Where Massachusetts Ranks on Education Tests
In the season of graduations, it is worth looking at how Massachusetts and Boston stack up against international competitors in education. According to global university rankings and international school achievement tests, Massachusetts ranks near the top in global education excellence. According to the respected Academic Rankings of World Universities (the Shanghai rankings), when population is taken into account, Massachusetts ranks No. 6 in the world in terms of local universities in the global top 100, ahead of Germany, Sweden, Singapore, and other well-regarded higher education systems.
The Commonwealth also does well in K-12 education. In math and reading tests administered by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA and PIRLS), conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), administered by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, Massachusetts does quite well. These tests, conducted every few years, are considered the international gold standard for assessing the performance of national education systems. From time to time, Massachusetts has benchmarked itself against countries as well as the few US states that take part.
In higher education, Massachusetts has three universities in the top 100, another three in the top 200, and two more in the top 500. In the US, only California scored better. In the K-12 tests, Massachusetts (separated from the US as a whole) scored sixth in the world in 8th grade math and science in TIMSS, and 4th at the fourth grade. It was also ranked No. 1 among 12 US states along with Canadian provinces (leaving out the country rankings) that participated in the 8th grade test. In the OECD’s PISA exams, only Singapore outranked Massachusetts in science, and no country outranked Massachusetts in reading, although a small number of countries had similar scores.
Source: “Where Mass. ranks on education tests” by Philip G. Altbach, a research professor and founding director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. Read the full article at CommonWealth.com.