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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:59 PM

Poor ranking on international test misleading about US student performance, researcher finds

I feel vindicated. Been preaching this for years now.

Socioeconomic inequality among U.S. students skews international comparisons of test scores, finds a new report released today by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the Economic Policy Institute. When differences in countries' social class compositions are adequately taken into account, the performance of U.S. students in relation to students in other countries improves markedly.

The report, "What do international tests really show about U.S. student performance?", also details how errors in selecting sample populations of test-takers and arbitrary choices regarding test content contribute to results that appear to show U.S. students lagging.

In conducting the research, report co-authors Martin Carnoy, a professor of education at Stanford, and Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, examined adolescent reading and mathematics results from four test series over the last decade, sorting scores by social class for the Program on International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and two forms of the domestic National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Based on their analysis, the co-authors found that average U.S. scores in reading and math on the PISA are low partly because a disproportionately greater share of U.S. students comes from disadvantaged social class groups, whose performance is relatively low in every country.

As part of the study, Carnoy and Rothstein calculated how international rankings on the most recent PISA might change if the United States had a social class composition similar to that of top-ranking nations: U.S. rankings would rise to fourth from 14th in reading and to 10th from 25th in math. The gap between U.S. students and those from the highest-achieving countries would be cut in half in reading and by at least a third in math.

"You can't compare nations' test scores without looking at the social class characteristics of students who take the test in different countries," said Carnoy. "Nations with more lower social class students will have lower overall scores, because these students don't perform as well academically, even in good schools. Policymakers should understand how our lower and higher social class students perform in comparison to similar students in other countries before recommending sweeping school reforms."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-poor-international-student.html#jCp

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Reply Poor ranking on international test misleading about US student performance, researcher finds (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 OP
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #1
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #2
MissB Jan 2013 #3

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:15 PM

1. So, you're agreeing with the concept that we should just ignore test scores from....

...kids who come "disadvantaged social class groups" instead of doing something to correct the problems facing those school systems?

Really??

Think carefully about what you're agreeing with.



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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:17 PM

2. Excuse me???

Read the article. It explains that comparing our test scores to other countries is invalid.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:20 PM

3. I'm going out on a limb here,

But I think what is being suggested is that the solution to the problem is very complex. It isn't like adopting what the Finnish find successful will work in the US as our population has serious differences in socio economic status. To raise test scores in the US, we must tackle the underlying causes of those socio economic differences. And that is much more expensive.

They are apples. We are oranges. If we go apples to apples, the picture looks different. Since we have oranges, we have a more difficult path to higher test scores.

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