More in TIMSS
Bracey, Gerald W., Phi Delta Kappan
Bismarck said that there are two things you should never watch being made: sausage and legislation. At a February conference in Washington, D.C., on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), one of the study's directors, Albert Beaton of Boston College, suggested a third item whose creation one should strive to avoid witnessing: an international test. Hmmm.
Although the media continue to focus on test scores, much of the research community is looking at other aspects of TIMSS, and these appear promising. After all, as William Schmidt of Michigan State University, who is U.S. TIMSS project director, has said, the test scores provide only the context for the study. The real interest is in determining why the test scores turn out the way they do. In the March Research column, I noted that the differences among most developed countries are not large. After sitting through the two-day conference, I wonder if we will end up with more variables to explain the differences than we have points of difference to explain.
For instance, take those top-scoring students from Singapore. At least three variables appear to affect their scores, independent of anything that happens in school. First, while 97% of U.S. students who are age-eligible to be in secondary school are in fact in school, only 84% of those in Singapore are. Second, each day thousands of poor Malaysians commute into Singapore to sweep streets, pick up garbage, and do other low-level …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: More in TIMSS. Contributors: Bracey, Gerald W. - Author. Journal title: Phi Delta Kappan. Volume: 78. Issue: 8 Publication date: April 1997. Page number: 656+. © 1999 Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.