Standardized testing is one of the main forms of student assessment today. Indeed, the current educational system is aimed at providing learners with the essential knowledge required for the successful completion of standardized tests. However, this form of control and evaluation implies the presence of specific skills in students as well, and it is the role of an educational institution to equip its students with such skills.
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At this point, it is crucial to mention that the staff of an educational institution, including library media specialists, should be committed to the important mission of instructing and directing students on their path to acquiring these essential skills. To fulfill this mission presupposes the existence of a formed knowledge base and a high level of professional training from the side of educators and staff about the possession of test technology. Thus, it is essential to understand the potential of local school libraries in improving students’ standardized test scores and to deliver this understanding to a wider audience.
Topic of Development
As research suggests, educational media settings have significant potential for enhancing the quality of learning and the services provided to students. Indeed, school libraries can contribute greatly to the preparation and ability of students to achieve better scores and can assist in the formation of essential skills that will be helpful for students not only when taking standardized tests but also along their further educational paths. Also, the evidence proves that a greater engagement of library media specialists in the preparation of teacher instruction has a direct impact on the academic performance of students since their needs and requests are satisfied in a more comprehensive manner (National Board, 2012).
It should be noted that the frequency with which students obtain literacy instruction is crucial. The more often they receive this type of instruction, the more confident they feel during testing. Apart from that, computer labs, when used as a learning resource, can positively affect the testing environment as well (National Board, 2012). The library staff can assist learners as they complete their homework, carry out research under the specialists’ supervision and instruction, and complete their class projects. Therefore, library media specialists can assist in improving test scores by teaching students the required research and study skills.
Grant Funding and Required Resources
It is important to share the important role of library media specialists with a wider audience to encourage other institutions to employ this collaborative approach and to attract the required resources. Notably, various local, state, national, and international funding sources exist that could support initiatives aimed at encouraging the collaboration of teachers and library specialists with the ultimate goal of improving test scores.
The estimated project budget is 20,000 USD, an amount that is justified by the scale of the initiative since it will be employed at the school level. However, after the initial implementation, the results can be disseminated further to encourage other educational institutions to employ a similar approach in specialist collaboration (Florida Department of State, n.d.). Also, participation in various conferences and submissions of scholarly publications will require financial resources.
The grant request can be submitted to three sources of different scales. For instance, at the local level, the request can be delivered to the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services. At the national level, funding could be received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. On an international scale, the grant could be obtained from the American Library Association, an organization that provides sponsorships for projects at both national and international levels.
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The process of submitting a grant request depends on the scale and the character of the issuing organization (Institute of Museum and Library Services, n.d.). Nevertheless, a grant request has several general aspects that should be followed. Before submitting the request, it is essential to prepare a draft proposal for the project (American Library Association, 2015). Besides, it is crucial to carry out a mock evaluation. To be more precise, each organization provides applicants with a specific checklist that should be followed to be eligible for the grant. It is essential to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the project before submitting it. Moreover, it is important to include all required and completed administrative forms and ensure that the technical annex is provided.
Importantly, libraries and their staff are active participants in the process of changing the educational environment, and multiple publishing opportunities are available to them. For instance, a publication on the current topic can be reviewed by the Florida Authors & Publishers Association, an influential non-profit organization that provides not only publishing but also networking opportunities for its members (FAPA, 2017). Apart from that, it is possible to utilize the services provided by the Library Publishing Toolkit, which is a useful resource in the public library setting. However, at the international level, the Library Journal is a great publication that could assist greatly in disseminating the results not only across the country but also on a greater scale. The organization covers the latest research and resources in the field of library publishing (“Library Journal,” 2017).
Notably, the publication guidelines are rather general for each of these parties. The main principles of the publication should be transparency and a commitment to best practices. The content should be valid, credible, and reliable, and it should rely on the essential guidelines of scholarly research and writing (“Library publishing toolkit,” 2017). It is essential to specify the editorial team and contact information as well as to outline the copyright and licensing information, if applicable. However, one of the most significant aspects, especially in the case of national and international publishers, is the procedure for recognizing and handling possible research misconduct. In that matter, it is obligatory to state any conflict of interest to eliminate the possibility of violations that would hinder the publication.
