Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kansas Outperforms Most Other Countries in Math and Science

In October 2013, The Institute of Education Sciences at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES/IES) released a report entitled "U.S. States in a Global Context: Results From the NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study."  In it they described their project to link the results from the NAEP assessment for 2011 to the results for the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).  This allows for the comparison on individual state math and science achievement to 47 international education systems.

The authors provided the following key findings:

In math,

  • Average scores for public school students in 36 states were higher than the TIMSS average of 500.
  • Scores ranged from 466 for Alabama to 561 for Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts scored higher than 42 of the 47 participating education systems.
  • Alabama scored higher than 19 education systems.

In science,

  • Average scores for public school students in 47 states were higher than the TIMSS average of 500.
  • Scores ranged from 453 for the District of Columbia to 567 for Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts and Vermont scored higher than 43 participating education systems.
  • The District of Columbia scored higher than 14 education systems.

Below are the key findings of the report related to Kansas:

In math,

  • Kansas had better outcomes than 39 of the 47 international education systems included in the study.
  • The educational systems outperforming Kansas are Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Russian Federation, and Quebec (Canada).
  • Fourteen states had better results in this comparison than Kansas.
  • The fourteen states that outperformed international education systems to a greater degree than Kansas are Alaska, Iowa, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New York, Montana, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Minnesota, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
In science,
  • Kansas had better outcomes than 35 of the 47 international education systems included in the study.
  • The educational systems outperforming Kansas are Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Japan, Finland, Alberta (Canada), and Slovenia.
  • Twenty-six states had better results in this comparison than Kansas.
  • The twenty-six states that outperformed international education systems to a greater degree than Kansas are Michigan, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Washington, Missouri, New York, Nebraska,, Colorado, Virginia, Alaska, South Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Iowa, Wyoming, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Montana, Minnesota, Maine, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
The results of this study suggest that:
  1. The United States outperforms the majority of international educational systems examined in math and science.
  2. Kansas outperforms the majority of international educational systems examined in math and science.
  3. Kansas performs better than most states in math, and is just below average for science.

These results address critics of state ranking systems that indicate comparing states to one another does not yield important information if the U.S.'s performance to other countries is not also considered.

You can find the full report here.

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