchers who gathered in Boston for the American Psychological Association Convention detailed a series of studies suggesting video games can be powerful learning tools -- from increasing younger students' problem-solving potential to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons.
In one Fordham University study, 122 students in fifth, sixth and seventh grades were asked to think out loud for 20 minutes while playing a game they had never seen before.While older children seemed more interested in just playing the game, younger children showed more interest in setting up a series of short-term goals needed to help them learn the game.
An Ohio State University study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors than those who didn't.
Uniuversity of Wisconsin-Madison researchers found that World of Warcraft encouraged scientific thinking, like using systems and models for understanding situations and using math and testing to investigate problems.

Dropouts and literacy report

U.S. Losing Ground in Education and Workforce Development
According to a new repor, soaring dropout rates among high school students and diminished literacy skills among adults pose a serious threat to the nation's economic future.
A growing percentage of U.S. workers is not prepared for careers in fields with growth potential such as health care, advanced manufacturing, and alternative energy. Studies show that one in three young people in this country drop out of high school before earning their diploma, while nearly thirty million adults lack basic literacy skills.
National Commission on Adult Literacy . (2008). Reach Higher, America: Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce. New York: Author.

Math instruction report

Report Profiles High Schools With Effective Math Instruction
A new report finds that access to high-level math classes and knowledgeable, effective teachers is crucial to preparing high school students for college and beyond. Researchers found that successful schools
shared three things in common in regard to their ability to provide effective math programs: offering high-level math courses and support for all students; providing intensive professional development for teachers to improve their subject knowledge and teaching skills; and using student progress and evaluations to help teachers tailor their lessons.
WestEd. (2008). Rethinking High School: Supporting All Students to Be College-Ready in Math. San Francisco: WestEd.

California exit exam study

This report e
xamines early indicators that identify fourth-grade students in San Diego who are at risk of failing the California High School Exit Exam, discusses implications for when and how to intervene to address those factors, and makes policy recommendations.
Zau, Andrew C.; & Julian R. Betts. (2008). Predicting Success, Preventing Failure: An Investigation of the California High School Exit Exam. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.

ELL achievement study

This study examines the extent to which English language learners (ELL) are concentrated in large, low-achieving public schools, and the degree to which this isolation contributes to the gap in math scores between ELL students and others.
Fry, Richard. (2008). The Role of Schools in the English Language Learner Achievement Gap. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Career academies report

This report examines the long-term impact of the Career Academies high school reform initiative on primarily Hispanic/Latino and African-American students: their labor market participation and outcomes, such as earnings; postsecondary education; and family stability.

MDRC. (2008). Career Academies: Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood. New York: Author.

Califronia education funding policies analysis

This report provides an overview of the policy priorities of the proposed funding reform, and analyzes the revenue school districts would receive under simulations of the proposal's various versions, compared with the revenue they actually received in 2004-2005.
Reinhard, Ray; Heather Rose; Ria Sengupta; Jon Sonstelie. (2008). Funding Formulas for California Schools II: An Analysis of a Proposal by the Governor's Committee on Education Excellence. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.

African American males and graduation report

This report highlights the gaps in high school graduation rates between African-American men and their white counterparts and the disparities between school resources and quality. Charts the best- and worst-performing states and districts for African-American men.

Schott Foundation for Public Education. (2008).
Given Half a Chance: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males. Cambridge, MA: Author.

College choice studies

Cost not always a factor in college searches: Many U.S. families don't rule out pricey colleges even if their child isn't planning on a well-paying career, according to a new Sallie Mae survey of undergraduates enrolled during the 2007-08 school year and their parents. Despite their moderate incomes, middle-class students reported attending private four-year universities at nearly the same rate as more affluent students (20 percent, compared to 22 percent).
SLM Corp. (2008). Survey of Parents of College Bound Freshmen. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Author.

Math calculator study

Calculators don't subtract from learning
Elementary students who have already learned basic math skills can work through more questions and make fewer errors if they use a calculator without hurting their scores on subsequent tests, according to a recent study. "It is important children first learn how to calculate answers on their own, but after that initial phase, using calculators is a fine thing to do," said co-author Bethany Rittle-Johnson.
Rittle-Johnson, B., & Kmicikewycz, A. (2008). When generating answers benefits arithmetic skill: The importance of prior knowledge. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101(1), 75-81.

Homework study

Homework may not boost all students' test scores
More math homework may help top students as well as those who struggle, but average students may reap less benefit from additional assignments when it comes to improving test scores in the subject, according to a new study. Only roughly 40% of students who were observed in the study would benefit in a significant way from an additional hour per night of homework, the researchers concluded.
Henderson, D., & Eren, O. (2008).
The impact of homework on student achievement. Econometrics Journal, 11(2), 326-348.

Nutrition and achievement study

Good nutrition linked to better test performance
Learners with access to a more nutritious diet in early childhood may score higher on intellectual tests in adulthood, notwithstanding how much education they receive overall, according to new data. The findings "suggest an effect of exposure to an enhanced nutritional intervention in early life that is independent of any effect of schooling," the study's authors conclude.
Aryeh D. Stein; Meng Wang; Ann DiGirolamo; Ruben Grajeda; Usha Ramakrishnan; Manuel Ramirez-Zea; Kathryn Yount; Reynaldo Martorell. Nutritional Supplementation in Early Childhood, Schooling, and Intellectual Functioning in Adulthood: A Prospective Study in Guatemala. Archives ofPediatriatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2008;162(7):612-618

teens and smoking studies

Teens lured by screen smoking, tobacco promotions
Movies that feature cigarettes, as well as the tobacco industry's smoking-related promotions, prompt teenagers to smoke, according to a recent report. Although smoking declined to 21% of the U.S. adult population in 2006 from 42% in 1965, some 4,000 teenagers still light up for the first time each day and 1,000 of them become habitual smokers.
Zosia Kmietowicz. (2008). BMA calls for ban on smoking images that "keep the habit cool" among children British Medical Journal, 337:a713

Mass media has the power to both encourage tobacco use, especially among young people, and to discourage it. This is the first report to make the conclusion that there is a causal relationship between exposure to depiction of smoking in the movies and youth beginning to smoke
Melanie Wakefield. (2008). The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use. Reckvill, MD: U. S. National Cancer Institute.

