The National Center for Education Statistics recently released the long-awaited results of its latest survey on school library media programs, School Library Media Centers: 1993-94 (NCES 98-282). Though access to the resulting data file is severely restricted, some of the report’s summary tables by state permit some rudimentary impact assessment when combined with average state reading scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).1
Combined, three variables—the ratio of students to library media specialists, weekly LMC visits per student, and weekly circulation per student—explain 51 percent of the variation in NAEP reading test scores for 1994.
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- In this context, test scores for the fourth grade must be taken as a proxy indicator of school success at all grade levels, as the LM data from NCES are not grade-specific. ▲