According to the Commissioner's presentation of the TIMSS and PIRLS 2011 results from the Institute of Education Sciences, there were 53 and 74 educational systems participating in the reading and math/science assessments, respectively. Here's a snapshot of the countries:
The U.S. reading average (556) was lower than 5 other education systems (Hong Kong, Russian Federation, Finland, Singapore and Florida), not measurably different than 7 other education systems and higher than 40 education systems. This chart is found in the Highlights from PIRLS 2011 from the National Center for Educational Statistics.
According to the New York Times, "Although the average scores among American students were not significantly lower than the top performers, several nations far outstripped the United States in the proportion of students who scored at the highest levels on the math and science tests.
"In the United States, only 7 percent of students reached the advanced level in eighth-grade math, while 48 percent of eighth graders in Singapore and 47 percent of eighth graders in South Korea reached the advanced level. As those with superior math and science skills increasingly thrive in a global economy, the lag among American students could be a cause for concern."
Here is a table I put together with an overview of how the U.S. compares with other countries on the 4th and 8th grade math and science assessments.
- What are the demographics of the students who completed the test and how were they chosen?
- How rigorous are the assessments and to what degree do they meaningfully measure a student's ability to solve complex problems and think critically?
- What is the potential impact of this data in the context of Berkeley education?
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