Wednesday, April 27, 2011

California public school study

UCLA's annual report o learning conditions and educational outcomes in California's public schools reiterates K12's state of emergency. Among their findings:
- HSs are providin less time, attention and quality programs so student engagement and achievement suffer.
-Inequality is growing.
UCLA. 2011. Free Fall: Educational Opportunities in 2011.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Student courses study

Study finds students are taking tougher courses
More students nationwide are taking more rigorous courses than they did 20 years ago. The study also shows that students who take more difficult math and science classes likely are to earn higher scores on achievement tests. However, experts say, black and Hispanic students are not participating in tougher courses or achieving at the same level as their white peers.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2009). America's high school graduates. Washington, DC: Author.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The digital information seeker report

In the interest of analysing and synthesising several user behaviour studies conducted in the US and the UK twelve studies were identified. These 12 selected studies were commissioned and/or supported by non- profit organisations and government agencies; therefore, they have little dependence upon the outcomes of the studies. The studies were reviewed by two researchers who analysed the findings, compared their analyses, and identified the overlapping and contradictory findings. This report is not intended to be the definitive work on user behaviour studies, but rather to provide a synthesised document to make it easier for information professionals to better understand the information-seeking behaviours of the libraries’ intended users and to review the issues associated with the development of information services and systems that will best meet these users’ needs.

Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Timothy J. Dickey of OCLC Research, 2010, PDF link here

2010 Speak Up National Report

Many parents are in favor of using students' own mobile devices in the classroom, though many school administrators are still resistant to the idea, a national survey found. The researchers also found increasing support among parents for online learning and digital textbooks, and frustration among students who want more access to Internet sites that are being blocked by schools. The survey revealed that students want more interactivity and collaboration in their studies, and parents are much more accepting of online learning than they were just a few years ago—but there are still many gaps in how students and their parents view educational technology and how educators view ed tech.

Speak Up National Report, 2010, PDF Link here

Early Grade Retention and Student Success Study

Early Grade Retention and Student Success: Evidence From Los Angeles

Analyzes risk factors of retention through third grade in the L.A. Unified School District, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, family income, and English learner status; retention's effectiveness in improving grade-level skills; and educators' views.

Public Policy Institute of California, Cannon, Jill S.; Stephen Lipscomb, March 2011, PDF link here

Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

A new study reveals the economic benefit of cutting the high school dropout rates in half. Economic benefits projected in the study’s state-by-state profiles include higher individual earnings, increased home and auto sales, job and economic growth, higher levels of spending and investment, and larger state tax revenues.

Alliance for Excellent Education, March 2011,

Report Offers Lessons Learned from Education Systems Abroad

A new report from the outlines five highly effective lessons learned from education systems that develop and support teachers and leaders in Finland, Ontario, and Singapore. These jurisdictions, comparable in population to mid-sized U.S. states, have attained among the highest and most equitable performance in the world on international assessments. The lessons feature a systemic approach; strong teacher recruitment and preparation; attractive teaching conditions; continuous support for teacher learning; and proactive leadership development. The examples also show how these policies can be implemented in different contexts.

Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, 2011, PDF link here

Eight characteristics of effective school boards: At a glance

Eight characteristics of effective school boards: At a glance

1. Effective school boards commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision.
2. Effective school boards have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
3. Effective school boards are accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.

4. Effective school boards have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.

5. Effective school boards are data savvy: they embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.

6. Effective school boards align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals. According to researchers effective boards saw a responsibility to maintain high standards even in the midst of budget challenges.
7. Effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
8. Effective school boards take part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts.

Center for Public Education, 2011,

Study Finds Cheaters Overestimate Academic Abilities

In four experiments detailed in the March Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that cheaters pay for the short-term benefits of higher scores with inflated expectations. Researchers found that a majority of students cheat at some point during high school, and the likelihood of cheating increases, even though most students consider it wrong. Fifty-nine percent of public and private high school students admitted to having cheated on a test, including 55 percent of honors students, the study found. Researchers suggest that students who cheat often deceive themselves into thinking they can perform well in the future without cheating. Researchers said thinking is used to justify or distance students from the act of cheating, but will often cause long-term damage to their professional and academic habits.

