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 Surprisingly, some social behaviors, such as having problems getting along with peers and acting sad, withdrawn or even disruptive, were not important predictors of future academic success.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.

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.