TIMSS Tidbits

December 12, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In case you missed it, the TIMSS results were released this week, and U.S. students didn’t fare too badly, unless you count the point difference between them and their 4th and 8th grade peers in Singapore, Korea, and Hong Kong.

The report is here, Ed Week’s story here, and a critique of the U.S. performance by Mark Schneider, the former commissioner of education statistics at the Ed. Dept., here.

I’ve included the video briefing as well.

There are lots of interesting data points and tidbits in the hundreds of pages that make up the report, as well as in the vast encyclopedia that details each country’s educational context. So if you’re looking for some heavy-duty reading materials, or a piece of trivia to use at your next mixer with academics, I encourage you to start reading.

Here are a couple I’ve picked out:

— Homework did not play much of a role in student achievement among 4th graders. For 8th graders, though, more homework tended to equate with higher math scores. The kicker, however, is that teachers in many countries are assigning less homework now than in 2003.

— If you like math, or at least have a positive attitude toward it, you are likely to do better on the test than students who are not so keen on the subject.

—Fourth graders in Hong Kong have come a long way since 2003, making it to the top among the 59 countries on the math test. They increased their country’s score at that grade level by 32 points in the four years between tests. But watch out. Armenia is coming on strong. Although the former Soviet republic is way down in the ranking, 4th graders there improved by 44 points over their peers who took the test in 2003. Minnesota, which was a benchmarking participant in the test, surged 38 points on the test since 1995.

— Several countries have seen a big slide in their scores over the years. Sweden, which tends to score above the TIMSS average of 500 points on the 1,000-point scale, lost 48 points on the 8th grade math test between 1999 and 2007. The news for the Czech Republic was worse on the 4th grade math test, with its students losing 54 points over the same period.

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

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment in 2021
In this Spotlight, review newest assessment scores, see how districts will catch up with their supports for disabled students, plus more.
Assessment 'Nation's Report Card' Has a New Reading Framework, After a Drawn-Out Battle Over Equity
The new framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress will guide development of the 2026 reading test.
10 min read
results 925693186 02
Assessment Opinion Q&A Collections: Assessment
Scores of educators share commentaries on the use of assessments in schools.
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Assessment Standardized Tests Could Be in Jeopardy in Wake of Biden Decisions, Experts Say
Has the Biden administration shored up statewide tests this year only to risk undermining long-term public backing for them?
6 min read
Illustration of students in virus environment facing wave of test sheets.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (Images: iStock/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty)