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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement Board on International Comparative Studies in Education Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran, Editors Board on Testing and Assessment Center for Education Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, DC
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant No. REC-9815157 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, which includes funds from the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Methodological advances in cross-national surveys of educational achievement / Board on International Comparative Studies in Education ; Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran, editors. p. cm. “Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council.” Papers and discussions from a public symposium held by the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (BICSE) of the National Research Council in November 2000. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-08333-8 (pbk.) 1. Education—Research—Methodology—Congresses. 2. Academic achievement—Congresses. 3. Comparative education—Congresses. I. Porter, Andrew C. II. Gamoran, Adam, 1957- III. National Research Council (U.S.). Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. IV. National Research Council (U.S.). Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Board on Testing and Assessment. V. National Research Council (U.S.). Center for Education. LB1028 .M419 2002 370'.7’2—dc21 2002002602 Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2002). Methodological advances in cross-national surveys of educational achievement. Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. A.C. Porter and A. Gamoran, Editors. Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu/. Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement This page in the original is blank.
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement BOARD ON INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE STUDIES IN EDUCATION 2002 EMERSON J. ELLIOTT (Chair), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Washington, DC LYNN W. PAINE (Vice Chair), Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University DAVID C. BERLINER, College of Education, Arizona State University CLEA FERNANDEZ, Columbia University Teachers College ADAM GAMORAN, Departments of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison LARRY V. HEDGES, Departments of Education, Psychology, and Sociology, The University of Chicago HENRY W. HEIKKINEN, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley G. THOMAS HOULIHAN (Ex Officio), Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, DC JEREMY KILPATRICK, Department of Mathematics Education, University of Georgia SHARON LEWIS, Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC JANET WARD SCHOFIELD, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh JOSEPH TOBIN, College of Education, Arizona State University COLETTE CHABBOTT, Director MONICA ULEWICZ, Program Officer JANE PHILLIPS,Senior Project Assistant
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement BOARD ON TESTING AND ASSESSMENT 2002 EVA L. BAKER (Chair), The Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California, Los Angeles LORRAINE MCDONNELL (Vice Chair), Departments of Political Science and Education, University of California, Santa Barbara LAURESS L. WISE (Vice Chair), Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, VA CHRISTOPHER F. EDLEY, JR., Harvard Law School EMERSON J. ELLIOTT, Independent Consultant, Arlington, VA MILTON D. HAKEL, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University ROBERT M. HAUSER, Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Demography, University of Wisconsin, Madison PAUL W. HOLLAND, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ DANIEL M. KORETZ, RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA EDWARD P. LAZEAR, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University RICHARD J. LIGHT, Graduate School of Education and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University ROBERT J. MISLEVY, Department of Measurement and Statistics, University of Maryland JAMES W. PELLEGRINO, University of Illinois, Chicago LORETTA A. SHEPARD, School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder CATHERINE E. SNOW, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University WILLIAM T. TRENT, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign GUADALUPE M. VALDES, School of Education, Stanford University KENNETH I. WOLPIN, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania PASQUALE J. DEVITO, Director LISA D. ALSTON, Administrative Associate
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Stephen P. Heyneman, Vanderbilt University Susan Holloway, University of California, Berkeley Neville Postlethwaite, Hamburg University, Germany (retired) Laura H. Salganik, American Institutes for Research Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Judith Torney-Purta, University of Maryland. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement Preface In November 2000, the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (BICSE) of the National Research Council held a public symposium titled “Methodological Advances in Large-Scale Cross-National Education Surveys” (see Appendix A for the symposium agenda and list of participants). The purpose was to draw on the wealth of experience gathered over a four-decade period, to evaluate improvement in the methodology, and to identify the most pressing methodological issues that remain to be solved. The papers prepared for that symposium and the discussions of those papers make up this volume. Collectively, they represent the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of methodological strengths and weaknesses of international comparative studies of student achievement. BICSE has a long and distinguished history of monitoring the quality of large-scale international studies of student achievement; this was the primary purpose for which it was originally established. In the late 1980s, in response to growing public interest in using international comparisons to inform U.S. education reform, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) sought assistance from the National Academy of Sciences. BICSE’s two principal objectives were (1) to help improve the quality of international comparative studies in education generally, and (2) to aid U.S. policy makers in ensuring the high quality of the data collected by the United States for those studies. During its first nine years, BICSE served in an oversight role regarding U.S. participation in international education studies—guiding and en-
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement hancing the collection, interpretation, and use of international education data that can inform policy making. In 1998, BICSE was reconfigured to take on an expanded agenda, seeking to provide the locus for conceptual leadership in the field of international education studies and comparative analyses of education systems. Keeping its original charge, BICSE sought to become more proactive, conducting syntheses of comparative work, documenting lessons learned from previous work, and documenting advances in the methodology of comparative surveys (the purpose of this volume). The reconfiguration of BICSE was endorsed enthusiastically by its sponsors, NSF and NCES. In November 1999, BICSE held a workshop on the uses of video in international education studies as its first public initiative under its expanded agenda. The November 2000 symposium on methodological advances in large-scale cross-national education surveys represented BICSE’s second initiative. Although we had the privilege of leading BICSE’s assessment of methodological advances, this volume represents an accomplishment of the entire board. We are fortunate to work with wise and dedicated colleagues on BICSE who contributed to the project at each step of the way—from its initial conception, to selecting symposium participants, to providing feedback to authors on multiple drafts of the papers contained in this volume (see Appendix B for contributing members’ biographical sketches). In addition to current and recent BICSE members, former member John Dossey played a leadership role at an earlier stage of this project. We are also indebted to BICSE’s superb staff, including former director Patricia Morison, current director Colette Chabbott, and staff members Monica Ulewicz and Jane Phillips, for their help in moving this project forward. We also thank Laura Penny for her editorial advice, and Kirsten Sampson Snyder and Yvonne Wise for their guidance of the report through the review and production process. We appreciate the support of Larry Suter of NSF and Eugene Owen of NCES, which came not only in the form of funding their agencies provided to BICSE, but also as helpful insights on this project. Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran, Editors
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement Contents INTRODUCTION 1 Progress and Challenges for Large-Scale Studies Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran 3 PART I: STUDY DESIGN 2 The Measurement of Student Achievement in International Studies Robert L. Linn 27 3 Adapting Achievement Tests into Multiple Languages for International Assessments Ronald K. Hambleton 58 4 Sampling Issues in Design, Conduct, and Interpretation of International Comparative Studies of School Achievement James R. Chromy 80 PART II: CULTURE AND CONTEXT 5 Cultural-Cognitive Issues in Academic Achievement: New Directions for Cross-National Research Janine Bempechat, Norma V. Jimenez, and Beth A. Boulay 117
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement 6 Measuring Family Background in International Studies of Education: Conceptual Issues and Methodological Challenges Claudia Buchmann 150 7 Advancements in Conceptualizing and Analyzing Cultural Effects in Cross-National Studies of Educational Achievement Gerald K. LeTendre 198 PART III: MAKING INFERENCES 8 The Measurement of Opportunity to Learn Robert E. Floden 231 9 Statistical Issues in Analysis of International Comparisons of Educational Achievement Stephen W. Raudenbush and Ji-Soo Kim 267 10 Drawing Inferences for National Policy from Large-Scale Cross-National Education Surveys Marshall S. Smith 295 CONCLUSION 11 Large-Scale, Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement: Promises, Pitfalls, and Possibilities Brian Rowan 321 APPENDIXES A Symposium Agenda and Participants 353 B Biographical Sketches of Board Members 358 Index 363