CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released an executive summary of the 2011-2012 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). Prepared by the AASL research and statistics committee with a data analysis by Sue Kimmel, the summary highlights findings relevant to the school library profession and areas inviting further study. The executive summary can be downloaded as a PDF via the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/research.
The SASS was developed by the NCES of the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education and is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every four years. The 2011-2012 survey collected data from a nationally representative sample of the estimated 116,240 K-12 schools in the United States and the principals and teachers within those schools. Additionally, data were collected from nationally representative samples of districts and school library programs associated with traditional public and public charter schools.
“The executive summary provides an excellent overview of the data collected by NCES and serves as a great jumping off point for future research agendas,” said Gail Dickinson, AASL president. “In particular, principals and teachers were surveyed regarding budges, professional development, curriculum and hours spent in contact with students. These questions were not posed to school librarians, opening up the potential for further study and comparison.”
The AASL executive summary was prepared using the five “First Look” reports released by NCES. These reports provide data regarding the characteristics of public elementary and secondary school library media centers, public school districts, public and private elementary and secondary schools, public and private elementary and secondary school principals and public and private elementary and secondary school teachers. The First Look reports can be viewed on the NCES website at nces.ed.gov/surveys/sass pending resolution of the government shutdown.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.