ROSEVILLE (Dec. 12, 2012) — A report released from the National Center for Educational Statistics shows Minnesota students posting high scores in both math and science, outperforming peers both nationally and internationally.
The report looks at the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), comparing the performance of U.S. fourth and eighth grade students in math and science against their international counterparts. Of the U.S. states and international education systems that participated, Minnesota eighth grade students scored 6th highest in science and 7th highest in math.
“Today, our students should stand proud to be ranked among the best in the world for math and science. There is no question we live in an increasingly global economy, and for our students to thrive in the workforce, they need to possess skills that will keep them competitive,” Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. “I look forward to digging into this report, using the information given, along with our own state testing data, as we strive to increase achievement for every Minnesota student.”
This year, Minnesota’s scores for eighth-grade students were above both the TIMSS scale average and the U.S. national average in science and math. Minnesota’s scores placed it at the top of the pack for math and science, along with Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Massachusetts.
In looking at Minnesota’s scores, the state has seen significant growth since 1995, with the average scores for eighth-grade students increasing by 5% in math and 3% in science.
To gauge an educational system’s performance, TIMSS takes a strategic sample of students that best represents the system as a whole, including all subgroups in the group that is tested. In Minnesota, approximately 55 schools and 2,500 students participated. These students take both subjects.
“Apart from a handful of Asian education systems, Minnesota’s eighth-graders are out-performing their peers in other nations in math and science,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Minnesota’s Performance in the 2011 TIMSS and PIRLS Assessments. “In math, Minnesota’s eighth-graders are ahead of their counterparts in high-performing countries like Finland.
“That is a testament to the courage, commitment, and collaboration of Minnesota’s leaders and educators,” Duncan added. “Minnesota’s students are putting to rest the myth that America’s schools cannot be among the world’s top-performing school systems.”
For more information, visit http://nces.ed.gov/timss/.