An Insider’s Guide to International Test Results


Get ready. A fresh wave of global test results for dozens of nations is about to hit U.S. shores. Outcomes from two major exams will be issued just days apart: TIMSS on Nov. 29. PISA on Dec. 6.

Once again, we’ll get a snapshot of how U.S. students stack up against their peers overseas in key subjects, including math, reading, and science. And we’ll hear lots of rhetoric about what it all means.

What are the strengths and limitations of this student achievement data? What will it really tell us? What can journalist do that gets beyond simply ranking countries? How best can they make use of the rich supply of background survey data on students and families included with the TIMSS and PISA reports?

We bring together two educational experts with deep knowledge of international assessments to help make sense of what’s coming, so busy journalists are not scrambling on deadline to cobble together stories on this complicated — and important — topic.