Science teaching study

Science more understandable when first explained in plain language
Students taught scientific concepts in plain English before learning technical terms performed better on exams, according to a study by Stanford faculty. "Teaching using a content-first approach yields greater conceptual understanding ... as well as an improved ability to understand and use science language," the researchers said.
Bryan A. Brown and Kihyun Ryoo. (2008). Teaching science as a language: A ldquocontent-firstrdquo approach to science teaching Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(5), 529-553.

Immigrants study

Second-generation immigrants performing well
The children of immigrants in New York City not only do better than their parents but also do well when compared with native-born youth from comparable backgrounds, according to a study authored by three professors who tracked more than 3,000 people, mostly in their 20s. Most of the second-generation participants spoke English fluently and many credited their parents' and community's encouragement for their career and academic successes.
Mollenkopf, J., et al. (2008). Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Multimedia learning report

Increasing Learning Through Media
In general, multimodal learning has been shown to be more effective than traditional, unimodal learning, according to a report from from Cisco Systems. The report concludes that adding visuals to verbal (text and/or auditory) learning can result in significant gains in basic and higher-order learning. The findings in the report provide insights into when interactivity augments multimodal learning of moderately to complex topics, and when it is advantageous for students to work individually when learning or building automaticity with basic skills.
Cisco Systems. (2008). Multimodal Learning Through Media. San Jose, CA: Author.

Technology report

Maximizing the Potential of Technology
A nationwide report found that ensuring high-speed broadband access for all students has become a critical national issue, especially when considering the necessity for use of technology in assessment, accountability, engagement and preparing students for work and life in the 21st century. The report identifies the key issues facing the educational community related to robust connectivity and recommends how states and districts can successfully implement high-speed broadband in their schools. The report also provides stakeholders and policymakers with strategies and models for bringing this critical issue to the national and state policy level.
State Educational Technology Directors Association. (2008). High-Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking through the Barriers. Glen Burnie, MD: Author.

Perspectives on Education poll

Civic Index Reveals Public Views on Education

A national poll shed new light on the public's views on school progress,
politicians' commitment to education, and the strength of
community commitment to helping improve education. The online Civic Index measures public attitudes toward education and assesses ten categories of community support
determined by the public and experts to be critical factors outside the
school to support and sustain quality public schools. The poll reveals
that even when other issues seem at the forefront of news, Americans
still care deeply about education.
Public Education Network. (2008). Civic index for quality public education.

ELL study

Research on Educating ELLs Draws Surprising Conclusions

The summer issue of American Educator examined two recent
reviews of research on educating English Language Learners (ELLs).
Currently, one in nine public-school students in K-12 is an ELL, and
demographers estimate that in twenty years that proportion could
swell to one in four. Stanford education professor Claude
Goldenberg says the research suggests that teaching students to
read in their first language promotes higher levels of reading
achievement in English.
Goldenburg, C. (2008, Summer). Teaching English language learners. American Educator, 8-44.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Math and gender study

Girls do as well as boys on standardized math exams
On second- to 11th-grade math tests, girls now score on par with their male peers, according to research published Thursday in the journal Science. But the perception that boys do better in math tends to endure nonetheless, researchers say, which may discourage some girls from tackling math-heavy careers in science and technology.Hyde, J., et al. (2008). DIVERSITY: Gender Similarities Characterize Math Performance. Science, 321(5888), 494 - 495.

Public library database

Gannett releases searchable public library trends database
Gannett News Service released a searchable database July 17 that compares trends affecting public library systems between 2002 and 2006. The analysis used data from the National Center for Education Statistics as well as statistics collected from state library data coordinators, compared figures for the some 9,200 library systems, and found that library visits increased by roughly 10% during that five-year period and circulation of materials rose by 9%. The database also offers lists of public libraries with the highest circulation per capita, the most internet-capable computers per capita, and the highest operating expenses per capita (all 2006 data).
Gannett News. (2008). Library system database. Cincinnati: Author.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Smaller Learning Communities study

Smaller Learning Communities
The U.S. Department of Education studied the implementation of its Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) discretionary grant program. The SLC program was established in response to growing national concerns about students too often lost and
alienated in large, impersonal high schools, as well as concerns about school safety and low levels of achievement and graduation for many students. The most prevalent structures were freshman and career academies. All but two schools reported undertaking efforts to increase personalization. SLC-related professional development, although provided by nearly all schools, was not very extensive. A common set of factors affecting academy implementation included strong school leadership, involved and supportive districts, high levels of staff buy-in, and sufficient space to make programs separate. Inhibiting factors included staff and administrative turnover, weak school leadership, prescriptive district oversight of SLC reforms, and limited resources on the part of the school.
United States Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy
Development. (2008). Implementation Study of Smaller Learning Communities: Final
Report. Washington, DC: Author.

Reading First study

Federal Study Shows Reading First Program Not Showing Significant Success in Test Scores
Created under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Reading First program provides assistance to states and districts in using research-based reading programs and instructional materials for K-3 students.
Institute of Education Sciences. (2008). Reading First impact study: Interim report. Washington, DC: Author.

Reading and ELL study

Research Shows That Books Facilitate Language Learning
The Civil Rights Project at the University of California
studied the impact of newer state policies of structured
English immersion vs. traditional bilingual education.
Researchers found that other factors - such as whether
students have books at home - have greater impact upon
English Language Learners' (ELLs) achievement than state
instructional policies.
Gándara, P., Maxwell-Jolly, J., & Rumberger, R. (2008). Resource Needs for English Learners: Getting Down to Policy Recommendations. Santa Barbara: University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute.