Harvard Business School and Duke University, 2011,

Study Reveals Fewer Dropout Rates in Schools

The number of U.S. schools with such poor graduation rates fell by 6.4 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a report. In 2008, the nation had 1,746 schools with graduation rates no higher than 60 percent. That number fell by 112, to 1,634, the following year. From 2008 to 2009, there were 183,701 fewer students attending these low-performing schools, an 8 percent drop. These numbers are presented in an update to the November 2010 report, "Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic."

Johns Hopkins University Everyone Graduates Center, America's Promise Alliance, and Civic Enterprises, 2010-2011 Update, PDF link here

National Survey of College Preparedness

A majority of teachers in the U.S. believe that schools are not doing enough to prepare students with diverse learning needs for success after high school, according to a nationwide survey. Ninety-one percent of the public school teachers interviewed for annual survey said that strengthening programs and resources to help “diverse learners” (students with low-income status, limited fluency in English, or learning disabilities) become college- and career-ready should be a priority in education. More than half of the teachers (59 percent) indicated it should be one of schools’ highest priorities. None of the other education reform strategies presented in the survey received as great a consensus.

The findings are being released in two reports:

  • Part 1: Clearing the Path examines the importance of being college- and career-ready, what this level of preparation includes, and what it may take to get there.

  • Part 2: Teaching Diverse Learners looks at differences in student needs, how teachers address them and how well students feel their needs are being met.

MetLife, 2011,

KIPP Charter Schools Receive More Tax Dollars

A new nationwide study researchers found that the KIPP network, one of the fastest-growing and most academically successful charter groups, has received more taxpayer dollars per student than regular public schools. By analyzing Department of Education databases for the 2007-8 school year, researchers determined that the KIPP network received $12,731 in taxpayer money per student, compared with $11,960 at the average traditional public school and $9,579, on average, at charter schools nationwide. The study said that KIPP also generated $5,760 per student from private donors, based on a review of KIPP’s nonprofit filings with the Internal Revenue Service. KIPP officials dispute the report, saying it significantly overstates the amount per student that the network receives from both public and private sources.

Western Michigan University, March 2011, PDF link here

Library Use of eBooks, 2011 Edition

The report presents 145 pages of data and commentary on a broad range of eBook issues, including: spending on eBooks in 2010 and anticipated spending for 2011; use levels of various kinds of eBooks; market penetration by various specific eBook publishers; extent of use of aggregators vs offering by specific publishers; purchasing of individual titles; use of various channels of distribution such as traditional book jobbers and leading retail/internet based booksellers; use of eBooks in course reserves and interlibrary loan; impact of eBooks on print book spending; use of eBooks in integrated search; price increases for eBooks; contract renewal rates for eBooks; use of special eBook platforms for smartphones and tablet computers; spending plans and current use of eBook reader such as Nook, Reader and Kindle; the role played by library consortia in eBooks;

Just a few of the study's many findings are that: impact of iPad and mobile computing on eBooks; spending on eDirectories and more.

Primary Research Group, Nov 2010,

Web 2.0 Usage Increasing in K-12 Schools report

The use of Web 2.0 is increasing in K-12 schools. But, according to a new report, more widespread adoption is being hampered at least in part by teachers' lack of knowledge of how to use the technologies.

For the report, researchers surveyed 388 K-12 technology directors, leaders, and staffers across the country in an effort to gauge attitudes toward and adoption of social and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies, including student-generated content, teacher-generated content, social networking in an educational context, gaming, virtual learning environments, digital media, and communications technologies.

