This is my first blog of the New Year, and first post for some time. I’d like to say that my departure from blogging has been due to a trip to warm Phoenix to see my Hawkeyes play in the Insight Bowl, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. I’ve instead been working on my dissertation, which will attempt to analyze the impact of one-to-one schools across the state of Iowa. Some of my initial findings have been very interesting, but I share them with a disclaimer. These are very preliminary findings, and I may be oversimplifying them a bit. I am still working to clean-up the data, but I thought these very crude results may be of interest to some of you. If you’d like to find out more, feel free to send me an email so we can chat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The initial part of my study attempted to analyze the characteristics of one-to-one schools. The goal was to identify characteristics of one-to-one schools that were very different (statistically significant) from non-one-to-one schools. Because I didn’t want the characteristics to be impacted as a result of a school going one-to-one, I used data from a year that schools were not one-to-one (2007). Here are some of those characteristics that were very different between one-to-one and non-one-to-one schools.
It is important to stress a couple of points with these data.
- I didn’t report items above simply if one group had a higher median. They were only reported if there was a statistically significant difference. I actually compared schools on nearly 100 different characteristics, most of which didn’t show differences between the two groups.
- These results are NOT results of 1:1! These data were collected prior to one to-one implementation in an effort to describe the “type” of schools that were the first in Iowa to transition to one-to-one (41 schools).
- I have oversimplified these results a bit, and they aren’t yet finalized!
- School and district enrollment-One-to-one schools were smaller.
- Pupils per computer-Even prior to going one-to-one, one-to-one schools had more computers.
- 11th grade proficiency scores-One-to-one schools outscored non-one-to-one schools.
- Student to teacher ratio-They were higher at one-to-one schools.
- Teacher salaries-Salaries were lower at one-to-one schools.
- Revenue from local sources-One-to-one schools received a greater percentage of their revenue from local sources. (This may be a bit confusing to those of you not familiar with Iowa’s funding formula.)
- Percent of community members with a college degree-The percent in one-to-one communities was lower.
- Percent of community members in the labor force-The percent in one-to-one communities is less than their counterparts.
- Median family income-Family income was lower in one-to-one communities. (Housing values were also less.)
- Age of principal-One-to-one principals were younger.
- Superintendent experience in the district-One-to-one superintendents had less district experience, BUT no statistically significant difference in overall experience.
- Diversity-One-to-one schools were less racially diverse.
Even with those disclaimers above, I have found these results EXTREMELY interesting. There are some I certainly would have expected, and others that were more surprising.