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PIRLS and ePIRLS Results

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Table 6a. Change in the percentage of fourth-grade students reaching the PIRLS international benchmarks, by education system: 2001 to 2016 and 2011 to 2016                                        
Education system Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2001
———

Advanced
(625)
2001
Adv.
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2001
———

High
(550)
2001
High
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2001
———
Inter-
mediate
(475)
2001
Int.
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2001
———

Low
(400)
2001
Low
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2011
———

Advanced
(625)
2011
Adv.
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2011
———

High
(550)
2011
High
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2011
———
Inter-
mediate
(475)
2011
Int.
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2011
———

Low
(400)
2011
Low
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2016
———

Advanced
(625)
2016
Adv.
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2016
———

High
(550)
2016
High
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2016
———
Inter-
mediate
(475)
2016
Int.
↑↓
Percentage
of students
reaching
benchmark
———
2016
———

Low
(400)
2016
Low
↑↓
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2001 to 2016
———
Advanced
(625)
Diff.
2001
to
2016
Adv.
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2001 to 2016
———
High
(550)
Diff.
2001
to
2016
High
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2001 to 2016
———
Inter-
mediate
(475)
Diff.
2001
to
2016
Int.
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2001 to 2016
———
Low
(400)
Diff.
2001
to
2016
Low
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2011 to 2016
———
Advanced
(625)
Diff. 2011 to 2016
Adv.
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2011 to 2016
———
High
(550)
Diff. 2011 to 2016
High
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2011 to 2016
———
Inter-
mediate
(475)
Diff. 2011 to 2016
Int.
stat.
sig.
Change in
percentage
reaching
benchmark1
———
Percentage
point
difference:
2011 to 2016
———
Low
(400)
Diff. 2011 to 2016
Low
stat.
sig.
Singapore2 12 | 45 | 76 | 90 24 62 87 | 97 | 29 66 89 97 | 16 * 21 * 13 * 7 * 4 | 4   2 | # |
Russian Federation 5 39 80 | 96 | 19 | 63 92 99 26 70 94 99 20 * 31 * 13 * 3 * 6 * 7 * 2 | # |
Northern Ireland-GBR | | | | 19 | 58 | 87 | 97 | 22 61 87 97 | | | | | 4 * 3   # | # |
Ireland | | | | 16 | 53 | 85 | 97 | 21 62 89 98 | | | | 6 * 9 * 4 * 1 |
England-GBR 20 54 | 82 | 94 | 18 | 54 | 83 95 20 57 86 | 97 | # | 3 | 3 * 2 * 2 | 3 | 3 * 1 *
Bulgaria 17 | 54 | 83 | 95 | 11 45 77 93 19 | 55 | 83 | 95 | 2 | # | # | # | 8 * 9 * 5 * 2 |
Hong Kong-CHN3,4 5 39 81 | 97 18 | 67 93 99 18 | 65 93 99 14 * 26 * 11 * 2 * 1 | -1 | -1 | -1 |
Finland | | | | 18 | 63 92 99 18 | 62 91 98 | | | | # | # | -1 | -1 *
Hungary 10 49 | 85 98 12 48 81 95 17 | 56 | 85 | 97 | 7 * 7 * # | # | 4 * 8 * 4 * 2 *
United States4 15 | 50 | 80 | 94 | 17 | 56 | 86 | 98 | 16 | 53 | 83 | 96 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 2 * -1 | -3 | -3 * -1 *
Australia | | | | 10 42 76 93 16 | 51 | 81 | 94 | | | | 6 * 9 * 5 * 2 |
Chinese Taipei-CHN | | | | 13 55 | 87 | 98 | 14 | 59 90 98 | | | | 2 | 3 | 3 * # |
Sweden 15 | 59 90 98 9 47 85 | 98 | 14 | 57 | 88 98 -2 | -3 | -2 | 0 | 5 * 10 * 3 | # |
Latvia3 9 49 | 87 99 | | | | 14 | 57 | 90 99 5 * 8 * 3 * 1 | | | | |
Lithuania5 9 48 | 85 98 6 39 80 97 13 53 | 87 97 | 4 * 5 * 1 | -1 | 7 * 14 * 7 * 1 |
Israel2 | | | | 15 | 49 80 93 13 46 75 91 | | | | -2 | -4 * -5 * -2 *
Canada3,6 | | | | 13 51 86 | 98 | 13 50 | 83 | 96 | | | | | # | -1 | -3 * -2 *
Slovenia 3 25 67 91 8 42 79 95 11 49 | 83 | 96 | 8 * 24 * 16 * 5 * 4 * 8 * 3 * 1 |
Denmark3 | | | | 12 55 | 88 99 11 52 | 86 | 97 | | | | | -1 | -3 | -3 * -1 *
New Zealand 14 | 45 74 90 14 45 75 92 11 41 73 90 -3 * -3 | -1 | # | -3 * -3 * -1 | -2 *
Germany 9 47 | 83 | 97 10 46 85 | 98 | 11 47 81 | 95 | 3 * # | -2 | -3 * 2 | 1 | -3 * -3 *
Italy 11 48   83 | 97 10 46 85 | 98 | 11 52 | 87 98 # | 4 * 4 * 1 | 1 | 6 * 2 | # |
Slovak Republic 5 34 76 | 94 | 8 44 82 96 10 47 81 | 93 | 6 * 13 * 5 * # | 2 * 3 | -1 | -2 |
Czech Republic 7 45 83 | 97 8 50 87 | 98 | 10 49 | 85 | 97 | 3 * 4 * 2 | # | 2 | -1 | -2 | -1 |
Austria3 | | | | 5 39 80 97 | 8 47 84 | 98 | | | | 3 * 8 * 4 * # |
Netherlands4 10 54 | 92 99 7 48 90 100 8 48 88 99 -2 | -6 * -4 * -1 | 2 * # | -2 | -1 *
Portugal3 | | | | 9 47 84 | 98 | 7 38 79 97 | | | | | -3 | -9 * -5 * -1 |
Spain | | | | 4 31 72 94 6 39 80 97 | | | | | 2 * 8 * 7 * 3 *
Norway (4)7 4 28 65 88 2 25 71 95 5 34 74 94 #   6 * 9 * 6 * 3 * 9 * 3 | -1 |
United Arab Emirates | | | | 3 14 38 64 5 20 43 68       | 2 * 6 * 5 * 4 *
Trinidad and Tobago | | | | 3 19 50 78 4 24 55 80       | 1 | 5 * 5 * 2 |
France 7 37 77 | 95 | 5 35 75 95 4 30 72 94 -3 * -7 * -5 * -2 * -1 | -4 * -3 | -2 |
Qatar | | | | 2 12 34 60 3 17 42 66       | 1 * 5 * 7 * 7 *
Belgium (French)-BEL3 | | | | 2 25 70 94 3 22 65 92       | # | -3 | -6 * -2  
Georgia6 | | | | 2 21 60 86 2 22 60 86       | # | 1 | # | # |
Oman | | | | # 5 21 47 2 10 32 59       | 1 * 5 * 11 * 12 *
Azerbaijan | | | | # 9 45 82 1 17 53 80       | 1 * 8 * 8 * -2 |
Iran, Islamic Republic of # 7 28 56 1 13 45 76 1 11 37 65 1 * 4 * 9 * 9 * # | -2 * -8 * -11 *
Saudi Arabia | | | | 1 8 34 65 1 11 35 63       | 1 | 3 | 1 | -2 |
Malta3 | | | | 1 14 45 74 1 13 45 73       | -1 * -1 | -1 | -1 |
Morocco | | | | # 1 7 21 # 3 14 36       | # * 2 * 8 * 15 *
Benchmarking education systems | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
Ontario-CAN 15 | 50   84 | 96 15   54   85 | 97 | 14 | 50 | 82 | 96 | -2 | # | -1 | -1 | -2 | -4 | -3 | -2 *
Quebec-CAN8 8 43 84 | 98 7 43 85 | 98 | 11 50 | 87 | 98 3 * 7 * 3 | # | 4 * 7 * 2 | # |
Dubai-UAE | | | | 6 26 54 75 11 40 69 87 | | | | 5 * 14 * 15 * 12 *
Andalusia-ESP | | | | 4 31 73 95 5 37 78 97   | | | | 1 | 6 * 5 * 2 |
Abu Dhabi-UAE | | | | 2 10 32 60 2 11 31 55 | | | | # | 1 | -1 | -5 |
| Blank cell.
↑ Percentage is higher than the U.S. percentage at the same benchmark.
↓ Percentage is lower than the U.S. percentage at the same benchmark.
— Not available.
# Rounds to zero.
* p<.05. Change in percentages is significant at the05 level of statistical significance.
1 The change in percentage is calculated by subtracting the 2001 or 2011 estimate, respectively, from the 2016 estimate using unrounded numbers.
2 National Defined Population covers less than 90 percent of National Target Population (but at least 77 percent).
3 National Defined Population covers 90 to 95 percent of the National Target Population.
4 Met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included.
5 Trend results for Lithuania do not include students taught in Polish or in Russian.
6 National Target Population does not include all of the International Target Population.
7 The number in parentheses indicates the grade level. For PIRLS 2016, Norway revised its assessed population to students in the fifth grade to obtain better comparisons with Sweden and Finland. However, in previous PIRLS cycles Norway assessed students in the fourth grade, which is similar to third grade in many other education systems because grade 1 in Norway is considered the equivalent of a year of kindergarten. To maintain trend with previous PIRLS cycles, in 2016 Norway also collected data from fourth-grade students, which is used in this trend table.
8 Did not satisfy guidelines for sample participation rates.
NOTE: Education systems are ordered by the percentage of students reaching the Advanced international benchmark in 2016. Italics indicate participants identified as a non-national entity that represents a portion of a country. All average scores reported as higher or lower than the U.S. average score are different at the05 level of statistical significance. The tests for significance take into account the standard error for the reported difference. Thus, a small difference between the United States and one education system may be significant, while a large apparent difference between the United States and another education system may not be significant. Education systems that did not administer PIRLS at the target grade are not shown; see the international report for their results. In 2016, Iran and Morocco participated in both PIRLS and PIRLS Literacy. More detail on PIRLS Literacy is available at https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls2016/framework.html. The standard errors of the estimates shown in this table are in table 6b available at https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pirls/pirls2016/tables/xlsx/pirls2016_table06se.xlsx.
For 2001, Lithuania, Ontario-CAN, and Quebec-CAN had a National Target Population that did not include all of the International Target Population; England-GBR and the Russian Federation had a National Defined Population that covered 90-95 percent of the National Target Population; Israel had a National Defined Population that covered less than 80 percent of the National Target Population; England-GBR, the Netherlands, and the United States met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included; and Morocco nearly satisfied guidelines for sample participation rates after replacement schools were included.
For 2011, Georgia and Lithuania had a National Target Population that did not include all of the International Target Population; Azerbaijan, Denmark, Canada, Lithuania, Qatar, Singapore, the United States, Belgium (French)-BEL, and Ontario-CAN had a National Defined Population that covered 90-95 percent of the National Target Population; Hong Kong-CHN and Israel had a National Defined Population that covered less than 90 percent of the National Target Population (but at least 77 percent); England-GBR, the Netherlands, Norther Ireland-GBR, and Belgium (French)-BEL met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included; Norway (4) nearly satisfied guidelines for sample participation rates after replacement schools were included; in Oman there were reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low to estimate exceed 15 percent, though it was less than 25 percent; in Morocco there were reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low to estimate exceeded 25 percent.
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), 2001, 2011, and 2016.