ALA / Libraries report

This annual report provides facts and statstics on US libraries and their use. All types of libraries flourished, both in traditional ways and in the rapidly expanding universe of the Internet. Library use continued to increase, continuing a decade-long trend. Libraries still weathered budget woes and delivered new programs to their customers—while still providing the nuts-and-bolts services that people need to lead full lives. Information about credentialed librarians and recruitment budgets are also included.
American Library Association. (2008). State of America's Libraries. Chicago: Author.

children's wellness report

More U.S. children live in poverty
More U.S. babies are being born underweight than at any time in the past 40 years, increasing their risk of dying in infancy or suffering long-term disabilities, according to the annual Kids Count report. But while more children are living in impoverished conditions, there were some positive findings as well: There are fewer deaths among children and teens and less incidence among teens of dropping out of high school, according to the report.
Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids count. Baltimore: Author.

Reading intervention study

Educational "workouts" for the brain can boost reading ability
A rigorous intervention program targeting students with dyslexia effectively rewired their brains to work almost the same as children who don't struggle with reading, Carnegie Mellon University researchers reported. The changes, which appeared immediately after the 100-hour intervention, remained for at least one year, brain scans of a sampling of the students showed.
The central finding was that prior to instruction, the poor readers had significantly less activation than good readers bilaterally in the parietal cortex. Immediately after instruction, poor readers made substantial gains in reading ability, and demonstrated significantly increased activation in the left angular gyrus and the left superior parietal lobule. Activation in these regions continued to increase among poor readers 1 year post-remediation, resulting in a normalization of the activation. These results are interpreted as reflecting changes in the processes involved in word-level and sentence-level assembly. Areas of overactivation were also found among poor readers in the medial frontal cortex, possibly indicating a more effortful and attentionally guided reading strategy.
Ann Meyler, Timothy A. Keller, Vladimir L. Cherkassky, John D.E. Gabrieli, Marcel Adam Just. (2008, August). Modifying the brain activation of poor readers during sentence comprehension with extended remedial instruction: A longitudinal study of neuroplasticity. Neuropsychologia, 46(10),2580-2592
U.S. teachers call for more tech training, resources
Many educators don't feel fully prepared to blend technology into classroom lessons and say they also lack the necessary tech support and equipment to do so, according to a recent national report. Districts that do offer technology training for teachers tend to focus on non-instructional areas, such as showing them how to conduct Internet searches or use administrative software applications.
National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. (2008). Access, Adequacy, and Equity in Education Technology. Washington, DC: Authors.

tutoring report

Tutoring has negligible effect on scores at struggling schools
Despite an overall $595 million price tag in the 2006-07 school year for free tutoring for students in struggling schools across the U.S., test scores have failed to significantly improve, according to recent evaluations conducted in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia.
Glod, M. (2008, June 13). Mandated Tutoring Not Helping Md., Va. Scores. Washington Post.

Study aboard report

Universities Abroad Eager for U.S. Students, Report Finds

Students from the United States are the most sought after international students, followed by students from China, India, Canada, and Russia, a new report finds. Based on a survey of more than 500 higher education institutions in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the report found that 99% of the colleges and universities surveyed expressed interest in attracting more U.S. students, citing in part a desire to become more globally competitive and promote research and academic collaboration with U.S. institutions. And more than 60% of the institutions said they had developed outreach or marketing strategies targeting U.S. students.
Institute of International Education.. (2008). Meeting America's Global Education Challenge: Exploring Host Country Capacity for Increasing U.S. Study Abroad. New York: Author.

Kindergarten and student achievement meta-study

This study reviews the research on how raising the kindergarten entry age affects elementary- and middle-school test scores; achievement gaps between subgroups; grade retention, high school graduation, and college enrollment rates; and wages as adults.
Cannon, J., & Lipscomb, S. (2008). Changing the Kindergarten Cutoff Date: Effects on California Students and Schools. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.

HIgh school transition study

This national study examines the status of state P-16 councils and their efforts to bridge the gap between K-12 and higher education, with profiles of three councils, and examines high school graduation rates by demographics, state, and congressional district.
(2008). Diplomas Count 2008: School to College. Education Week, 27(40).

Voucher study

Students using vouchers score no better
Nearly 2000 D.C. students who attended private school with the aid of vouchers generally performed no differently after two years time than their public school counterparts, echoing other similar research. Students also reported no higher satisfaction with private schools, although their parents did.
U. S. Dept. of Education. (2008). Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Second Year Report on Participation. Washington, DC: Author.

National Board Certification report

National Board Certification has some impact
Teachers who earn advanced certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards are more effective than teachers without that credential, but there’s little evidence to show the program has transformed the field in the broader ways its founders envisioned.
Hakel, W., Koenig, J., & Elliott, S. (2008). Assessing Accomplished Teaching: Advanced-Level Certification Programs. Washington, DC: Committee on Evaluation of Teacher Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Research Council.

NCLB and top students report

Top Students Said to Stagnate Under NCLB
A new NCLB report finds that teachers shift attention toward low-performing students rather than achievement for all students. The report draws on national test-score data and results from a nationwide survey of 900 public school teachers in grades 3-12 to paint a portrait of a generation of high achievers left to fend for themselves as schools and teachers shift their time and resources toward educational strategies aimed more at bringing the bottom up than on raising achievement for all children.
The data show, for instance, that from 2000 to 2007, the scores of the top 10 percent of students essentially held steady on National Assessment of Educational Progress tests in reading and math. The scores for the bottom 10 percent of students, meanwhile, rose by 18 points on the 4th grade reading test and 13 points in 8th grade math—the equivalent of about a year’s worth of learning.
Thomas Fordham Foundation. (2008). High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB. Washington, DC: Author.

