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The Second Derivative: International Benchmarks in Mathematics For U.S. States and School Districts

Abstract

"This report was developed out of an attempt to find a scientifically rigorous way to compare the mathematics performance of U .S . states and school districts against challenging international benchmarks . In order to compare ourselves with the best in the world in mathematics, this report provides a crosswalk between the data provided by the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) . The report simplifies these comparisons by grading the countries, states, and school districts with a comparable grading system that is more familiar to policymakers, a grade of A, B, C, D, or BD (below a D) . The report assumes that the international benchmark, against which we should calibrate our expectations and monitor our success, is a grade of B . The grade of B was chosen because this report shows it is statistically equivalent to the Proficient level on NAEP that has been recommended by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as the level of performance we should expect from our students."

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