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NIE Research Results

STUDY ONE: Reading Gains

Mean Percentage of Improvement (M) from Pretest to Posttest and number of Students (N) under Conditions of Newspaper Usage in the Classroom*

Middle School 8th GradersNewspaper with Instruction (Active)Newspapers without Instruction (Passive)Newspapers Not Used (Control)
Reading Vocabulary

M = 5.8
N = 90

M = 4.5
N = 72

M = 4.0
N = 59

Reading Comprehension

M = 4.9
N = 86

M = 3.2
N = 71

M = -0.6
N = 53

High School 9th-12th GradersNewspaper with Instruction (Active)Newspapers without Instruction (Passive)Newspapers Not Used (Control)
Reading Vocabulary

M = 8.8
N = 87

M = 6.2
N = 106

M = 0.8
N = 59

Reading Comprehension

M = 14.9
N = 91

M = 4.6
N = 97

M = -15.3
N = 54

In the areas of both reading vocabulary and reading comprehension, the students in the study, whose teachers actively used newspapers, gained more than those whose teachers just made the newspapers available. However, students in both active and passive groups outperformed those in the control group where newspapers were not used or available.

(*) From a study, in 1989, by Dr. Barbara Palmer of Florida State University.

STUDY TWO: Writing Gains

For a power point page, click here.

STUDY THREE: Measuring Success!
Newspaper of Association of America Results

SCHOOL DATA: Parallel with collecting newspaper data, data was collected on each of the public schools in the counties where respondents are the dominate daily newspaper. For these schools, enrollment data and the results available on standardized reading and math tests were also collected, along with whatever demographic data was available.

In all cases, data included the percent of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch and, in most cases, race/ethnic origin. Various states also had one or more of the following: percent foreign born, percent from non-English speaking homes, average household income, percent special education and turnover.

Because different states test students in different grade levels, after discussion with experts in educational testing, test result were grouped into three levels: elementary (k-5), middle school (6-8), high school (9-12).

Thus, references to school "level" in results actually referred to the level of the test results being used.

Another issue was the way in which states reported results - as a mean or median score for each school, or as the percent of students "passing" or achieving some benchmark. When doing analysis based on two types of test measures, the data was normalized for each state to create comparable figures.

A more formal description of the data and variables used in the statistical analysis are available, upon request, from the NAA Foundation.

KEY FINDINGS: The empirical study done here found that NIE programs can make a large difference. While there was considerable variation, average measured impact was about 10 percent.

Largest impacts occured in middle schools and schools with high minority enrollments.

NIE programs work especially well for students from non-English speaking households.

NIE programs clearly work for
immigrants and students from non-English speaking homes.

The greatest benefits were found
in schools with large minority populations.

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