Assessment Report Roundup

Textbooks

By Sarah D. Sparks — October 11, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

While education leaders debate innovations in school management and teaching strategy, it’s important not to forget one of the most basic ways to improve students’ achievement: Give them books.

Kristian L. Holden, a researcher for the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at the American Institutes for Research, found spending a little less than $100 per student for new textbooks led to significant improvements in reading and math performance in some of California’s poorest and lowest-performing elementary schools.

As part of a 2004 class-action settlement over the underfunding of schools, California set a standard requiring each student to have his or her own textbooks and instructional materials to use in class and at home, and provided new money to buy the books. Money for textbooks increased from $25 per pupil to more than $54, and the state provided $138 million specifically for the lowest-performing 20 percent of schools.

Holden compared achievement on the state reading and math tests from 2002 to 2011 in schools that were just above and below the cutoff for additional textbook funding. The increase was on average 0.15 of a standard deviation per school in both subjects—in the same ballpark as the effect of reducing class sizes by 10 students.

But no significant change was found for the low-performing secondary schools that received the additional textbook money.

A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2016 edition of Education Week as Textbooks

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Data Young Adolescents' Scores Trended to Historic Lows on National Tests. And That's Before COVID Hit
The past decade saw unprecedented declines in the National Assessment of Educational Progress's longitudinal study.
3 min read
Assessment Long a Testing Bastion, Florida Plans to End 'Outdated' Year-End Exams
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will shift to "progress monitoring" starting in the 2022-23 school year.
5 min read
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Aug. 18, 2021.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he believes a new testing regimen is needed to replace the Florida Standards Assessment, which has been given since 2015.
Marta Lavandier/AP
Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment in 2021
In this Spotlight, review newest assessment scores, see how districts will catch up with their supports for disabled students, plus more.
Assessment 'Nation's Report Card' Has a New Reading Framework, After a Drawn-Out Battle Over Equity
The new framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress will guide development of the 2026 reading test.
10 min read
results 925693186 02
iStock/Getty