AIR to Release New Report on International Benchmarking for 4th and 8th Grade Math Students

Washington, D.C. - The American Institutes for Research (AIR) will release a new report on international benchmarking for 4th and 8th grade math students during a June 16, 2009 event at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The release will be followed by a panel discussion that includes Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitch Chester and senior officials of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the National Association of State Boards of Education.

The report by Gary Phillips, an AIR vice president and chief scientist, creates an international grading index that provides states, school districts and policymakers with a way to determine where their students rank in comparison with their peers around the world. Phillips, who served as the acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education from 1999 – 2002, is nationally known for his expertise in large-scale assessments and complex surveys.

The release of the report will be followed by a panel discussion that includes: Phillips; Mitch Chester, Massachusetts commissioner of education; Dane Linn, executive director of the Education Division of the National Governors Association; and Douglas Levin, deputy executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education.

The agenda for the international benchmarking event at the Ronald Reagan Building & Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington D.C.:

9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Introduction by Sol H. Pelavin, President and CEO of AIR
9:35 a.m. Presentation by Gary Phillips
10 a.m. Panel discussion

To register for the event, contact Tiffany Reedy at or (703) 276-2772, ext. 14.

The full report will be available on the AIR Website,, on June 16, 2009.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit