Latest IERI Monograph Examines National and International Student Achievement Trends


Princeton, NJ (October 15, 2012) —

Leading international experts on large-scale assessment examine student achievement trends on national and international levels in the newly published Volume 5 of the IERI Monograph Series: Issues and Methodologies in Large-Scale Assessments. The findings draw upon data from the most recent Progress in Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Their analysis is published by the International Association of the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is edited by Matthias von Davier, Director of Research in the Center for Global Assessment at ETS, and Dirk Hastedt, Co-Director of the IEA Data Processing and Research Center in Hamburg, Germany. The volume's papers reflect the breadth of the collaborative work conducted by the IERI, which was founded in 2007 by two of the world's leading educational research organizations: the IEA and ETS. The series has been published annually by the IERI since October 2008.

For the first time since its inception, the IERI has also released a special issue this month. Special Issue 1, "Sample Size Requirements in HLM: An Empirical Study," is an in-depth report written by Sabine Meinck and Caroline Vandenplas, Research Analysts at the IEA Data Processing and Research Center. Their report focuses on weighing the significance of sample sizes and outcome of hierarchical linear models (HLMs), a highly relevant topic for researchers engaged in the planning and fiscal monitoring of international large-scale studies.

"The simultaneous publication of the fifth edition of the IERI periodical together with a special issue on a topic of broad interest shows the increasing significance of international large-scale assessments as a resource for researchers around the world," says von Davier. "We are continuing to work towards even wider dissemination of the series by exploring new channels of online distribution."

Volume 5 features four papers by international experts and a technical note by ETS R&D Strategic Advisor in the Center for Global Assessment Eugenio J. Gonzalez.

Below is a list of all of the papers in the volume:

  • "Measuring family socioeconomic status: An illustration using data from PIRLS 2006," by Daniel H. Caro and Diego Cortés
  • "Estimating linking error in PIRLS," by Michael O. Martin, Ina V.S. Mullis, Pierre Foy, Bradley Brossman, and Gabrielle M. Stanco
  • "Exploring the measurement profiles of socioeconomic background indicators and their differences in reading achievement: A two-level latent class analysis," by Kajsa Yang Hansen and Ingrid Munck
  • "Leadership, learning-centered school conditions, and mathematics achievement: What can the United States learn from top performers on TIMSS?," by Nianbo Dong and Xiu Chen Cravens
  • "Rescaling sampling weights and selecting mini-samples from large-scale assessment databases," by Eugenio Gonzalez

"This publication series is the product of years of investment in the areas of research and training with international, large-scale assessment databases," says Hans Wagemaker, Executive Director of IEA.

ETS R&D staff members Terran Brown, Bruce Kaplan, and Jiahe Qian were among the 12 reviewers for Volume 5. Gonzalez and ETS R&D staff member Peter van Rijn were among the special issue’s nine reviewers. Each paper in the monograph series receives careful evaluation by the IERI Executive Committee, including a blind peer review by experts from ETS and the IEA as well as by external expert reviewers from other international organizations. The papers chosen were consistent with the IERI mission and goals.

Contributions to future monographs in the series are currently being sought from researchers and scholars who share an interest in the advancement and use of large-scale assessments. The monograph is available for download from the IERI website:

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC®tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

About the IEA

The IEA is an independent, nonprofit, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. Additional information is available at