Policy ForumScience Education

What Can We Really Learn from TIMSS?

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Science  04 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5395, pp. 1830-1831
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5395.1830

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Important policy implications regarding American mathematics and science education are available through the results of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This is especially true if the results from all parts of the study including those pertaining to curriculum and instructional practices are combined with those related to the achievement testing in grades three, four, seven, eight and the end of secondary school. The decline in relative standing for the U.S. from grade four to grade 12 in both mathematics and science achievement is clear as are the corresponding differences in intellectual rigor in the U.S. curriculum as compared to that of the top achieving countries, especially during the middle and high school years.