Third International Mathematics
and Science Study (TIMSS)

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Who is Conducting TIMSS?What is TIMSS?
TIMSS is being coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an independent international cooperative of research centers and departments of education in more than 50 countries. TIMSS has the largest complement of participants of any of IEA's international studies.

TIMSS was designed by task forces that included members from the many participating countries. These groups were involved in item development and review for assessment instruments, questionnaires, and sampling and test rotation schemes. IEA monitors the sampling process, quality control, scaling of tests, and training. In addition, an International Steering Committee is in place to monitor the activities and progress of the study, and a U.S. Steering Committee has been established to give advice on the implementation of the study in the United States.

Each participating country provides for its own data collection and analysis. U.S. participation in TIMSS is funded by NCES and NSF. NCES oversees the collection, analysis, and reporting of the U.S. data, through a contract with Westat, Inc. Professor William Schmidt of Michigan State University is the U.S. national research coordinator.

TIMSS - the Third International Mathematics and Science Study - is a study of classrooms across the country and around the world. It is the largest international comparative study of educational achievement to date.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Canadian Government are funding the international TIMSS project to assess school achievement in mathematics and science in nearly 50 countries. TIMSS will study student outcomes, instructional practices, curricula, and cultural context. The international coordination of TIMSS activities is centered at Boston College under the direction of Professor Albert Beaton.

One of the driving forces behind TIMSS is the recognition by policymakers that mathematic and scientific literacy affect economic productivity. World-class competence in math and science is essential to compete successfully in today's interdependent global marketplace. TIMSS will provide a comparative international assessment of educational achievement in those two subjects and the factors that contribute to it.

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