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Graduate Programs in Education: A Guide for Library Research: Research School Districts

This guide is designed for students of the M.A.T. and M.Ed. programs and provides a comprehensive, but basic, guide to information resources useful to their program work.

Research School Districts

Indiana Department of Education

This is the portal for accessing information published by the Department. It contains much data about schools and student learning in individual school districts. In fact this Web site can overwhelm you with information. An understanding of how the system works and extracting data will be essential. Consult a librarian for help. From the DOE homepage there is access to the ASAP Education Web Site. ASAP, or "Accountability System for Academic Progress," has recently been established to provide computer-generated statistical tables on local school systems for school administrators, teachers, parents and school board members. Eight categories of data are provided: academic standards, accountability, accreditation, best practice, professional development, school data, school improvement planning and state aims and goals. This service appears to be "tacked on" to the rest of the DOE and may duplicate, in part, data that is already there.

US Department of Education Index

The portal entry for a myriad of publications, including statistical database and directories, published in print and on the Web by the US Department of Education. This is a treasure trove of information that will take some time to learn to navigate, but it is well worth it.

The Education Trust

The Education Trust was established in 1990 by the American Association for Higher Education as a special project to encourage colleges and universities to support K-12 reform efforts. Since then, the Ed Trust has grown into an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to make schools and colleges work for all of the young people they serve. The Education Trust conducts many studies and uses data from others to analyze school performance. The site provides interactive tables of academic performance by state. Cohort data is available by race and socioeconomic categories.

Palladium-Item

The newspaper is online with current news and a small archive back to 1999 is available from the library's News Resources page. A complete file of the newspaper is available on microfilm at Morrisson-Reeves (MRL), the city public library. MRL has an online index which you can consult prior to a visit to the library at 80 North 6th Street. To consult the newspaper index go to the MRL homepage and select OPAC. In the OPAC select "Newspaper Index." The MRL homepage is at http://www.mrl.lib.in.us/

Google Search Engine, Google Scholar, Google Books

Though their interfaces are similiar, they search different types of Web sites. For example, while Google Search Engine is the index to the larger collection of web pages, the Google Scholar Search is an index to web pages that are scholarly publications. Whichever search engine you use, select the "Advanced Search" interface and the following search elements:

In the exact phrase box: name of school

e.g., nettle creek school corporation

In the all of the words box: state subject

e.g., indiana parent*

Try alternative searches using different terms for the same concept. For example in place of parent* type in the at least one box family mother* father*. Another alternative is to search the name of individual schools instead of the name of the cooperation. For example, Hagerstown Junior Senior High School instead of Nettle Creek School Corporation.

Reference Help

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Earlham Librarian
 

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