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Highlights From TIMSS 2007: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context


The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 is the fourth administration of this international comparison since the 1995 initial administration. TIMSS is used to compare over time the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of fourth- and eighth-graders. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries. The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned mathematics and science concepts and skills likely to have been taught in school. In 2007, there were 58 countries and educational jurisdictions that participated in TIMSS, at the fourth- or eighth-grade level, or both.

The focus of the report is on the performance of U.S. students relative to their peers in other countries in 2007, and on changes in mathematics and science achievement since 1995. For a number of participating countries, changes in achievement can be documented over the last 12 years, from 1995 to 2007. This report also describes additional details about the achievement within the United States such as trends in the achievement of students by sex, race/ethnicity, and enrollment in schools with different levels of poverty.

In addition to numerical scale results, TIMSS also includes international benchmarks. The TIMSS international benchmarks provide a way to interpret the scale scores by describing the types of knowledge and skills students demonstrate at different levels along the TIMSS scale.


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