What the researchers found was that acceptance of Web 2.0 has increased since 2009--the first year of the survey--but that there are still some barriers to adoption, including some lingering perceptions of student "safety" risks, lack of technical support (including technical personnel), and lack of knowledge on the part of teachers of the effective use of Web 2.0 technologies. This last was, according to the researchers, "the most frequently cited human-related barrier to adoption."

On the positive side, more schools are reporting that significant portions of their teaching staff are creating their own content online. For the latest survey, 76 percent of districts reported that at least a quarter of all teachers create content online. This compared with 64 percent from the 2009 survey. Also up was the use of student-generated content by teachers, with 45 percent reporting that at least 25 percent of teachers use student-generated online work, compared with 32 percent in 2009.

Interactive Educational Systems Design on behalf of ed tech developers Atomic Learning, Lightspeed Systems, and netTrekker, 2011,

How Third Grade Reading Skills Influence Graduation study

Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation

This study finds that students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave without a diploma than proficient readers. It is notable in breaking down for the first time the likelihood of graduation by different reading skill levels and poverty experiences.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Center for Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, State of New York; Foundation for Child Development, 2011, PDF link

Student Media Addiction Worldwide

It doesn't matter if a college student lives in the United States, Chile, China, Slovakia, Mexico or Lebanon -- many are addicted to media, researchers say. Researchers found whether in developing countries or developed countries the findings are strikingly similar in how teens and young adults use media and how "addicted" they are to their cellphone, laptop or mp3 player. The researchers asked about 1,000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all media for 24 hours and record their experiences.

Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change and International Center for Media & the Public Affairs (ICMPA), 2011,

2011 State Of America's Libraries Report

2011 State of America's Libraries Now Available!

The Great Recession may have come to an end, but there's no end to libraries' key role in helping hard-pressed Americans find employment or launch a bootstraps venture. These and other key trends in the library community are detailed in this report on the State of America's Libraries, 2011. This report is provided free of charge from the American Library Association's Public Information Office in the easy-to-use Zmag web browser format or as a PDF for offline reading.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reading skills report

This study finds that students who don't read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave without a diploma than proficient readers. It is notable in breaking down for the first time the likelihood of graduation by different reading skill levels and poverty experiences.

Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation by Donald J. Hernandez
The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Center for Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, State of New York; Foundation for Child Development, 2011.

Teacher tenure report

This report examines government and college tenure systems and how they affect organizational goals. Outlines options for reforming design elements of K-12 teacher tenure, including time-to-tenure, criteria, and process, or replacing tenure with other incentives.
Public Impact. (2011). Teacher Tenure Reform: Applying Lessons From the Civil Service and Higher Education. Chapel Hill, NC: Public Impact.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teacher perceptions of collaboration study

This study examined elementary teachers' perceptions of teacher and school librarian collaboration. Although teachers think collaboration is important for student learning, teacher perceive their interaction with school librarians in traditional ways. This perception could shift if school librarians made more effort to demonstrate to teacher that they could be called upon to teach and evaluate students. Furthermore, teachers need to learn how such collaboration can be done.
Montiel-Overall, P., & Jones, L. (2011). Teacher and school library collaboration. The Canadian Journal of Information and Library Sciences, 35(1).

School libraries spending survey report

The biennial School Library Journal national survey of school library spending and services reveals the impact of the economy. Middle schools and the West were hardest hit. The report includes information about acquisitions, collections, staffing, use of technology, and collaboration.
Farmer, L. (2011, March). Spending survey. School Library Journal, p. 42-49.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mobile use report

Youth are big proponents of using cell phones for education, according to a recent report. Some statistics follow:
60% of students in 6-12 grades think using their own phones would improve tech at their school
31% of students in HS own a smart phone (78% of them think using those devised would improve tech at school)
67% of HS students can access an Internet-enabled phone
62% of parents would buy a mobile device for their child's educational use.
Blackboard and Project Tomorrow. 2010. Learning in the 21st century: Taking it mobile.