Literacy in Canada report

This report includes Canada's first projections of adult literacy levels,
through to 2031; an unprecedented look—more detailed than ever before—
at the “face” of low literacy; and effective approaches to improve
literacy among six identified groups.
Canadian Council on Learning (2008). Reading the future [report] : Planning to meet
Canada's future literacy needs. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Learning.

Preschools and socio-eonomics report

Few poor, minority children enrolled in best preschools
Only 15% of the disadvantaged California children who would benefit most from strong preschools are actually enrolled in the best programs. The results of the study show that (1) use of center-based early care and education (ECE) is the norm for these children; (2) Latinos and socioeconomically disadvantaged children use it least; (3) these programs fall short on key quality benchmarks, especially those linked to early learning; (4) groups with lower levels of school readiness and later school achievement are least likely to participate in the programs that most promote school success; and (5) there is room for improvement in quality across the board and in raising participation for targeted groups.
Karoly, L., et al. (2008). Prepared to learn. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Youth and reading report

Kids still go for paper
A new study by Scholastic finds that 75% of kids age 5–17 agree with the statement, “No matter what I can do online, I’ll always want to read books printed on paper,” and 62% say they prefer to read books printed on paper rather than on a computer or a handheld device. Thhis national survey of children and their parents, also found that kids who go online to extend the reading experience—by going to book or author websites or connecting with other readers—are more likely to read books for fun every day.
Scholastic & TSC. (2008).2008 Kids and Family Reading Report. New York: Scholastic.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Information-seeking study

This new report offers insight into the ways people search for information in the online age, and how this affects the ways they interact with public libraries and museums, both online and in person. Findings include:
* Libraries and museums are the most trusted sources of online information among adults of all ages, education levels, races, and ethnicities. Libraries and museums rank higher in trustworthiness than all other information sources including government, commercial, and private Web sites. The study shows that the public trust of museums and libraries migrates to the online environment.
* The explosive growth of information available in the “Information Age” actually whets Americans’ appetite for more information. People search for information in many places and since the use of one source leads to others, museums, public libraries, and the Internet complement each other in this information-rich environment.
* The Internet is not replacing in-person visits to libraries and museums and may actually increase onsite use of libraries and museums. There is a positive relationship between Internet use and in-person visits to museums and public libraries.

Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2008). InterConnections: A National Study of Users and Potential Users of Online Information. Washington, DC: Author.

Teen summer reading study

This study examines the reading behaviors and attitudes of
adolescents during the summer when they can exercise free choice.
Does mandated reading during summer non-school months as it is
currently practiced encourage students to read, or does it create
barriers to reading? It takes place in a United States high school,
grades 9-12. A stratified random sample of 288 students and 11
teachers ensured representation of students from each of three
ability groupings. Data were collected through student surveys and
teacher interviews. Findings show that students attributed varied
types of cognitive, psychological, and social learning to their
summer reading. Mixed responses from teachers point to the need for
consensus about the purpose of a summer reading program.
Gordon, C., & Lu, Y. (2008). The Effects of Free Choice on Students' Learning: A Study of Summer Reading. School Libraries Worldwide, 41(1).

Librarians' images in children's literature study

This article provides an exploration of children's literature
featuring contemporary and historical images of libraries as settings
for empowering diversity and influencing reading attitudes and
behaviors. The featured selections focus on personal, family,
community, and international library experiences and events. The
protagonists represented include individuals of racial, ethnic, and
language diversity. Both women and men are featured as librarians and
both girls and boys as library patrons. The featured selections,
representing a variety of genres, provide empowering images and
positive messages about the love of reading, specifically in the
context of the library community.
Monroe, S. (2008). Check It Out: Diverse Images of the Library Experience in Children's Literature. School Libraries Worldwide, 41(1).

Tutoring studies

Federally mandated tutoring doesn't always have desired effect
Few families take advantage of supplemental tutoring services required under federal rules to be offered at struggling schools, and those that do don't necessarily see much improvement, according to a study of schools in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. According to the researchers in, L.A. observed no increase in scores although students there who had many years of tutoring did improve, and some tutors in Pittsburgh likewise saw some success.
The Effectiveness of Supplemental Educational Services: Perspectives on Student Achievement in Multiple Urban Settings. (2008, March). American Educational Research Association conference, New York.

Class size studies

Smaller classes help keep students focused, engaged
Students behave differently in smaller classes, staying on task with greater frequency and interacting more with their teachers, according to an analysis of research gathered from various countries, including the U.S. Small classes work for children, but that's less because of how teachers teach than because of what students feel they can do: Get more face time with their teacher, for instance, or work in small groups with classmates.
Peter Blatchford, P., Galton, M., University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2008). Class Size Effects: New Insights Into Classroom, School, and Policy Processes.
American Educational Research Association Annual conference, New York.

Technology in education report

This special annual issue shows how individual states rate in technology use. The report details
… how future teachers are learning to incorporate technology across subjects, and where real success is being made.
… what new requirements states are putting in place to close the technology gap.

Technology Counts 2008: STEM: The Push to Improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Education Week, March 27.

Technology and achievement study

Technology incorporated into lectures may improve students' scores
College students enrolled in classes that embed instructional technology into lectures scored, on average, a full letter grade higher than those who took the same class without the added technology, according to new research. Hybrid classes were particularly beneficial.
University of Houston (2008, March 25). College Students Score Higher In Classes That Incorporate Instructional Technology Than In Traditional Classes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/03/080324125154.htm
McFarlin, B. (2008). Hybrid lecture-online format increases student grades in an undergraduate exercise physiology course at a large urban university. Advances in Physiology Education, 32 (March), 86-91.

Nutrition and reading study

Healthful diets tied to success on reading exams
Canadian students who ate more fruits and vegetables and less fat were far less likely to fail a reading test, according to a study of 5,000 fifth-graders. "Above and beyond socioeconomic factors, diet quality is important to academic performance," the researchers concluded.
Michelle D. Florence, M., Asbridge, M., & Veugelers, P. (2008). Diet Quality and Academic Performance. Journal of School Health, 78(4), 209-215.

