Highlights From PIRLS 2011: Reading Achievement of U.S. Fourth-Grade Students in an International Context

Various authors, National Center for Education Statistics, Dec 11, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Globe and Mail (which I will not link to, because of a paywall) made a big deal about this report today. I'm not sure how much I want to build into reading test results for fourth-grade students, but the Globe was concerned that Canada was not in the group of 'elite countries' (most of which are not actually countries: Hong Kong, Singapore, Finland) and even worse, that the U.S. scored ahead of us. These results are frankly not believable, particularly when we read (p. 17) that "No education system scored higher than Florida." I think they may be counting reading scores the way they count votes. Better to rely on international tests such as PISA, in my view (assuming, that is, we believe test results are a reliable indicator at all).

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