ERIC Number: ED387522
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
What Can We Learn from International Assessments?
Mislevy, Robert J.
The kinds of inferences that can be drawn from international educational assessment are explored, considering the evidence that can be obtained and how it can be interpreted. International assessments have been thought of as yielding information that allows comparisons of relative achievement by country and subject, or that allows the improvement in one country from the determinants of achievement in another, or finally as a way to provide information to policymakers on the status of achievement and practices in their own countries. Issues of population definition and of sampling plans make international comparisons very difficult. The comparability of assessment tasks is complicated by the difficulty in identifying a common frame of reference. It is argued that indices of educational achievement that are to varying degrees comparable across nations can be useful, but that it must be recognized that ascertaining the relative standings of nations will tell very little about how to set educational policy or to improve instructional practice. Two tables and two figures illustrate the discussion. (Contains 48 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
Note: Paper prepared for the Conference on the Use of International Educational Data (Washington, DC, February 4, 1994).