Results of the
2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy
(PIRLS) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) have recently been released. They provide
periodic comparative data on the academic standing of fourth-graders’ reading
literacy (PIRLS) and fourth- and eighth-graders’ mathematics and science
knowledge and skills (TIMSS).
improved in reading literacy since the 2006 administration of PIRLS and in mathematics
since the last administration of TIMSS in 2007. Their average score in science held
steady. U.S. eighth-graders showed no significant change in their average
scores in mathematics or science since 2007. Having large enough samples of
their own, nine states participated in TIMSS or in both TIMSS and PIRLS in 2011
as separate samples, as well as being part of the U.S. national sample. In both
PIRLS and TIMSS some states had top-ranking average scores.
database comprises 10 years of data, having been first administered in 2001,
and then again in 2006 and 2011. The TIMSS database contains 16 years of data. The
fourth-grade assessment was conducted in 1995, 2003, 2007, and, most recently,
in 2011. The assessment of eighth-graders was administered in 1995, 1999, 2003,
2007, and, most recently, in 2011.
and skills tested in both PIRLS and TIMSS are generally aligned with the school
curricula in the participating jurisdictions. According to National Center for Education
Statistics Commissioner Jack Buckley, “The results,
therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned concepts and
skills they are likely to have been taught in school.”
PIRLS and TIMSS
participating jurisdictions include both countries and large subnational
education systems in both the U.S. and other nations. Both the U.S. as a whole
and nine states participated as individual jurisdictions. State samples
included public schools and public school students only. This fact was
emphasized by Buckley: “When comparing state results with those of
the United States as a whole, as well as of the other participating education
systems, it is important to keep in mind that the state samples include only
public schools and therefore are representative only of the performance of
public schools in those states. The U.S. national samples, as well as the
samples in most other participating education systems, include both public and
The results for
the U.S. are based on randomly selected and weighted samples representative of
the U.S. The PIRLS and TIMSS assessments were
administered between April and June 2011 in the United States. The two cross-national comparative studies are
coordinated by the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study
Center at Boston College,
under the auspices of the International Association for the
Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an international organization of national research institutions
and governmental research agencies.
Future columns in
OVAE Connection will discuss the
reporting of PIRLS and TIMSS results, as well as the specific results for U.S.
fourth- and eighth-graders on these assessments.
The National Center for Innovation and Career and
Technical Education (NCICTE) will continue its four-part webinar series
Building a System of High-Quality Career Pathways High School Transformation
and District Supports.
- On July 24, attendees will learn about
- On July 26, the topic will be developing
a district-wide system of pathways.
- On July 31, leadership development and communications
strategies will be discussed.
All three pre-recorded modules, in addition to the
first module from July 10, will be under “Training” at http://ctecenter.ed.gov/.
The National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards is accepting applications for membership on the committee
responsible for reviewing and revising the Career and Technical Education Standards. To access the online
application go to http://www.nbpts.org/standards-revision. The application will be available through Aug. 9, 2013. Visit the National
Board website for information about the duties and responsibilities of standards
committee members. For assistance or additional information contact the
National Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.