Projecting NAEP Proficient Levels to TIMSS Countries

Charles Blankenship
Blue Webb
McCall Pitcher

There has always been an interest in how U.S. students’ educational achievement compares to that of other countries. This study links the Proficient achievement level on the 2019 grade 8 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to performance on the 2019 grade 8 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), allowing the TIMSS participating education systems to be compared to the United States overall in science and each U.S. state in mathematics. While not perfect, a link based on statistical moderation serves the purpose of allowing a direct comparison between U.S. states and other countries.

This paper is part of a series of AIR-NAEP working papers that showcase AIR’s expertise and experience not only with NAEP but with other large-scale assessments and survey-based longitudinal studies. Explore all the AIR-NAEP working papers.

Prior work demonstrated the validity of linking these two studies via statistical moderation. Using a subsample from the 1999 NAEP, this was demonstrated by offering both assessments to a subset of students. For the 2009 NAEP, this was demonstrated using braided booklets that offered students items from both assessments.

This study used the most recent data from the 2019 NAEP and the 2019 TIMSS. It holds significance in enabling policymakers, educators, and the public to compare other countries to U.S. states on grade 8 mathematics achievement and the United States overall in science.