Report Roundup

Too Many Forms?

"Does the Quest for Policy-Relevant Data Create Paperwork in Schools? Findings From a State Paperwork-Reduction Initiative"

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Paperwork is a burdensome part of the job for many public school educators, but a new study of Louisiana schools suggests that the load may be greater in low-performing schools.

At the behest of the Louisiana Department of Education, researchers Susan E. Kochan Teddlie and Sharon Pol last year surveyed 4,000 educators in 302 schools across the state. They also conducted six focus groups with school and district personnel from 35 of the state’s 68 districts.

They found that teachers on average spent about 2.9 hours a week doing state-required paperwork that was unrelated to teaching. But educators in the state’s lowest-performing schools—that is, those that had been judged “academically unacceptable” because of students’ performance on state exams—spent an average of 5.97 hours a week on paperwork.

The researchers said higher rates of student mobility, teacher turnover, and student misbehavior explain some of the low-performing schools’ disproportionate burden. Struggling schools also typically come under more state scrutiny and have more school improvement programs in place, both of which involve additional documentation requirements.

Ms. Teddlie, a researcher at the Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, cautioned, however, that her figures may be low. She said that’s because, in the focus groups, teachers seemed unaware of the origin of the paperwork requirements they routinely fulfilled, not realizing that many of those tasks had been imposed by the state.

She and Ms. Pol, an independent researcher, presented their findings last week in Denver at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Vol. 29, Issue 31, Page 4

Published in Print: May 12, 2010, as Too Many Forms?
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >