Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Problem Solving: School Poverty Indicator


Proficiency Levels

Excel File Excel Download
Excel File 2012 Problem Solving Proficiency Levels Description

Table PS5. Percentage distribution of U.S. 15-year-old public school students on PISA problem solving scale, by proficiency level and percentage of students in enrolled schools eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, based on principals' reports: 2012
Percent of students eligible for
free or reduced-price lunch
Below level 1   Level 1   Level 2   Level 3   Level 4   Level 5   Level 6
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
U.S. average 5.7 ** 0.78   12.5   0.85   22.8   1.02   27.0   0.98   20.4   0.89   8.9   0.69   2.7   0.47
Less than 10 percent         14.2 * 3.50   28.1   3.64   26.1   5.04   18.2 * 4.39    
10 to 24.9 percent 2.2 * 0.65   8.3 * 1.25   19.8   1.74   28.4   2.39   26.7 * 2.25   11.6   1.70   2.9 ! 1.00
25 to 49.9 percent 2.7 * 0.69   8.2 * 1.35   20.2   2.27   28.3   1.57   24.0 * 2.03   11.9 *** 1.60   4.7 *** 1.14
50 to 74.9 percent 7.3   1.91   14.0   1.39   25.0   1.62   27.7   2.10   18.3   1.51   6.3 * 0.92   1.4 !* 0.46
75 percent or more 11.6 *** 2.50   22.0 * 2.83   26.9   2.67   21.9 *** 2.58   12.5 * 2.31   4.2 * 1.14    
OECD average (PS) 8.2 *** 0.16   13.2   0.16   22.0   0.18   25.6   0.18   19.6   0.17   8.9   0.14   2.5   0.08
† Not applicable.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
* p<.05. Significantly different from both the U.S. and OECD averages at the .05 level of statistical significance.
** p<.05. Significantly different from the OECD average at the .05 level of statistical significance.
*** p<.05. Significantly different from the U.S. average at the .05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into problem solving literacy levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: below level 1 (a score less than or equal to 358.49); level 1 (a score greater than 358.49 and less than or equal to 423.42); level 2 (a score greater than 423.42 and less than or equal to 488.35); level 3 (a score greater than 488.35 and less than or equal to 553.28); level 4 (a score greater than 553.28 and less than or equal to 618.21); level 5 (a score greater than 618.21 and less than or equal to 683.14); and level 6 (a score greater than 683.14). Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. The National School Lunch Program provides free or reduced-price lunch for students meeting certain income guidelines. The percentage of students receiving such lunch is an indicator of the socioeconomic level of families served by the school. Data in this table are based on principals' responses to a question in the school questionnaire that asked the approximate percentage of eligible students in the school during the previous school year. The OECD average (PS) is the average of the national percentages of the 28 OECD member countries that participated in the problem solving (PS) assessment, with each country weighted equally. The following OECD countries did not participate in the problem solving assessment: Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Standard error is noted by s.e. Free or reduced price-lunch data are for public schools only. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012.

Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education