International literacy assessments have taken on increasing significance as a growing number of countries and jurisdictions look to scores and patterns of performance on these assessments for guidance in reforming literacy policy and practice.
Assessments such as PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) and PIRLS (Progress in Reading Literacy Study), which have gone through multiple cycles since the year 2000, are now considered the world’s report cards, reflecting objectively the successes and challenges of participating nations’ efforts to elevate or maintain high-levels of reading achievement.
And yet, while overall scores and general patterns on these assessments can be informative, they can also be misleading, if not properly explained and nuanced. Our Thematic Working Group is concerned with how international literacy assessments can legitimately inform reading literacy policy, spawn further research, and translate into viable instructional practices.
Our priorities are:
1. Policy Advocacy: To analyze the findings of cross-national testing efforts in reading literacy and to propose policy consistent with verifiable data derived from this analysis.
2. Good Practices: To propose good practice recommendations based on findings from international assessments of reading literacy.
3. Research: To identify, compile, and share important new research data as well as research gaps related to designing, conducting, and using international reading literacy assessments.