A Massachusetts study conducted in 2000 by Professor James Baughman of Simmons College has shown a direct correlation between the quality of school library programs and student achievement as measured by the state's MCAS tests. These findings parallel those conducted in a number other states: Alaska (1999), Colorado (2000), Florida (2002), Iowa (2002), Michigan (2003), Minnesota (2003), Missouri (2003), New Mexico (2002),North Carolina (2003), Ohio (2004), Oregon (2001), Pennsylvania (2000) and Texas (2001).
The Simmons Study found that the highest achieving students attend schools with good libraries. The study also found that:
• At each grade level school library programs increase MCAS scores.
• At each grade level, students score higher on MCAS tests when there is a higher per pupil book count.
• At each grade level, student use of the library produces higher MCAS scores.
• At the elementary and middle school levels, students score higher on the MCAS when there is a library instruction program.
• At the elementary and high school levels, students who are served by a full time librarian have higher MCAS scores than those in schools without a full time librarian.
• At the elementary and high school levels, nonprofessional library staff assistance makes a positive difference in average MCAS scores.