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ERIC Number: ED543418
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 179
Abstractor: As Provided
How Pennsylvania School Libraries Pay Off: Investments in Student Achievement and Academic Standards
Lance, Keith Curry; Schwarz, Bill
Online Submission
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of Pennsylvania school library programs on student learning--specifically, the infrastructure (staffing, budgets, collections, technology, and access hours) that contributes most to student achievement, the costs and benefits associated with them, and the gap between current Pennsylvania school library programs and what is needed to develop students with 21st century skills. Lead investigators Keith Curry Lance and Bill Schwarz, RSL Research Group, Louisville, Colorado, examined three data sets--1) student reading and writing standardized test data for all 500 public school districts from the 2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), including subgroup data for students who were classified by PSSA definitions as economically disadvantaged, Hispanic, Black, and students with disabilities, 2) survey data on the status of school libraries from 2,180 (73%) of the state's public schools collected by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education in Spring 2011, and 3) survey data about the roles of school library programs and librarians in teaching the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and the Common Core standards as initiated in Pennsylvania from 950 teachers, 597 school librarian, and 295 school administrators. The findings were consistent with more previous research conducted in over 22 states that indicate that students in schools with well-supported, resourced, and staffed school libraries achieve a higher level of academic success. Consistently, reading and writing scores were better for students who had a full-time, certified librarian than those who didn't. Students who were economically disadvantaged, Black, Hispanic, and students with disabilities benefitted proportionally more than students generally. Additionally, the impact of school library programs was greater proportionally on writing than reading scores. Educators' responses to survey questions, which were correlated to their schools' PSSA tests scores, indicated that what librarians teach both addresses academic standards and impacts students' standardized test scores. This study adds to the evidence that all K-12 students need quality school library programs with full-time certified staff to achieve academically. These findings also suggest that staffing libraries with certified librarians can help close achievement gaps among the most vulnerable learners. The research was funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services as a 2011 National Leadership grant. Grant partners were the Health Sciences Libraries Consortium (HSLC), the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA), and the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania (ELC). (Contains 13 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A