Mathematics Benchmarking Report TIMSS 1999–Eighth Grade






Major Findings from the TIMSS 1999 Benchmarking Study

What Is TIMSS 1999 Benchmarking?

Why Did Countries, States, Districts, and Consortia Participate?

Which Countries, States, Districts, and Consortia Participated?

What Is the Relationship Between the TIMSS 1999 Data for the United States and the Data for the Benchmarking Study?

How Was the TIMSS 1999 Benchmarking Study Conducted?

What Was the Nature of the Mathematics Test?

How Does TIMSS 1999 Compare with NAEP?

How Do Country Characteristics Differ?

How Do the Benchmarking Jurisdictions Compare on Demographic Indicators?

How Is the Report Organized?

How Do Participants Differ in Mathematics Achievement?

How Do Benchmarking Participants Compare with International Benchamarks of Mathematics Achievement?

Multiple Comparisons of Average Mathematics Achievement

How Do Benchmarking Participants Compare with International Benchmarks of Mathematics Achievement?

Chapter 2: Performance at International Benchmarks

Achievement at the Top 10% Benchmark

Achievement at the Upper Quarter Benchmark

Achievement at the Median Benchmark

Achievement at the Lower Quarter Benchmark

What Issues Emerge from the Benchmark Descriptions?

Chapter 3: Average Achievement in the Mathematics Content Areas

How Does Achievement Differ Across Mathematics Content Areas?

In Which Content Areas Are Students Relatively Strong or Weak?

What Are the Gender Differences in Achievement for the Content Areas?

Chapter 4: Students' Backgrounds and Attitudes Towards Mathematics

What Educational Resources Do Students Have in Their Homes?

How Much of Their Out-of-School Time Do Students Spend on Homework During the School Week?

How Do Students Perceive Their Ability in Mathematics?

What Are Students’ Attitudes Towards Mathematics?

Chapter 5: The Mathematics Curriculum

Does Decision Making About the Intended Curriculum Take Place at the National, State, or Local Level?

How Do Education Systems Support and Monitor Curriculum Implementation?

What TIMSS 1999 Countries Have Assessments And Exams in Mathematics?

What Benchmarking Jurisdictions Have Assessments in Mathematics?

How Do Education Systems Deal with Individual Differences?

What Are the Major Characteristics of the Intended Curriculum?

What Mathematics Content Do Teachers Emphasize at the Eighth Grade?

Are There Policies on Using Calculators?

What Mathematics Topics Are Included in the Intended Curriculum?

Have Students Been Taught the Topics Tested by TIMSS?

What Can Be Learned About the Mathematics Curriculum?

Chapter 6: Teachers and Instruction

What Preparation Do Teachers Have for Teaching Mathematics?

How Much School Time Is Devoted to Mathematics Instruction?

What Activities Do Students Do in Their Mathematics Lessons?

How Are Calculators and Computers Used?

What Are the Roles of Homework and Assessment?

In What Types of Professional Development Activities Do U.S. Mathematics Teachers Participate?

Chapter 7: School Contexts for Learning and Instruction

What Is the Economic Composition of the Student Body?

What Is the Role of the School Principal?

What Are the Schools’ Expectations of Parents?

How Serious Are School Attendance Problems?

How Safe and Orderly Are Schools?

Reference 1: Students' Backgrounds and Attitudes Towards Mathematics

Reference 2: The Mathematics Curriculum

Reference 3: Teachers and Instruction

Reference 4: School Contexts for Learning and Instruction

Appendix A: Overview of TIMSS Procedures: Mathematics Achievement


Participants in TIMSS Benchmarking

Developing the TIMSS 1999 Mathematics Test

TIMSS Test Design

Background Questionnaires

Translation and Verification

Population Definition and Sampling

Data Collection

Scoring the Free-Response Items

Test Reliability

Data Processing

IRT Scaling and Data Analysis

Estimating Sampling Error

Making Mulitiple Comparisons

Setting International Benchmarks of Student Achievment

Mathematics Curriculum Questionnaire

Appendix B: Multiple Comparisons of Average Achievement in Mathematics Content Areas

Appendix C: Percentiles and Standard Deviations of Mathematics Achievement

Appendix D: Descriptions of Mathematics Items at Each Benchmark

Appendix E: Acknowledgements


next chapter > Executive Summary


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TIMSS 1999 is a project of the International Study Center
Boston College, Lynch School of Education