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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

PISA Results for Massachusetts

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
December 9, 2016

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On December 6, 2016, the 2015 Program International Student Assessment (PISA) results were released. This innovative assessment of 15-year-olds is administered every three years and provides results in science, reading, and mathematics. PISA assesses the application of knowledge in science, reading, and mathematics to problems with a real-life context.

A total of 73 education systems participated in the 2015 PISA, including the 35 nations comprising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The United States, which is an OECD member, has participated as a nation since the 2000 inception of PISA. Massachusetts participated separately from the United States in 2012 and 2015. In 2012, Connecticut and Florida participated separately along with Massachusetts. North Carolina was the only other state to participate separately from the United States in 2015.

In reading, no national education systems scored statistically higher than Massachusetts. Eight nations had similar scores to Massachusetts, including: Singapore, Hong Kong (China), Canada, Finland, Ireland, Estonia, the Republic of Korea, and Japan. Massachusetts students scored an average of 527 in reading; North Carolina averaged 500; and the United States averaged 497.

In science, Massachusetts students scored an average of 529, second only to Singapore (average score of 556). The U.S. averaged 496 and North Carolina averaged 502.

In mathematics, Massachusetts students scored an average of 500. The U.S. averaged 470 and North Carolina averaged 471. The eleven education systems that statistically outperformed Massachusetts were Singapore, Hong Kong (China), Macau (China), Chinese Taipei, Japan, Beijing- Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong (B-S-J-G) (China), the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Estonia, Canada, and the Netherlands.

The attached press release outlines additional PISA results. At the Board's meeting on December 20, I will review the results and answer any questions you may have about PISA.

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Massachusetts Students Score among World Leaders on PISA Reading, Science and Math Tests
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2015 Massachusetts PISA Results


Last Updated: December 13, 2016
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