Friday, March 19, 2010

What would you add to my response to a reporter who asks: "We have two schools labeled "persistently underperforming" in our local school district. I'm interested in editorializing on how such schools can be turned around. Everything from charters to longer school hours, uniforms, new leadership? What are the prototypes for dramatic change - and sharp improvement."

Research shows that strong school library programs increase student achievement, regardless of a school community's poverty level. State school library standards are important, yet do not exist in all states. Here are some California and national material that supports the case for strong school libraries as a key element in student success. Sadly, library programs are often cut because they are not seen as "classrooms", when in fact they are classrooms.

  1. Primary Sources: America's Teachers on America's Schools (2010)
  2. "Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement" (2009)
  3. School Libraries Work (compendium of state studies, charts, graphs)
School Library Standards:
  1. California DRAFT Model School Library Standards (2010)
  2. National AASL "Standards for the 21st Century Learner" (2009)
Definition of a "strong school library" (most parents and policymakers don't know...this is why school library standards are important):
Literacy-related videos
  1. The Silent Crisis (low literacy)
  2. Gotta Keep Reading - Music Video (school wide student participation)
There is no one solution to improving schools for our students, but one of the best investments a district can make is to invest in a strong school library program.

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