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Science

How Does Your State Stack Up?

By Sean Cavanagh — June 16, 2009 1 min read

The American Institutes for Research have released a study that allows for the comparison of U.S. states and cities with foreign nations, using a standard, and very familiar measure: letter grades. We’ve published a story about the study, authored by Gary Phillips, on our web site and in this week’s print issue. Phillips uses statistical methodology to link state and city scores on a prominent domestic test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, with an international exam, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS. The report will be discussed at a forum in Washington today.

One particularly-easy-to-use Web tool is worth an additional mention, however. On its Web site, the AIR has a feature that allows readers to get a quick comparison of where their states stack up in 4th and 8th grade math. You’re curious how well Iowa does? Its 4th graders score a C+ grade, statistically at the same level as England, Latvia, and Lithuania, but well below high-flying Singapore (B+) and not as well as Japan (B). What about New Mexico in 8th grade? A straight C, according to the scale, statistically on par with Scotland, Serbia, and Italy, among others.

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.