Sex education study

Teens who took comprehensive sex-education classes in school were 60% less likely to have become pregnant or to have impregnated someone else and were no more likely to have greater rates of sexual behavior or sexually transmitted diseases than teens without formal sex education, according to a new analysis of research data. Meanwhile, there was no clear benefit from abstinence-only education in preventing pregnancy or delaying sexual intercourse. In addition, there was no evidence that comprehensive sex education increased the likelihood of teen sex or boosted rates of sexually transmitted diseases.
Kohler, P., Manhart, L., & Lafferty, W. (2008). Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy
Journal of Adolescent Health, 42(4), 344-351.

Child birth order study

Oldest children get the lion's share of parental quality time
First-born children may receive an average of 3,000 more hours of quality time with their parents compared to subsequent children, according to a new study seeking to explain the differences in achievement between siblings. Researchers say the discrepancy is not because parents don't try to divide their time equally, but because first-time parents often are able to show their oldest child more attention before younger siblings are born and child-rearing becomes more chaotic.
Price, J. (2008). Parent-child quality time. Journal of Human Resources, XLIII: 240 - 265.

Multitaking study

More kids juggling TV, online media
Nearly two in three U.S. children ages 9 to 17 surf the Web and watch TV at the same time, with nearly half multitasking in this way anywhere from three times a week to many times per day, according to a study of youth, parents and school districts. The report also found 73% of such children practice "active multitasking," in which they are driven by content on one platform to check out another platform.
Grunwald Associates. (2008). Kids' Social Networking Study. Bethesda, MD: Author.

Math education studies

Singapore math credited with major boost in U.S. school's scores
After a low-income Los Angeles elementary in the 2005-06 school year introduced a math curriculum developed for use in Singapore, where learners excel in the subject, 76% of the U.S. school's students now score at grade-level on standardized math tests, up from 45% in the prior school year. The method blends math basics with conceptual learning in way that's easy for children to understand, educators say.
Landsberg, M. (2008, Mar. 9). In L.A., Singapore math has added value. Los Angeles Times.

The National Math Panel Report on K12 math education made recommendations about:
* The critical skills and skill progressions needed to learn algebra and prepare for more advanced courses;
* The proper role and design of standards and assessment in promoting student competence in math;
* The processes by which students of various abilities or backgrounds learn math;
* How the training, selection, placement and professional development of math teachers affect student achievement;
* Instructional practices, programs and materials that have proven effective in improving math learning; and
* Research needs in support of math education.
National Mathematics Advisory Panel. (2008). Foundations for Success: Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Education.

Community and school reform study

This research assesses the impact of community organizing for school reform on student outcomes such as attendance and test scores, school-community relationships, parent engagement, teacher morale, and policy and resource distribution at the system level.
Mediratta, Kavitha; Norm Fruchter; Dana Lockwood; Sara McAlister; Christina Mokhtar; Seema Shah. (2008). Organized Communities, Stronger Schools: A Preview of Research Findings. Providence, RI : Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

California drop-out rates studies

This report compares high school dropout rates between districts as well as between traditional and non-traditional schools. Includes a link to data on numbers of schools, enrollment, numbers of dropouts, and dropout rates, by county, district, and type of school.
Rotermund, Susan.(2008). Which California School Districts Have the Most Dropouts? Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project.

Shares what first-year high school students find motivating or discouraging; how they view family, peer, and school factors; and how demographic characteristics, attitudes toward school, and support networks affect the odds of their dropping out.
Bridges, Margaret; Stefan Brauckmann; Bruce Fuller; Oscar Medina; Laurie Mireles; Angeline Spain. (2008). Giving a Student Voice to California's Dropout Crisis.
Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project.

The extent of California’s dropout problem is unknown, placed at between 33 and 16 percent. California needs to build a robust student data system—-called a student unit record (SUR) system, because it contains information on every student from entry in kindergarten to exit from college and eventually into the labor force-—in order to accurately measure the dropout rate across schools and colleges, hold educational institutions accountable, evaluate the effectiveness of programs, help identify students at-risk, and assess return on educational investments. The state can do so by building on its existing student data systems enhanced by adding and standardizing data elements (e.g. program participation and attendance), integrating the existing SUR from the four California education segments, linking the integrated SUR data file with other state and federal data files, and broadening access to the resulting data set.
Vernez, g. (2008). Improving California's Student Data Systems to Address the Dropout Crisis. Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project.

This report analyzes the different, nested, and interdependent roles of these education support providers. The report particularly examines the role of school districts. The author argues that, while well functioning school districts are uniquely positioned and integral to building school capacity, they also generally need substantial capacity-building themselves to identify and coordinate the array of resources that must be brought to bear in order to address pressing educational challenges. The report concludes by suggesting that the most potentially powerful and systemic approach to coordinating the different organizations supporting educational improvement would establish a state-wide consortium of support providers.
Supovitz, J. (2008). Building System Capacity for Improving High School Graduation Rates in California. Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project.

Teacher effectiveness studies

This report discusses the need to invest in multiple methods to measure a teacher's effectiveness, as well as in high-quality evaluations and career development to improve it. Describes "value-added" analysis, its limitations, and other measures of effectiveness.
Alliance for Excellent Education.(2008). Measuring and Improving the Effectiveness of High School Teachers. Washington, DC: Author.

Analyzes the factors behind the persistent inequitable distribution of effective teachers, and recommends measures to prepare, recruit, and retain more highly qualified teachers to improve academic outcomes in schools with mainly poor minority students.
Alliance for Excellent Education. (2008). Improving the Distribution of Teachers in Low-Performing High Schools. Washington, DC: Author.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Urban graduation rates

Examines graduation-rate patterns in the 50 most populous U.S. cities and surrounding metropolitan areas. Compares data by race/ethnicity, gender, and principal district, and highlights the urban-suburban gaps within the same metropolitan areas.

