Center on International Education Benchmarking

US Data & Analysis: Reports of Note

American Institutes for Research (2014). International Benchmarking State National Education Performance Standards.

This report uses international benchmarking to link TIMSS and PIRLS results to state-by-state education standards, revealing the massive discrepancies between what students are expected to know and be able to do in each state, and showing where the 50 states and D.C. rank internationally.

NCES. (2013). U.S. States in a Global Context: Results from the 2011 NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study. (PDF)

By linking international TIMSS results to the 2011 NAEP results, this report compares the math proficiency rates of individual states to other countries, and suggests implications for policymakers.

America Achieves. (2013). Middle Class or Middle of the Pack?: What Can We Learn When Benchmarking America’s Schools Against the World’s Best? (PDF)

By analyzing 2009 PISA data, America Achieves shows that US underperformance is not isolated to its students living in poverty. They also report 2012 pilot results of the OECD Test for Schools, and suggest implications for policymakers and school leaders.

OECD. (2013). Education at a Glance 2013: Country Note – United States. (PDF)

OECD presents a U.S.-specific look at several key education indicators, including levels of attainment, teacher salaries, employment, and access to early childhood education.

NCES. (2013). First Look at PISA 2012: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Mathematics, Science, and Reading Literacy in an International Context. (PDF)

The National Center for Education Statistics presents the summary of achievement results for US students in three areas of assessment on PISA 2012.

OECD. (2013). Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA 2012 for the United States. (PDF)

OECD analyzes the performance of United States’ eighth graders on the 2012 PISA and provides recommendations to US policymakers based on the analysis. NCEE was asked by OECD to manage the development of this report.

NCES. (2012). Highlights from PIRLS 2011: Reading Achievement of U.S. Fourth-Graders in an International Context. (PDF)

The National Center for Education Statistics analyzes U.S. performance on an international 4th grade literacy assessment. Their report both compares U.S. performance to other countries, and examines change in U.S. reading performance over time.

The Center for American Progress. (2012). The Competition that Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese, and Indian Investments in the Next-Generation Workforce. (PDF)

The Center for American Progress examines strategies for the United States to keep pace with Chinese and Indian productivity and to create a highly-skilled workforce, looking particularly at strengthening the education system and improving the school-to-workforce pipeline.

NCEE. (2011). Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems.

This edited volume examines five of the world’s leading education systems – Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, Finland and Ontario, Canada. Marc Tucker draws comparisons between these countries’ policies and reforms and provides an agenda for the US education system.

Editorial Projects in Education.  (2011). Quality Counts 2012: The Global Challenge—Education in a Competitive World.

This report takes a critical look at America’s place among the world’s public schooling systems and puts to the test popular assumptions about the country’s competitive status in education. This 16th annual edition of Quality Counts also features results of an original survey by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, which asked state officials about the ways they make use of international insights to guide their own policies and programs.

National Center for Education Statistics (2011). Highlights From TIMSS 2011: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context.

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 is the fifth administration of this international comparison since the 1995 initial administration. TIMSS is used to compare over time the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of fourth- and eighth-graders. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries.  In 2011, more than 60 countries and educational jurisdictions participated in TIMSS, at the fourth- or eighth-grade level, or both.

NCES.  (2011). Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2011.  (PDF)

NCES provides key indicators in five topic areas: population and school enrollment, academic performance, contexts for learning, expenditures for education, educational attainment, and income. The indicators are determined using results from PISA and INES for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US.

OECD. (2011). Education at a Glance 2011: Country Note – United States. (PDF)

A US-specific look at the 2011 OECD indicators.

Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance & Education Next. (2011).  Globally Challenged: Are US Students Ready to Compete?: The latest on each state’s international standing in math and reading. (PDF)

This report establishes a “crosswalk” between US PISA scores and NAEP scores, which assess the percent of students in each state who are considered proficient in math and reading. The crosswalk provides an estimate of the percentage of students in each of the OECD participating countries who are proficient in these same areas, and the authors are able to draw comparisons of student performance between OECD countries and US states.

NCES. (2011). Highlights from PISA 2009: Performance of US 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context. (PDF)

A summary of achievement results in three areas of assessment for US students.

OECD. (2011) 14th OECD Japan Seminar, “Strong Performers, Successful Reformers in Education.”

Presentations from a conference co-hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and OECD, held after the release of the 2009 PISA results.

Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance.  (2010). U. S. Math Performance in global perspective: How well does each state do at producing high achieving students? (PDF)

The report examines the results of PISA across states and districts, accounting for the performances of various demographic and regional groups in comparison to other countries whose students also participated in PISA. The authors address the myth that some states’ high performances offset the low performances of other states, instead demonstrating that the top-performing states are only on par with middling countries, while low-performing states outperform only the lowest-performing countries in the assessment. The study also looks at the effects of NCLB on student performance.

American Institutes for Research. (2010). International Benchmarking: State Education Performance Standards. (PDF)

An examination of the “expectations gap” for student learning between the states using international benchmarking standards to define whether states are setting appropriately rigorous standards for their students. The report finds that there are huge differences in standards across states, accounting for an expectations gap twice the size of the national black-white achievement gap. AIR suggests that the expectations gap must be addressed before we are able to eliminate the achievement gap.

NCES.  (2009). U. S. performance across international assessments of student achievement: Special supplement to the Condition of Education 2009. (PDF)

This study examines the most recent results of TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA and presents the major findings relevant to US education in mathematics, science and reading.

The National Governor’s Association, Council of Chief State School Officers and Achieve, Inc. (2008). Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring US Students Receive a World-Class Education. (PDF)

This report furnishes a set of US policy recommendations based on the gap between the US and top-performing systems. These include upgrading standards to a common core of internationally benchmarked standards, aligning all teaching materials to these standards, revising policies for teacher recruitment and training, updating the school accountability system and measuring state performance in an international context.

Wieczorek, C. (2008). Comparative Analysis of Educational Systems of American and Japanese Schools: Views and Visions. (PDF)

Wieczorek examines the similarities and differences between the two systems, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of both.

Sign up to receive updates from NCEE

* indicates required
Check here if you would like to receive information about NCEE Events in DC