Thursday, October 24, 2013

A new international comparison plus . . .

There was a link on a number of sites today to a study that was done to compare state scores on the NAEP test to scores on the international TIMSS assessment. The study was designed by the Institute of Education Sciences as an effort to link national and international tests at grade 8 so states can compare their own students’ performance against international benchmarks in math and science. NCES linked, or “projected,” state-level scores on TIMSS in both subjects using data from NAEP.

At the national level the overall results are positive, but once again the focus is on the lack of states scoring at the upper end of the range in both assessments.   Here is a link to Superintendent Dorn's less than enthusiastic reaction to our state results.  Based on the support provided by OSPI for Common Core implementation I don't know that I agree with his excitement down the road.

“I’m proud of the work we’re doing in our state,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Our results are pretty good. But I’m excited to see how our students will perform after the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards have been in place for a while. I think we’ll start seeing even better news a few years down the road.” 

The results for math show that 36 states including ours scored better than the international average with a range of 466 to 561.  Students in our state scored 523 ranking us 18 in comparison to other states.

The results for science were even better showing 47 states outperforming the international average and a range of 453 to 567.  Students in our state scored 536 ranking us 21 in comparison to other states.

Not related, but interesting to think about was this article on Publicola sharing results of a Class Size Counts review of class sizes in our state.

Compared to the rest of the country, Washington ranks 47 in class size—meaning our kids’ classes are more crowded than those of 46 other states. For instance, during the 2012-13 school year, the average class size in Washington public schools for grades K-3 was 25.3—over 30 percent higher than the legislature’s recommended size.

I'm wondering what our state rank would be on the TIMSS report if we could even get to the middle of the class size ranking of states.

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