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Topic: TIMSS Information -- U.S.
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
TIMSS Information -- U.S.
Posted: Aug 31, 1998 4:07 PM
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Benchmarking to International Standards

TIMSS International Study Center / Boston College

Throughout the last decade, many states and districts have developed
or are in the process of developing content and performance
standards aimed at raising expectations and increasing student
achievement in mathematics and science.

As states and districts continue to develop and implement
mathematics and science standards designed to improve students'
skills in these subjects and raise achievement, they need concrete
information about how their students compare with students in other

The U.S. Department of Education, its National Center for Education
Statistics, and the National Science Foundation are offering states
and districts the unique opportunity to administer the TIMSS
mathematics and science tests to their eighth-grade students and to
obtain achievement comparisons with 40 countries. Through 1999 TIMSS
Benchmarking, the TIMSS tests will be administered to representative
samples of students in participating states and districts in the
spring of 1999, at the same time the tests will be administered in
40 countries.

Data from 1999 TIMSS Benchmarking can help states and districts
understand their comparative educational standing, assess the rigor
and effectiveness of their own mathematics and science programs in
an international context, and improve the teaching and learning of
mathematics and science.


Achievement: How does the achievement of our eighth-grade
students compare with students in high-achieving TIMSS

Curriculum: How does our mathematics and science curriculum
compare with that of the high-achieving TIMSS countries?

Instruction: How do the instructional practices of our
mathematics and science teachers compare with those of teachers
of high-achieving students in other countries?

Attitudes: How do students' attitudes towards mathematics
and science compare with those of high-achieving students in
other countries?

Reform: Where should we focus effort and resources in order to
reach world class standards of mathematics and science


State Requirements: In each participating state, 2,000 eighth-grade
students will be assessed in at least 50 schools.

District Requirements: In each participating district, 1000 eighth-
grade students will be assessed in at least 25 schools. If there are
fewer than 25 schools in a district, all schools will be included,
and the per school sample will be increased to still yield a total
of 1000 students. Smaller districts are encouraged to form


* Each student completes one test booklet containing
mathematics and science test questions.

* Students, their mathematics and science teachers, and their
school principals will complete questionnaires designed to
provide contextual data for interpreting the achievement

* The estimated time for the student assessment is two hours,
including testing time and time to complete the
questionnaire. Teacher and school questionnaires take
approximately one hour to complete.


Each state and district will receive a descriptive report containing
its results, as well as the results for the other participating
states and districts and for selected TIMSS countries. TIMSS
achievement results will be presented for mathematics and science
and for major content areas of mathematics and science. Information
on key background factors also will be reported, including resources
and classroom instructional practices. The reports will be designed
to help policy makers and practitioners improve the teaching and
learning of mathematics and science in their states and districts.
Each state and district will also receive detailed question-by-
question results for internal use and an electronic data file. By
design, individual student-level results will not be available.


TIMSS Benchmarking will be managed by the TIMSS International Study
Center at Boston College, using the same administrative procedures
and applying the same technical standards as the international
project. The data collection will be carried out by the same
contractor administering TIMSS across the United States.


States/districts will be responsible for:
* Obtaining cooperation of sampled schools
* Obtaining lists of classes/students
* Coordinating assessment activities

TIMSS will be responsible for:
* Selecting school and student samples
* Conducting the assessment sessions
* Processing assessment materials
* Producing reports and data tapes


Participation costs cover school and student sampling, data
collection, analysis, and reporting for your state or district.

States: $150,000
Districts: $75,000

Funding for the overall design, administration, data management, and
quality assurance activities of TIMSS Benchmarking is provided by
the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education
Statistics and the National Science Foundation.


To enroll your state or district, or to obtain more information
contact the TIMSS International Study Center at its toll-free number
1-877-TIMSSTEST (846-7783), or by e-mail at


September 1998: Commitment to Participate

September 1998 - March 1999: States/districts secure cooperation
and schedule assessments

April - May 1999: Assessments conducted

March - December 2000: States/districts review data

May 2001: Publish TIMSS Benchmarking reports; states/districts
receive data files
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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