Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An analysis of international student achievement test outcomes and the competitiveness of nations
by Meyer, David D., Ed.D., Northwest Nazarene University, 2015, 119; 3719078
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the correlation between international student achievement test outcomes and national competitiveness rankings. Student achievement data are derived from a variation-adjusted, common metric data set for 74 countries that have participated in any of the international mathematics and science achievement tests since 1964. National competitiveness data are taken from the 2014-15 Global Competitiveness Index published by the World Economic Forum. A Spearman’s rank-order correlation was run to assess the relationship between student performance on international achievement tests and the competitiveness of nations. Preliminary analysis showed the relationship to be monotonic, as assessed by a visual inspection of a scatter plot. For all nations, there was a moderate positive correlation between student performance on international achievement tests and the competitiveness of a nation, rs(98)=0.688, p<0.001. However, this relationship disappeared among the 18 most competitive nations, the cohort to which the United States belongs. The relationship also disappeared among the 18 nations with the highest achievement scores on international tests. Student performance on international assessments appears to have no relationship to the competitiveness of the United States. This study has implications for legislators and public education leaders who want to maximize the return on investments in education. Education dollars and initiatives should be diverted away from accountability initiatives for high-stakes exam outcomes toward addressing poverty, equitable school funding, social stress and violence, support for young families, and support for students of immigrant families.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chaplin, David
Commitee: Bingham, Don, Kellerer, Paula
School: Northwest Nazarene University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Idaho
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Educational tests & measurements, Economic theory, Science education
Keywords: Achievement, Capital, Formation, International, Programme for international student assessment, Test
Publication Number: 3719078
ISBN: 9781321993295
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