School Reform: America’s Winchester Mystery House

David Daniel Meyer, Loredana Werth

Abstract


This quantitative study examines the correlation between international student achievement test outcomes and national competitiveness rankings. Student achievement data are derived from a variation-adjusted, common metric data set for 74 countries that have participated in any of the international mathematics and science achievement tests since 1964. National competitiveness data are taken from the 2014-15 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) published by the World Economic Forum. A Spearman’s rank-order correlation was run to assess the relationship between student performance on international achievement tests and the competitiveness of nations. For all nations, there was a moderate positive correlation between student performance on international achievement tests and the competitiveness of a nation, rs(98)=0.688, p<0.001. However, this relationship disappeared among the 18 most competitive nations, the cohort to which the United States belongs. The relationship also disappeared among the 18 nations with the highest achievement scores on international tests. Student performance on international assessments appears to have no relationship to the competitiveness of the United States. This study has implications for legislators and public education leaders who want to maximize the return on investments in education. Education dollars and reform initiatives should be diverted toward addressing poverty, equitable school funding, social stress and violence, support for young families, and support for students of immigrant families.

Keywords


international testing; assessment; PISA; TIMSS; OECD; education; competitivenss

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2016v11n4a665

Copyright (c) 2016 David Daniel Meyer, Loredana Werth

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