Swanson, Christopher B. (2008). Cities in Crisis: A Special Analytic Report on High School Graduation. Washington, DC: America's Promise Alliance.

Library use of ebooks

Data in the report is based on a survey of 75 academic, public and special libraries. Librarians detail their plans on how they plan to develop their e-book collections, what they think of e-book readers and software, and which e-book aggregators and publishers appeal to them most and why. Other issues covered include: library production of e-books and collection digitization, e-book collection information literacy efforts, use of e-books in course reserves and inter-library loan, e-book pricing and inflation issues, acquisition sources and strategies for e-books and other issues of concern to libraries and book publishers.

Some of the report's findings are that:

Well over 81% of the sample cataloged their e-book collection and listed it in their online library catalog.
For the most part, librarians in the sample felt that their patrons were less skilled in using e-book collections than they were in using databases of magazine, newspaper and journal articles.
The libraries in the sample had MARC records for a mean of approximately 74% of the e-books in their collections.
Many libraries reported significant use of electronic directories. 12.5% reported extensive use and 30% said that use was significant. The larger libraries reported the heaviest use.
Use of e-books in the hard sciences was particularly high. More than 30% of participants said that use of e-books in the hard sciences (defined as chemistry, physics and biology) was quite extensive and another 26% noted significant use.
Libraries in the sample maintained a print version for a mean of 24% of the e-books in their e-book collections.
Nearly 21% of the libraries in our sample have digitized out-of-copyright books in their collections in order to make their contents more available to their patrons.
Libraries in the sample expect to renew a mean of 77% of their current e-book contract.
E-book spending grew rapidly in 2008 but slowed significantly from 2007 growth rates.
E-books account for only about 3.9% of the books on course reserve, with a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 30%.
Nearly 70% of the sample's total spending on e-books was with aggregators, while just over 24.6% of the total spending was spent with individual publishers.

Primary Research Group. (2008). Library Use of E-books. New York: Author.

Parental impact on children's education

Surveys the literature on how education affects intergenerational mobility. Discusses the impacts of parents' education, financial resources, GED and job training programs, K-12 quality improvements, and early childhood education and intervention.

Grawe, Nathan. (2008). Education and Economic Mobility. Washington, DC: The Economic Mobility Project, Pew Charitable Trusts.

Educational reform

Reviews the progress of American education reform following the 1981 report A Nation at Risk and the status quo, examines the obstacles to implementing the report's recommendations, and urges national and state leaders to take immediate action.

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. (2008). A Stagnant Nation: Why American Students Are Still at Risk. Nwe York: Authors.

Teacher mentors

Shares the insights of mentors to new Jewish day school teachers about strategies for, and the challenges of, attracting and retaining effective teachers, fostering professional development, and providing a good educational experience to all students.
Godsoe, Bethany. (2007).Experience Speaks: The Impact of Mentoring in the Classroom and Beyond. New York: AVI CHAI Foundation.

Museums, libraries and youth

IMLS has published Nine to Nineteen, the second installment in the Museums and Libraries Engaging America's Youth series. Based on the information gathered in the Final Report of a Study of IMLS Youth Programs, 1998-2003, Nine to Nineteen includes examples of outstanding youth programs from a variety of institutions, as well as strategies for instituting or improving youth programming in your museum or library.
Institute for Museum and Library Science. (2008). Nine to Nineteen: Youth in Museums and Libraries; A Practitioner’s Guide. Washington, DC: Author.

Impact of electronic media on children

Children and Electronic Media is the Focus of New Volume
The volume focuses on how common forms of electronic media influences the wellbeing of children and adolescents. Accompanying the journal is an Executive Summary and a Policy Brief.
The volume concludes that rather than focusing on the type of technology children use, parents and policymakers should focus on what is being offered to children on the various media platforms. The fifteen leading scholars who contributed to the volume consider how exposure to different media forms are linked with school achievement, cognition, engagement in extracurricular activities, social interaction, aggression, fear and anxiety, risky behaviors, and lifestyle choices.
Media technology can be a positive force in the lives of children and youth. Editors Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Elisabeth Hirschhorn Donahue argue in the Introduction that while government's ability to regulate content is weak, educators and families can promote child wellbeing by ensuring that children engage media in a positive way.
Children and Electronic Media. The Future of Children (Vol. 18, No. 1).

California education viewpoints

Presents findings on Californians' views on K-12 education; school resources; budget priorities; policy preferences, including on teacher quality and curriculum; and data gathering. Sorts survey results by party affiliation, region, and race/ethnicity.
Baldassare, Mark; Dean Bonner; Jennifer Paluch; Sonja Petek. (2008). PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Education. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

U.S. cities struggle with graduation rates
On average, 51.8% of students in the 50 largest U.S. cities graduate from public high school, although 17 of those cities posted graduation rates below 50%, according to a new report. Suburban and rural-based public high school students were more likely to graduate than their peers in the city, according to researchers, who reported that from a nationwide perspective, 70% of all American students graduate on time.
America's Promise Alliance. (2008).
More kids juggling TV, online media
Nearly two in three U.S. children ages 9 to 17 surf the Web and watch TV at the same time, with nearly half multitasking in this way anywhere from three times a week to many times per day, according to a study by Grunwald Associates. The report also found 73% of such children practice "active multitasking," in which they are driven by content on one platform to check out another platform. This trend represents a 33% increase in active multitasking since 2002.

Immigration and education report

Recommends ways for district administrators, school administrators, and teachers to promote immigrant integration in schools, in critical areas including school enrollment, classroom instruction, student assessment, and family and community outreach.
Commins, Nancy L. (2008). Immigrant Integration: Educator Resource Guide. Denver: Colorado Dept. of Education.

Technology and literacy report

Good policy research brief about the impact of technology on students learning, and the conditions for optimal benefits.
National Council of Teachers of English. (2007). 21st century literacies. Urbana, IL: Author.

Mathematics education report

A federal report recommends that schools present elementary and middle school math in a better-defined, orderly manner, in contrast to the jumble of strategies now used in states and school districts.
National Mathematics Advisory Panel. (2008). Foundations for success. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Multimodel learning study

In general, multimodal learning has been shown to be more effective than traditional, unimodal learning. Adding visuals to verbal (text and/or auditory) learning can result in significant gains in basic and higher-order learning. The meta-analytic findings in this report provide insights into when interactivity augments multimodal learning of moderately to complex topics, and when it is advantageous for students to work individually when learning or building automaticity with basic skills.
Metiri Group. (2008). Multimodal Learning Through Media: What the Research Says. San Jose, CA: Cisco Systems.

Science education study

American Public Concerned over State of Science Education
This study gauged the attitudes toward science education in the United States, where 44 percent of U.S. adults grade the quality of science education in this country at a "C" level or lower, and 79 percent say there isn't enough attention being given to it.
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. (2008). The State of Science in America. Chicago: Author.

High school curriculum study

Assesses strategies for improving high school graduation rates by combining college preparatory coursework with career-technical education, and discusses results and practical challenges. Includes profiles of career academies with combined curricula.
Clark, Patricia; Charles Dayton; David Stern; Susan Tidyman; Alan Weisberg. (2007). Can Combining Academic and Career-Technical Education Improve High School Outcomes in California? Santa Barbara, CA: UC Santa Barbara California Dropout Research Project.

Preschool study

Preschool status
This national study provides data on state-funded pre-K programs for the 2006-2007 school year, such as percentages of children enrolled at different ages, spending per child, and the number of quality standard benchmarks met. Includes state rankings and profiles.
Barnett, W. Steven; Pat Ainsworth; Judi Stevenson Boyd; Allison H. Friedman; Jason T. Hustedt. (2008). The State of Preschool 2007. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University. The National Institute for Early Education Research.

Teacher absenteeism studiees

Teacher Absenteeism
A recent series of studies suggests that teacher absences have a negative effect on student achievement and district finances.
Raegen T. Miller, Richard J. Murnane, and John B. Willett. (2008).
Do Teacher Absences Impact Student Achievement? Longitudinal Evidence from One Urban School District. NBER Working Paper No. W13356

Charles T. Clotfelter, Helen F. Ladd, and Jacob L. Vigdor. (2007). Are Teacher Absences Worth Worrying About in the U.S.? NBER Working Paper No. W13648

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Math achievement study

math credited with major boost in U.S. school's scores
After a low-income Los Angeles elementary in the 2005-06 school year introduced a math curriculum developed for use in Singapore, where learners excel in the subject, 76% of the U.S. school's students now score at grade-level on standardized math tests, up from 45% in the prior school year. The method blends math basics with conceptual learning in way that's easy for children to understand.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A study showed that children who displayed academic skills when they started kindergarten, such as understanding the order of numbers or knowing letters, were more likely to fare better in elementary school. The ability to pay attention and to concentrate was also important, the team of researchers from the United States, Canada and Britain found from their analysis of six large, long-term studies, as was motivation to learn. Surprisingly, some social behaviors, such as having problems getting along with peers and acting sad, withdrawn or even disruptive, were not important predictors of future academic success.
(2008). Developmental Psychology,

Technology impact report

This annual report, which includes data from all 50 states and DC, highlights the states' focus on professional development and academic and includes details regarding the trends of the EETT budget cuts. "Research has shown that educational technology programs help ensure that all schools have highly qualified teachers and provide students with the academic resources necessary to compete in a global economy," said Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of SETDA. To maximize the return on their investment, states are focusing heavily on leadership and professional development initiatives.
State Educational Technology Directors Association. (2008). 2008 national trends report. Glen Burnie, MD: Author.

Class size study

Reduced class size doesn't level the playing field
Reducing classroom size to fewer than 18 students per teacher benefits high-achieving students more than struggling ones, according to an analysis by a Northwestern University researcher of data gathered in a major study on the interplay of class size and learning. "While decreasing class size may increase achievement on average for all types of students, it does not appear to reduce the achievement gap within a class," said researcher Spyros Konstantopoulos.
Konstantopoulos, S. (2008). Do Small Classes Reduce the Achievement Gap between Low and High Achievers? Evidence from Project STAR. Elementary School Journal, 108, 4.

Dropout reports

This report evaluates alternative pathways to high school graduation — such as school- or employment-based technical or vocational training programs — in different countries, in terms of content, graduation requirements, inclusiveness, and outcomes.
Lamb, S. (2008). Alternative Pathways to High School Graduation: An International Comparison. Santa Barbara, CA: California Dropout Research Project.

This report examines the scope and causes of California's dropout problem, and assesses whether some state policies unintentionally drive students out of schools. Proposes a comprehensive policy framework focused on effectively serving at-risk students.
Timar, Thomas, T., Biag, M., & Lawson, M. (2007, Oct.). Does State Policy Help or Hurt the Dropout Problem in California? Santa Barbara, CA: California Dropout Research Project.

Achievement Gap reports

The Casey Foundation published a series of eight reports about closing the achievement gap. The Foundation advocates supporting quality school choices and strong connections between schools, families, and communities.
Read, T. (2008). Closing the achievement gap. Baltimore: Casey Foundation.

Influence factors report

This report looks at the Casey Foundation's efforts to influence the education policy environment by gathering evidence of proven and promising practices, engaging target audiences, and delivering accessible messages. Profiles influence tools that have led to concrete results. Their findings can help librarians state thsi case effectively.
Read, T. (2008). The anatomy of influence. Baltimore: Casey Foundation.

