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State Level

International Standards – Examples

Practice Assessments for Comparison Purposes

  • Provide incentives and/or other support for schools and districts that choose to use online practice tests to see how students compare to international standards.
  • Review sample assessment items from PISA at
  • TIMSS Challenge in Math and Science: These online assessments provide sample TIMSS assessments in math and science, for grades 3, 4, 7, 8 and 12.
  • Use Dare to Compare:, or (direct link to test).  These online assessments have been created using TIMSS, NAEP and CivEd questions. Sample assessments can be found in:
    • Math – grades 4, 8 and 12
    • Science – grades 4 and 8
    • Civics – grades 4, 8 and 9
    • Geography – grades 4, 8 and 12
    • Economics – grade 12
    • History – grades 4, 8 and 12.

Standards Comparison and Alignment Methods

  • Fund a study to compare state standards to international standards. Identify gaps and then align K-12 and postsecondary standards to international standards. This may result in developing new standards, amending existing standards or augmenting existing standards at state level.
  • Require a statewide alignment process to include K-12, postsecondary education, and workforce development standards and expectations.
  • Create formative or summative assessments aligned to international standards and provide fiscal and/or other support for schools and districts to administer them.


Develop a communications strategy, in collaboration with the business sector, to inform educators, parents, students, legislators, governors and other policymakers of the need for international benchmarking.


Download the full toolkit:
(PDF, 6.7MB)