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New research shows that more librarians means higher reading scores

09/2/2011

Something to Shout About: New research shows that more librarians means higher reading scores.

data from Keith Curry Lance: “We found that 19 of the 26 states that gained librarians saw an average 2.2 percent rise in their National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) fourth-grade reading scores. Meanwhile, 9 of the 24 states that lost librarians had a 1 percent rise. Why is this important? Because of the proportion of the difference—the increase in scores of states that gained librarians was two times that of states that lost librarians. Scores remained unchanged for 6 states that gained librarians and 12 that lost librarians. Three states that lost librarians had an average decline of -1 percent, and one state that gained librarians experienced a -0.5 percent decline in scores.

Even though these numbers may seem small, minor shifts are quite meaningful since there tends to be little overall change with fourth-grade NAEP reading scores over time. So the fact that our study shows some change in reading scores if a state gains or loses librarians is significant and worthwhile.”

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