CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

The Third International Mathematics and Science Study

The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)-1995 and its successor, TIMSS-1999, provided education researchers, policymakers, and practitioners with rich, comparative data designed to help better understand the performance of educational systems.  As such, TIMSS is a valuable tool in current efforts to improve mathematics and science instruction and to educate students in the United States to global standards of excellence. What can we learn from this ambitious and unprecedented international effort to provide meaningful, useful data for the reform of mathematics and science instruction? It is important to reflect on this question as we assess the promise and challenges of using TIMSS-type data in particular, as well as the broader national effort to use data to guide school improvement in general.

In May 2002, CPRE held a forum in Washington, DC convening TIMSS Benchmarking jurisdiction representatives, teachers, administrators, policymakers, researchers, and technical assistance providers to share successful strategies and ongoing challenges in taking full advantage of TIMSS data. As a result, CPRE produced a series of three policy briefs examining how TIMSS-1995 and TIMSS-1999 data have helped to inform changes in policy and practice as schools, districts, and states respond to the call for improvement in mathematics and science achievement.

Start date: 
January 2000
End date: 
December 2004