Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Talking Back to International Test Scores

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Talking Back to International Test Scores

Article excerpt

Equip yourself with talking points about how the U.S. fares against other nations on international assessments. This report is challenging to read but can help you understand some of the pitfalls of international comparisons.

Among the points in this report by Stanford University professor Martin Carnoy and Economic Policy Institute analyst Richard Rothstein:

* Errors in creating national samples can have big consequences. For example, in 2009, 40% of the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) sample represented students from schools in which half or more of the students were eligible for subsidized lunches. But only 32% of students nationwide attend such schools. When these analysts corrected for that error, the U.S. international ranking on the 2009 PISA moved from 14th to sixth in reading and from 25th to 13th in mathematics.

* Be cautious about drawing conclusions about international comparisons from any single test. …

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