NEWS RELEASES 2016-17

NEWS RELEASES 2016-17 :: December 6, 2016

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NC PISA SCORES PROVIDE COMPARISONS WITH OTHER NATIONS’ PERFORMANCE

North Carolina was one of only two states (along with Massachusetts) and Puerto Rico that elected to participate in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015, and scores in science, reading and mathematics literacy show North Carolina is on track with the United States’ performance overall. This is the first time that North Carolina has participated in PISA.

The 2015 PISA results reflect science, reading and mathematics literacy for 15-year-olds in 73 education systems worldwide. The PISA is a system of international assessments that allows countries to compare outcomes of learning as students near the end of compulsory schooling. The assessments are given to a sample of participating nations and states every three years. The United States has participated in every cycle of PISA since it began in 2000.

“North Carolina’s participation in PISA provides us with an external measure of our standards and also of our students’ readiness for career and college,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “We are heartened that our state’s performance is in line with the nation’s and that we are competitive against other global education systems. This information will help us as we review content standards and set expectations for the future.”

Results showed North Carolina’s science literacy as higher than 41 participants, not measurably different than 18 participants, not measurably different from the US performance and lower than 14 others. The state’s score was 502. That score falls between Levels 3 and 4, which indicates that students have the ability to draw upon moderately complex content knowledge to identify or explain familiar scientific phenomena. These students can construct explanations with relevant support. They can carry out a simple experiment and to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific issues and identify the evidence supporting a scientific claim.

In reading literacy, North Carolina’s performance was higher than 43 participants, not measurably different than 20 participants, including the US, and lower than 10 others. The state’s score was 500, which falls between the Levels 3 and 4 on the six-level scale. Students at this level of mastery can locate and recognize the relationship between several pieces of information that must meet multiple conditions. They can integrate several parts of a text in order to identify a main idea, understand a relationship or determine the meaning of a word or phrase. They can take into account many features in comparing, contrasting or categorizing. Students at this level can sift through competing information or text obstacles to determine meaning and connections.

In mathematics literacy, North Carolina’s performance was higher than 29 participants, not measurably different from eight participants, including the US, and lower than 36 others. The state’s score was 471, which falls between Levels 2 and 3. This level of performance indicates the ability to employ basic algorithms, formulae, procedures or conventions to solve problems involving whole numbers. Students are capable of making literal interpretations of results and can interpret and recognize situations in contexts that require no more than direct inference.

To see the distribution of participating education systems and how their PISA performance compared to each other on the 2015 assessments, please click on the chart link below.

(xlsx, 2.0mb)

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.