I am going to do a series on the issues and I wanted to talk briefly about libraries.
For a district with a reading problem it did not make any sense to get rid of the libraries but we did we sure did.
This may have started under Pratt-Dannals but it really escalated under Vitti, but here is the thing, Vitti has been gone for going on 4 years now and libraries still have not made a come back.
Vitti was slick too, with a wink he said well I gave schools an option a test coordinator or a librarian but the fix was in because Vitti didn’t appreciate libraries or librarians and I don’t know if it was because he was dyslexic or he did some cost benefit ratio and decided schools needed another defacto administrator or something else but he decimated the librarian corp. This despite lots of evidence pointing to how valuable they are.
From Phi Delta Kappan,
Since 1992, a growing body of research known as the school library impact studies has consistently shown positive correlations between high-quality library programs and student achievement (Gretes, 2013; Scholastic, 2016). Data from more than 34 statewide studies suggest that students tend to earn better standardized test scores in schools that have strong library programs. Further, when administrators, teachers, and librarians themselves rated the importance and frequency of various library practices associated with student learning, their ratings correlated with student test scores, further substantiating claims of libraries’ benefits. In addition, newer studies, conducted over the last several years, show that strong school libraries are also linked to other important indicators of student success, including graduation rates and mastery of academic standards.
I believe kids will do better if we play to their strengths and interests, something we might not always be able to do with a fairly rigid curriculum, but it is definitely something we could do with a library.
A Colleague reminded me of what their duties should be as well. And librarians need to be just that: librarians. Not ID makers, test proctors, attendance clerks, etc. We need to get back to filling our libraries with tons of books in different genres and push reading for enjoyment. Librarians are the best at helping kids find books they love.
Every school should have a library and and a librarian, and not split a librarian with another school either but their own and that is the bottom line.
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