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Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California

Description: This descriptive, non-experimental study examines the strength of the relationship between California school library media programs and student achievement, using data from California criterion-referenced state-wide tests, publically available school and community demographic data, and a state survey of school library programs. Results indicate a substantial discrepancy in library staffing levels from the elementary grades through the high schools. Nevertheless, statistically significant correlations were found between certificated staffing levels and student achievement at each grade. Significant correlations persisted at the elementary and middle school when controlling for five of six school and community variables, and at the high school when controlling for all six of those variables. Bivariate correlations between total staffing and student achievement were significant at both the middle school and high school level when controlling for all school and community variables. Generally, the strength of the correlations between both certificated and total staffing tended to increase with grade level; at the high school level, correlations were among the strongest reported in any statewide study to date. There was a significant positive relationship between a majority of the 21 library services regularly provided and student achievement at all levels. Total library services were significantly related to student achievement at all levels when controlling for all school and community variables. In multiple regression analyses, there was an increasingly stronger relationship between total library programs and student achievement by grade level when controlling for all school and community variables. At every level, certificated and total staffing levels were associated with the strength of library program elements. The findings from this study confirm a host of prior research on the relationship between school libraries and student achievement and point to inequitable access to school library services in California. Results from this study might also provide a baseline of data for qualitative research ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Achterman, Douglas L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Globally Distributed Agile Teams: An Exploratory Study of the Dimensions Contributing to Successful Team Configuration

Description: Drawing upon configurational theory, work group design research, virtualness concepts, and the software agility literature, the purpose of this study was to provide a starting point for theorizing about the successful configuration of globally distributed agile teams by exploring the dimensions of team structure, virtualness, and agility. Due to the complex nature of this topic, the need to examine the phenomenon within its natural setting, and the limited amount of research that has been conducted in this particular area, this study adopted an embedded multiple-case research design. The primary data collection method consisted of semi-structured interviews involving members of globally distributed agile teams within three U.S. based organizations with members located in distributed sights in multiple countries. Additional data were collected from archival records. Within-case and cross-analysis was conducted using qualitative data analysis software. This study provides a starting point for answering the question of how the configuration of globally distributed agile teams differs from the configuration of other types of globally distributed teams; it synthesizes past research and findings into a comprehensive theoretical framework; it provides a starting point for theorizing about the successful configuration of globally distributed agile teams; it helps practitioners to identify and address the challenges related to the configuration of globally distributed agile teams; and it presents a set of best practices which will inform organizations on how to configure their globally distributed agile teams.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Sharp, Jason H.
Partner: UNT Libraries