International assessments are important from a national perspective to ensure our long-term economic competitiveness. The educational success of other nations can provide potential guidance for decision-making in the United States and in Kansas. Policy makers look at high-performing systems to identify ways to improve. At this time, a few Kansas students participate in international assessments. Unfortunately, as a state, we do not have enough participation to receive state results.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) supports a variety of activities to provide statistical data for cross-national comparisons of education. Kansas students participate in the Trends in International mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). A complete list of international assessments is available at The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) provides reliable and timely data on the mathematics and science achievement of U.S. 4th- and 8th-grade students compared to students in other countries. To address the interest in states for international benchmarking, NCES initiated a new effort to link the states scores from the national assessment—NAEP-- to TIMSS. The 2011 NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study was designed to provide all states with estimates that compare their own students’ performance against international benchmarks. The next data collection for the TIMSS will be in 2015. Additional information is available on the TIMSS website.
Test your math and science knowledge by completing TI<SS items in the Dare to Compare Challenge.
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an international comparative study of the reading literacy of young students. PIRLS studies the reading achievement and reading behaviors and attitudes of 4th-grade students in the United States and students in the equivalent of 4th grade in other participating countries. Additional information is available on the PIRLS website.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy. PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as problem solving. PISA emphasizes functional skills that students have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling.
PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries and is conducted in the United States by NCES. PISA was first administered in 2000 and is conducted every three years. The most recent assessment was in 2012. More information about PISA and resources is available on either the PISA website or the OECE website.
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