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CTB/McGraw-Hill Completes OECD Test for Schools Pilot Study, Providing Insightful New Views of School Performance Relative to PISA Benchmarks

New assessment to help schools achieve higher levels of student performance and better prepare students to become globally competitive

MONTEREY, Calif., April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CTB/McGraw-Hill, a leading U.S.-based assessment partner for educational authorities worldwide, announced today the completion of a pilot and research study based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) that provides a unique and insightful view of student performance in reading, science and mathematics relative to previously established international standards. CTB/McGraw-Hill was selected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to oversee the 2012 pilot, which was designed to allow schools to benchmark the performance of their 15-year-old students against the PISA framework.

By allowing schools and districts to gauge students' performance compared with students from some of the world's highest performing education systems, the new assessment – known as the OECD Test for Schools – allows education officials to more effectively shape policy and learning outcome targets. Schools that participated in the pilots were provided with extensive reports detailing their performance as they compared to the 2009 PISA results for selected nations and economies such as Shanghai, Mexico and other U.S. schools with similar demographic characteristics.

"We are honored to have been selected by the OECD to lead this effort, as we recognize it to be a critically important step toward better preparing U.S. students for success in college and their careers in a globally competitive society," said Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill. "Through more frequent insights into student performance against PISA international frameworks, this assessment offers educators the opportunity to improve their instruction and more effectively drive performance based on the specific needs of their students."

CTB/McGraw-Hill administered the OECD Test for Schools to the pilot participants from April to October 2012, with more than 7,200 students taking the test. One hundred five schools across 21 states participated in the United States; 18 schools in England, Wales and Scotland; and three schools in Canada. The pilot represents an important step in the OECD's rigorous test development and validation process, as the organization will use CTB's pilot study findings to inform the development and administration of OECD Test for Schools as it moves beyond the pilot stage.

As the world has moved toward a global knowledge economy, concerns over students' international competitiveness – including their chances of success in college and the workforce – have risen sharply. PISA, a global study conducted every three years by the OECD that examines students' skills and knowledge in the critical subject areas of mathematics, science and reading, has become the most widely respected international measure of students' preparedness for college and workforce success. The United States is a member of the OECD and has participated in PISA since its first administration in 2000.

Although the OECD Test for Schools is based on the same assessment frameworks as the main PISA assessment, the two assessments — and the findings they provide — are different. The OECD created the PISA assessment in response to its member countries' demands for regular and reliable data on the knowledge and skills of their students and the performance of their education systems in an international context. While the PISA assessment is intended to provide aggregate national and some state-level results for international comparisons, the OECD Test for Schools is designed to provide schools with important performance information in the context of the international PISA results and results from similar schools.

The 2012 national level PISA study was administered to students worldwide. For more information on PISA, please visit

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Tyler Reed
McGraw Hill
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