Virginia may get own results in 2015 PISA test

Virginia may get its own state-level results in the next administration of the international test known as PISA, which compares performance in math, science and reading for students around the world.

The state’s Board of Education is requesting that the General Assembly approve $600,000 in the next biennial budget to pay for the extra testing and administration fees needed so that the state can receive separate results following the 2105 test.

Results for the 2012 test were released Tuesday.

“Our students are competing today in a global economy, not just against students in Maryland and North Carolina,” said board president David M. Foster.

The board included the request in its recently released annual report to the governor and General Assembly.

How U.S. students compare internationally

The Program for International Student Assessment is administered every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The United States was one of 65 countries or economies that participated in the highly regarded test in 2012.

Three states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida — also participated independently. Tuesday’s results showed that students in Massachusetts and Connecticut scored above both the national and international average in all subjects, while Florida scored below average in math and science and about average in reading.

Virginia students fared well this year in a different kind of international academic comparison, which compared the results of different tests. Getting a read out from PISA would offer the state an “apples to apples” comparison for how Virginia students compare to their international peers.

Michael Alison Chandler writes about schools and families in the Washington region.
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