Meeting of the Board of Regents | October 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12230
Jeffrey W. Cannell
TITLE OF ITEM:
School Library Services: Impact on Student Achievement
DATE OF SUBMISSION:
October 2, 2008
Issue for Discussion
How to effectively utilize the findings of current research demonstrating that strong, effective school libraries are a proven key to achieving higher learning standards.
Reason(s) for Consideration
Review of policy.
This item will come before the Cultural Education Committee for discussion at the October meeting. A brief presentation of research findings, progress to date and future threats and opportunities will be followed by discussion.
The Regents adopted the ten recommendations of the 2000 Regents Commission on Library Services as their public policy, including one of the Commission’s recommendations that is particularly related to strengthening student achievement, literacy and school libraries:
No. 2: “Ensure that all New York’s students are information literate by providing strong school library media programs that include appropriately certified professional staff, adequate resources, and technology.”
Research clearly shows that effective school libraries with certified librarians, large and diverse collections, and expanded Internet access raise student test scores and achievement levels 10-20 percent, regardless of factors such as family economic level and school size. The June 2003 New York State Court of Appeals decision in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case regarding State funding of public schools specifically addressed the inadequacy of school libraries and urged the State to provide funding for up-to-date libraries that students need to succeed.
The Regents proposed an annual increase from $6.00 to $10.00 per pupil in School Library Materials Aid for 2006-2007. The 2007-2008 State budget permanently increased School Library Materials Aid to $6.25 per pupil. This increase was the first since 1998, but much more needs to be done to strengthen New York’s school library media centers.
Regents policy, the Regents P-16 Education Reform Plan and future Regents priority budget and legislative proposals for schools and libraries should support implementation of strong school library media programs for all of New York’s students.
Timetable for Implementation
Implementation should begin immediately.