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Brought to you by Gary Deane: The Globe and Mail reports on a new study that shows a direct correlation between investment in school libraries and improved standardized test scores.
There's no quick fix [for poor standardized test scores], commentators are quick to point out. But what if there were? What if someone found a dependable method of raising test scores while enhancing the educational values that a standardized Q and A can't measure?
Ken Haycock, a University of British Columbia researcher and former chairman of the Vancouver School Board, has identified that miracle solution in one of modern education's most neglected outposts: the school library. No, it's not sexy or particularly cutting-edge -- the opposite, if anything, which may be why the library's backers can't get the attention of people fixated on education's next big thing.
The full report (in .pdf) is available here.
Christine writes "A Nice Story on parents at Hacienda Elementary in San Jose, CA Unified School District who saved a school librarian's position from being eliminated by contributing the $52,000 needed to keep her job. Dayle Moore was recently named San Jose Unified's Teacher of the Year for her work in the library and community, including a successful accelerated reading program. "If we lost the librarian . . . we're talking about taking a perfectly wonderful school down to zero,'' said parent Tessie Crosby." Moore will now be called a "resource teacher" since her official position no longer exists. "
"When elementary and middle school students in the Port Washington-Saukville [WI] School District head to the library next year, chances are they'll find something missing. The shelves will still be crammed with books, but there may be no librarian.
"'This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make,' Superintendent Michael Weber said. 'Cutting a librarian was certainly not something any of us wanted to do.'"
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the rest of this sad story.
Ruth noticed This One from Rochester NY, where the city has hired a consultant to explore and make recommendations about consolidating facility maintenance and elementary librarian services between the city and the Rochester School District.
"A Fort Lauderdale school librarian did not come to work Monday because parents were afraid she could transmit the virus for severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, to their children."
"Gayle Grossman does not appear to be sick, but she did recently travel to China, which is where SARS is thought to have originated. Grossman works at Bayview Elementary, but she won't be at work for the next 10 days, which is the recommended quarantine period."
"Grossman made the decision to use her remaining sick and vacation days after several parents said they would keep their kids out of school if she returned." (from Yahoo News)
Jen Young notes, CNN Is Reporting On a growing number of schools that are incorporating laptop computers and wireless Internet technology into their buildings and classrooms.
"People within schools are continually feeling that pressure to prepare students for what they're going to face after high school and college and wireless technology is certainly becoming a bigger piece,"
What's up with books? A lot! takes a look at the job of today's SLMS's.
According to Fran Schulz, director of Instructional Media for Pasco County Public Schools, the terms media specialist or librarian information specialist more accurately describe the job of today's school librarian. Although some people worried the two would never fit together, books and technology have found a peaceful home in school media centers.
"Thanks to a little nudge from his daughter, Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH) recently secured more than $2 million in federal funds to develop a pilot program at Kent State University to teach K-12 educators the value of school library resources."
"The new program, entitled the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education, will bring together Kent State's School of Library and Information Science, College of Education, and the university library to offer various summer workshops and training sessions on "ways to encourage the effective use of school libraries in classes," says Regula, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education." (from School Library Journal)
"When 12-year-old Mason Laskey brought a note home from school stating that he needed parental permission to be taped to a wall, his father was confused."
"I thought he did something wrong," said Don Laskey of Cranberry. "I thought maybe he'd lost some kind of a bet or was being punished."
"Quite the opposite."
"Mason Laskey had won a monthlong reading contest, and was to be taped to the wall of the library in Haine elementary and middle schools to illustrate the notion that he was "stuck on reading," according to Librarian Sandra Reidmiller. (from The Post-Gazette)
I thought we were supposed to use duct tape to save ourselves from terrorists...
Rochelle Hartman writes \"Portland teachers have reversed a decision to strike, agreeing, instead to work 10 days for free, in order to maintain health benefits and prevent cuts in education spending. Labor leaders are left scratching their heads over this one. At least these teachers are deciding for themselves, rather than having governing entities cut hours, close doors, and reassign.
Full Story \"
Meanwhile, In New Jersey A collaborative effort to save taxpayer dollars has brought educators and borough officials together in a novel plan to build a school for the district\'s youngest students and attach it to the public library.