The outline of the potential publication is as follows:
- Evidence suggesting the potential for teacher collaboration with libraries and librarians to improve the results of standardized testing.
- Background information about the affiliation, the statistics characterizing previous performance, and the outcomes achieved post-intervention.
- A discussion of objectives that should be achieved through the proposed measure.
- The methods and activities that should be employed to achieve the discussed objectives.
- An explanation and justification of the required resources and a description of progress measurement.
- The projected outcome of the implementation of recommendations and the potential contribution they will make.
Four presentations on this topic can be given throughout 2017 and 2018. At the national level, it will be crucial to participate in the 2017 ALA Annual Conference, which is planning to dedicate an entire conference day to sessions covering library settings and their role in education (American Library Association, 2017). At the international level, SITE 2018 is a suitable event that gathers experts in the field to disseminate the latest evidence about essential educational topics. Importantly, the call for papers will take place in 2017; therefore, it will be possible to gather more data on the implementation of the initiative and prepare findings by 2018.
Apart from that, the 2017 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership is another significant event at which a conference presentation could be made. The participants will be able to not only share findings and practices but also network to organize statewide activities and programs (ASCD, 2017). However, the 2017 FATE Annual Conference could serve as a platform for initiating other proceedings since it will be possible to refine the data and information when making a presentation at this event, before taking it to national and international conferences.
To participate in these conferences, it will be necessary to follow a strict submission process. It is required that the researcher deliver an abstract of the proposed project that covers all the essential elements of the presentation (“SITE 2018”, 2017). The abstract will be reviewed by the conference committee, and upon approval, it will be crucial to submit the final work in full for review (Florida Association of Teacher Educators, n.d.). Following this submission process is obligatory for all participants; the committee will check that all the requirements have been met and that no policy violations have been permitted.
Outcomes and Conclusions
Two important outcomes should be achieved after the implementation of the proposed recommendation. First, educational institutions will place greater emphasis on the importance of cooperation between librarians and classroom educators in furnishing instruction, which also implies the contribution of librarians to the professional growth of teachers (National Board, 2012). Second, schools will employ the new strategy in which library staff members act as instructional partners of teachers to create a more positive learning environment and enhance test scores through the use of technology.
These outcomes coincide directly with Standard VIII (Professional Growth) of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Library Media. To be more precise, they envision the concept of leadership promoted by this standard and place educators in the position of observers (National Board, 2012). Teachers should analyze and rethink their instructional technologies by current student needs. Besides, it implies the juxtaposition of teacher practice with student learning. Thus, the application of the proposed method will allow teachers to adapt the environment to the long-term goal of achieving higher test scores.
Moreover, from that perspective, the growth of learners will indicate the professional growth of the educator as well. Also, the collaboration of teachers with library media specialists and staff will provide an opportunity to influence existing professional norms at the institutional level and promote an atmosphere of innovation, which also coincides with NBPTS Standard VIII (National Board, 2012). Therefore, the cooperation of colleagues is central to the growth of students.
American Library Association. (2015). International opportunities and funding sources for librarians. Web.
American Library Association. (2017). ALA annual conference. Web.
ASCD. (2017). Conference on educational leadership. Web.
FAPA. (2017). 2017 FAPA annual conference. Web.
Florida Association of Teacher Educators. (n.d.). 2017 board and officer nominations. Web.
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Florida Department of State. (n.d.). Apply for library grants. Web.
Institute of Museum and Library Services. (n.d.). About us. Web.
Library journal. (n.d.). Web.
Library publishing toolkit. (n.d.). Web.
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (2012). Library media standards. Web.
SITE 2018 – Washington, DC. (2017). Web.