For more than four decades, international assessments conducted by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) have measured how well students are learning mathematics around the world. In Lessons Learned: What International Assessments Tell Us about Math Achievement (Brookings Press, 2007), the authors utilize the wealth of data collected from these assessments to address several pressing questions about school policy and educational research. How do US math curriculums compare to those used overseas? Is the effect of technology in the classroom uniform across nations? How do popular math reforms fare abroad?
On January 23, Tom Loveless, the book’s editor and director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, hosted a discussion with the authors. Panelists included Ina V.S. Mullis and Michael O. Martin of Boston College and authors of “TIMSS in Perspective: Lessons Learned from IEA’s Four Decades of International Mathematics Assessments”; Jeremy Kilpatrick of the University of Georgia and co-author of “U.S. Algebra Performance in an International Contest”; and William Schmidt of Michigan State University and co-author of “Lack of Focus in the Mathematics Curriculum: Symptom or Cause?”. Francis “Skip” Fennell, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, commented on the chapters.