Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California Page: 191
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indirect indicator of student achievement, the services a school library program provides is
significantly related to the levels of both certificated and total staffing levels. These findings
confirm a host of prior research on the relationship between school libraries and student
It is more than ironic that school districts are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of
dollars on reading programs and staff development which have had limited success in boosting
test scores, but are unwilling to invest in school library programs that show such direct
correlations to student success. It is, in fact, an inequity to the California students who are
deprived of such programs.
There is only one sustainable way to advocate for support of school library programs, and
that is through success. School library programs must contribute to student success as defined by
the larger school communities of which they are a part. It is hoped that this study will serve
efforts to garner support for more staffing of all types in California's school libraries. But the
impact of school library programs on standardized test scores is just one measure of such
success, and in the opinion of many educators, not the most important. The professional and
academic communities are just at the beginning in their efforts to demonstrate just how critical
school libraries are to student success.
The results of this study differ markedly from those of the Sinclair-Tarr and Tarr study
(2004). External factors as well as study design may account for the contrast. Sinclair-Tarr and
Tarr's most recent data were from the 2001-2002 school year, five years older than the data used
in this study. While school library programs' efforts prior to No Child Left Behind may have
contributed to increased test scores, those increases may have been a byproduct of an emphasis
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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/m1/205/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .