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Trends in Student Performance: International Trends in Average Scores


Reading Literacy

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Table T4. Average scores and changes in average scores of 15-year-old students on PISA reading literacy scale, by education system: 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012
Education system Average score   Change in average score
2000   2003   2006   2009   2012   2012-2000   2012-2003   2012-2009
Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.
OECD trend score1 496 0.7   497 0.6   490 0.7   496 0.5   498 0.6   2     1.5   4.1 *   1.4   2 *   0.9
Shanghai-China       556 2.4   570 2.9               14 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.5
Hong Kong-China 525 2.9   510 3.7   536 2.4   533 2.1   545 2.8   19 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.2   35 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.3   11 *   4.4
Singapore       526 1.1   542 1.4               16 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 3.1
Japan 522 5.2   498 3.9   498 3.6   520 3.5   538 3.7   16     8.7   40 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.8   18 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 5.7
Korea, Republic of 525 2.4   534 3.1   556 3.8   539 3.5   536 3.9   11     7.5   2     7.5   -3     5.9
Finland 546 2.6   543 1.6   547 2.1   536 2.3   524 2.4   -22 *   6.9   -19 * Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score 6.3   -12 *   4.2
Ireland 527 3.2   515 2.6   517 3.5   496 3.0   523 2.6   -3     7.2   8     6.7   28 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.7
Canada 534 1.6   528 1.7   527 2.4   524 1.5   523 1.9   -11     6.4   -5     6.2   -1     3.6
Chinese Taipei     496 3.4   495 2.6   523 3.0               28 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.8
Poland 479 4.5   497 2.9   508 2.8   500 2.6   518 3.1   39 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 8.0   22 *   7.0   18 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.8
Estonia     501 2.9   501 2.6   516 2.0               15 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.2
Liechtenstein 483 4.1   525 3.6   510 3.9   499 2.8   516 4.1   33 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 8.3   -10     7.8   16 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 5.6
New Zealand 529 2.8   522 2.5   521 3.0   521 2.4   512 2.4   -17 *   7.0   -9     6.6   -9 *   4.2
Australia 528 3.5   525 2.1   513 2.1   515 2.3   512 1.6   -16 *   7.1   -14 *   6.2   -3     3.8
Netherlands2   513 2.9   507 2.9   508 5.1   511 3.5         -2     7.2   3     6.7
Switzerland 494 4.2   499 3.3   499 3.1   501 2.4   509 2.6   15     7.7   10     7.0   9     4.4
Macao-China   498 2.2   492 1.1   487 0.9   509 0.9         11     6.1   22 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 2.9
Belgium 507 3.6   507 2.6   501 3.0   506 2.3   509 2.3   1     7.3   2     6.6   3     4.2
Vietnam         508 4.4                  
Germany 484 2.5   491 3.4   495 4.4   497 2.7   508 2.8   24 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.0   16 *   7.1   10 *   4.7
France 505 2.7   496 2.7   488 4.1   496 3.4   505 2.8   1     7.1   9     6.8   10     5.2
Norway 505 2.8   500 2.8   484 3.2   503 2.6   504 3.2   -1     7.3   4     7.0   1     4.9
United Kingdom3     495 2.3   494 2.3   499 3.5               5     4.9
United States4 504 7.0   495 3.2     500 3.7   498 3.7   -7     9.9   2     7.5   -2     5.8
Denmark 497 2.4   492 2.8   494 3.2   495 2.1   496 2.6   -1     6.9   4     6.8   1     4.3
Czech Republic 492 2.4   489 3.5   483 4.2   478 2.9   493 2.9   1     7.0   4     7.2   15 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.8
Italy 487 2.9   476 3.0   469 2.4   486 1.6   490 2.0   2     6.9   14 *   6.7   4     3.6
Austria 492 2.7   491 3.8   490 4.1   470 2.9   490 2.8   -2     7.1   -1     7.3   19 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.8
Latvia 458 5.3   491 3.7   479 3.7   484 3.0   489 2.4   31 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 8.3   -2     7.1   5     4.6
Hungary 480 4.0   482 2.5   482 3.3   494 3.2   488 3.2   8     7.8   7     6.9   -6     5.2
Spain 493 2.7   481 2.6   461 2.2   481 2.0   488 1.9   -5     6.8   7     6.5   7     3.8
Luxembourg   479 1.5   479 1.3   472 1.3   488 1.5         8     6.0   16 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 3.3
Portugal 470 4.5   478 3.7   472 3.6   489 3.1   488 3.8   18 *   8.3   10     7.7   -2     5.5
Israel 452 8.5     439 4.6   474 3.6   486 5.0   34 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 11.5         12     6.7
Croatia     477 2.8   476 2.9   485 3.3               9     5.1
Sweden 516 2.2   514 2.4   507 3.4   497 2.9   483 3.0   -33 * Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score 7.0   -31 * Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score 6.8   -14 *   4.9
Iceland 507 1.5   492 1.6   484 1.9   500 1.4   483 1.8   -24 *   6.4   -9     6.1   -18 * Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score 3.5
Slovenia     494 1.0   483 1.0   481 1.2               -2     3.1
Lithuania     470 3.0   468 2.4   477 2.5               9 *   4.3
Greece 474 5.0   472 4.1   460 4.0   483 4.3   477 3.3   3     8.4   5     7.7   -6     6.0
Turkey   441 5.8   447 4.2   464 3.5   475 4.2         35 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 9.1   11     6.1
Russian Federation 462 4.2   442 3.9   440 4.3   459 3.3   475 3.0   13     7.8   33 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.5   16 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 5.2
Slovak Republic   469 3.1   466 3.1   477 2.5   463 4.2         -6     7.7   -15 *   5.5
Cyprus         449 1.2                  
Serbia, Republic of5     401 3.5   442 2.4   446 3.4               4     5.0
United Arab Emirates         442 2.5                  
Chile 410 3.6     442 5.0   449 3.1   441 2.9   32 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.5         -8     5.0
Thailand 431 3.2   420 2.8   417 2.6   421 2.6   441 3.1   11     7.4   21 *   7.0   20 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 4.8
Costa Rica6       443 3.2   441 3.5               -2     5.4
Romania7 428 3.5     396 4.7   424 4.1   438 4.0   10     7.9         13 *   6.3
Bulgaria 430 4.9     402 6.9   429 6.7   436 6.0   6     9.8         7     9.4
Mexico 422 3.3   400 4.1   410 3.1   425 2.0   424 1.5   2     7.0   24 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.1   -2     3.6
Montenegro, Republic of5     392 1.2   408 1.7   422 1.2               15 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 3.3
Uruguay   434 3.4   413 3.4   426 2.6   411 3.2         -23 * Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score 7.3   -14 *   4.8
Brazil 396 3.1   403 4.6   393 3.7   412 2.7   410 2.1   14 *   7.0   7     7.5   -2     4.3
Tunisia   375 2.8   380 4.0   404 2.9   404 4.5         29 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.7   #    
Colombia     385 5.1   413 3.7   403 3.4               -10     5.7
Jordan     401 3.3   405 3.3   399 3.6               -6     5.5
Malaysia6       414 2.9   398 3.3               -16 *   5.1
Indonesia 371 4.0   382 3.4   393 5.9   402 3.7   396 4.2   26 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 8.3   15     7.8   -6     6.2
Argentina 418 9.9     374 7.2   398 4.6   396 3.7   -22     12.1         -2     6.5
Albania 349 3.3       385 4.0   394 3.2   45 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 7.5         9     5.8
Kazakhstan       390 3.1   393 2.7               2     4.8
Qatar     312 1.2   372 0.8   388 0.8               16 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 2.8
Peru 327 4.4       370 4.0   384 4.3   57 * Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score 8.6         14 *   6.4
Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score Change in average score is greater than the U.S. change in average score.
Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score Change in average score is lower than the U.S. change in average score.
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
* p<.05. Change in average score is significant at a05 level of statistical significance.
1The OECD trend scores for 2000, 2003, 2009, and 2012 are based on the averages of the 27 OECD countries with comparable data for 2000 and 2012 and with each country weighted equally. The seven current OECD members not included in the OECD averages used to report on trends in reading literacy include the Slovak Republic and Turkey, which joined PISA in 2003; Estonia and Slovenia, which joined PISA in 2006; Luxembourg, which experienced substantial changes in its assessment conditions between 2000 and 2003; and the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, which did not meet the PISA response-rate standards in 2000. The OECD excluded the data for Austria from the trend analysis in its report (OECD, PISA 2009 Results: Learning Trends - Changes in Student Performance Since 2000 (Volume V), available at http://www.pisa.oecd.org) because of a concern over a data collection issue in 2009; however, after consultation with Austrian officials, NCES kept the Austrian data in the U.S. trend reporting. The OECD trend score for 2006 is based on the averages of 26 OECD countries, as PISA 2006 reading literacy results were not reported for the United States.
2Although the Netherlands participated in PISA 2000, technical problems with its sample prevent its results from being included.
3Although the United Kingdom participated in PISA 2000, technical problems with its sample prevent its results from being included. Because of low response rates, 2003 data for the United Kingdom are not presented.
4PISA 2006 reading literacy results are not reported for the United States because of an error in printing the test booklets. PISA 2006 reading literacy results are therefore not compared to PISA 2012 reading literacy results. For more details, see Baldi et al. 2007 (available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008016).
5The Republics of Montenegro and Serbia were a united country under the PISA 2000 and 2003 assessments.
6For Costa Rica and Malaysia the change between PISA 2009 and PISA 2012 represents change between 2010 and 2012 because these education systems implemented the PISA 2009 assessment in 2010 as part of PISA 2009.
7The 2000 results for Romania were not reported by OECD due to delayed submission of data. Romania did not participate in PISA in 2003.
NOTE: Education systems are ordered by 2012 average score. Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. All average scores reported as higher or lower than the comparison year are different at the .05 significance level of statistical significance. Standard error is noted by s.e. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012.