Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Reading Partners

Reading Partners is a program within AmeriCorps that aims to help children become lifelong readers. It serves more than 7,000 students in eight different states. After one year, the program boosted comprehension, fluency, and sight-word efficiency for second- to fifth-graders involved in the program. Tutoring by community volunteers twice a week for 45 minutes each session resulted in an additional 1.5 to 2 months of growth in literacy for Reading Partners students over a control group of students who also received supplemental reading services. “Nationwide, two out of three fourth-graders are reading below grade level and almost one-third of children lack even basic reading skills. Children who struggle with reading in elementary school are at high risk of academic failure, high school dropout, and other negative outcomes.”

Robin Tepper Jacob, Thomas J. Smith, Jacklyn Willard, and Rachel E. Rifkin, “Reading Partners: The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers,” MDRC Policy Brief, June 2014, (retrieved June 12, 2014).

Digital Public Library of America

The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of digital items from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. It aggregates materials from over 1,300 organizations across the country, including works in more than 400 languages. After one year in operation, it tripled the size of its “collections,” jumping from 2.4 million items to well over 7 million items.

Digital Public Library of America, (retrieved May 29, 2014).

Mischievous responders

“Mischievous responders are youths who provide extreme and potentially untruthful responses to multiple questions on self-administered questionnaires. By providing misleading responses that they think are funny, these responders, even in small numbers, can lead researchers to wildly incorrect conclusions. In turn, the conclusions can lead to ineffective policymaking and may perpetuate negative stereotypes about marginalized groups.” New research, however, suggests that “sensitivity analysis” may be applied to effectively reduce damage to data validity thus ensuring more robust results to varying degrees.

Joseph P. Robinson-Cimpian, “Inaccurate Estimation of Disparities Due to Mischievous Responders: Several Suggestions to Assess Conclusions,” Educational Researcher, May 2014, (retrieved June 2, 2014).

The Wayback Machine

“The Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web, has reached a landmark with 400 billion webpages indexed. This makes it possible to surf the web as it looked any time from late 1996 up until a few hours ago.” Among its notable uses, the Wayback Machine provided access to federal government sites that went dark during the October 2013 federal government shutdown.

“Wayback Machine Hits 400,000,000,000!” Internet Archive Blogs, May 9, 2014, wayback-machine-hits-400000000000 (retrieved June 2, 2014).

Copyright 2014© American Library Association

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