Arts and learning study

Recent research helps amplify scientists' understanding of how training in the arts might contribute to improving the general thinking skills of children and adults.
Dana Foundation. (2008). Learning, arts, and the brain. Washington, DC: Author.,%20Arts%20and%20the%20Brain_ArtsAndCognition_Compl.pdf

Public libraries and museums study

"Public libraries and museums are thriving in the Internet Age as trusted providers of information to people of all ages,” according to the IMLS. Beyond that, libraries and museums remain more trusted than other sources, the Internet is not replacing in-person visits to libraries and museums and may actually increase them, and museums, libraries, and the Internet serve to complement each other.
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 2008. InterConnections: A National Study of Users and Potential Users of Online Information. Washington, DC: Author.

College information literacy report

College libraries in a sample sruvey experienced a dramatic upsurge in the number
of information literacy classes or presentations given in 2007. Librarians in the survey estimated that 23.5% of their students had not taken any prior formal information literacy training. Barely 5.4% of the sample required a 1 or 2 credit information literacy course for graduation, and just 3.6% required a 3 or more credit course. However, over 23% of the sample required information literacy training integrated into basic writing or composition courses.
Primary Research Group. (2008). College Information Literacy Efforts
Benchmarks. New York: Author.

Friday, March 7, 2008

American Memory
The Library of Congress's collection of primary documents that have been digitized for public access. The site includes high-quality lessons to guide use.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blogging study

Blogging for sanity
Blogging can help you feel less isolated, more connected to a community, and more satisfied with your friendships, both online and face-to-face, Australian research has found. The study found that after two months of regular blogging, people felt they had better social support and friendship networks than those who did not blog.
Baker, J., & Moore, S. (2008). Distress, Coping, and Blogging: Comparing New Myspace Users by Their Intention to Blog. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(1): 81-85.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Student cheating study

More students admit to cheating amid pressure to win better grades
As the college admissions process grows more competitive, two of three U.S. high school students admit to "serious" cheating and 90% say they cheat on homework, according to a national survey. For example, at the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, six sophomores were expelled and more than a dozen other students faced suspensions for distracting teachers and stealing Spanish and history tests.
Read, B. (2008). Wired for cheating. Chronicle of Higher Education; 7/16/2004, Vol. 50 Issue 45, pA27-A28,

Sunday, March 2, 2008

California drop-out study

The roughly 120,000 California students who each year fail to earn a high-school diploma before they turn 20 are costing the state $46.4 billion over the course of their lives, owing to their greater rates of unemployment, crime, welfare and state-funded medical care, as well as lost tax-revenues, according to a California Dropout Research Project report.

California's alternative charters have highest dropout rates
Only 25 California high schools, or 1%, produce more than 20% of its dropouts, and most of those are schools that specialize in students having trouble in traditional schools. "Is the school doing a bad job, or are the kids at risk anyway no matter what setting they're in?" asked researcher Russell Rumberger. "If that many kids are dropping out, it's unlikely that you're doing a good job."
Rumberger, R. (2008). California Dropout Research Project. Santa Barbara: UC SB.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Advanced courses impact study

Overemphasis on rigor derailing U.S. high schools
By requiring all students to take advanced courses and score higher on standardized tests, states are missing out on deepening learning and teaching vital critical-thinking skills. Gains come at the expense of other goals for high school reform, including equity, curricular relevance, and student interest.
Grubb, W., Oakes, J. (2008). Restoring vaue to the high school diploma. Phoenix: Arizona St. University.

Tutoring study

NCLB tutoring may not be effective in raising scores
Federally funded tutoring may not be doing much to improve student test scores, according to early data from a University of Wisconsin-Madison study. Researchers did not see strong relationships between number of hours (students attend) and results. Tutoring programs are most effective when a student attends 40 to 45 hours in an academic year, a little more than an hour per week. But just 15% of middle school and 6% of high school students attended 40 or more hours in 2005-'06.

Academic achievement factors report

Focus on children, not testing
Academic achievement requires student engagement, personalized learning and skilled and caring teachers, not just testing gains, said a recent report from ASCD's Commission on the Whole Child. "We need to rethink what education of the whole child means and make sure every student has access to a rich and challenging curriculum that pays attention to other aspects."
ASCD Commission on the Whole Child. (2008). The learning compact redefined. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Library automation survey

The survey results indicate major differences in satisfaction in the products and companies from which libraries acquire their automation systems. Dissatisfaction and concern prevail, yet some companies maintain exceptional levels of satisfaction from the libraries that use their products.
Breeding, M. (2008). Perceptions 2007: An International Survey of Library Automation.

Homework survey

A survey found a big disconnect between teachers and parents when it comes to homework. Veteran teachers said homework is crucial to students' academic success in school. Most assigned homework to help students build skills like reading comprehension or to help them prepare for tests. One out of four teachers rated the quality of their homework as "excellent." But one-third of parents rated the quality of homework only "fair to poor." Parents also complained that there's too much homework — that it takes up way too much time and deprives their children of sleep.
The MetLife survey of the American teacher: the homework experience. Hartford, CT: MetLife.

teacher librarian impact study

Higher test scores linked to certified media specialists
Preliminary findings of research show a statistically significant increase in the ELA test scores—almost a 10 point difference—among fourth-grade students whose schools had certified librarians over students in schools without certified librarians. Certified librarians are also more likely to provide students with materials that present more diverse points of view and that better support the curriculum than non-certified librarians.
Small, R., et al. (2008). New York State's School Libraries and Library Media Specialists: An Impact StudySyracuse, NY: Syracuse University.

California student academic achievement report

Recent performance trends in California’s education system
Imazeki shows that California students have generally held steady or improved their academic performance across grades and subject areas in recent years, in spite of growing financial and demographic challenges in the state’s schools. Per pupil spending in California is well below the national average, and the ratio of adults to children in the system is lower than in almost any other state. A majority of California’s students are poor, and nearly one quarter are English learners. Despite these challenges, scores on state and national assessments have been rising, not only on average but for poor and minority students as well.
Imazeki, J. (2008). Meeting the Challenge: Performance Trends in California Schools. Berkeley, CA: PACE.