Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California Page: 101
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Program (a poverty indicator), percentage of students participating in migrant education,
percentage of English learners, the average education level of parents, percentage of fully-
credentialed teachers on staff, average class size, and the mobility of students (California
Department of Education, 2006). Data from this source, which is publicly available as a comma-
delimited file download from the CDE Website, was used to control for community and school-
based influences on the dependent variables. Additionally, data from the School Accountability
Report Card (SARC), also available each year as a comma-delimited filed download from the
CDE, was used to determine and control for average teacher salary as an intervening variable.
Among the school level control variables not included in this study was average class
size. Englehart (2007), in a comprehensive review of the literature on class size, concludes that
the disparity of findings from the research makes drawing definitive conclusions about the
effects of class size on student achievement difficult. Englehart suggests that the failure in this
research stems from an inability to account for the interaction effects among the many variables
that accompany class size, including socio-economic status, the size of a school district, the
demographics of individual classes, teacher experience, and many others. Englehart's assertion
of the inconclusiveness of research in the area is affirmed by several others in recent years who
found either contradictory results or no significant relationship between class size and student
achievement (see Akerhielm, 1995; Borland, Howsen & Trawick, 2005; Davis, 2007; Ready &
Lee, 2006; Ross, 2007).
Another problematic school level control variable is student mobility. Nelson, Simoni &
Adelman (1996) suggested in their three-year study of over 2,500 early elementary students that
students who change schools are lower achieving to begin with. Mobility, in other words, may
not be a cause, but a symptom of low achievement. Alexander, Entwisle & Dauber's (1996)
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Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California, dissertation, December 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/m1/115/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .