Measuring global education goals: How TIMSS helps
SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS To assess students’ socio-economic background the approach used by TIMSS is to construct an index of ‘resources’, which combines information from students (education resources available at home) and, at fourth grade, parents (e.g. their education and occupation). A comparison between students who have ‘few’ and those who have ‘many’ resources, shows large disparity in learning outcomes. The socio-economic status parity index is a measure of inequality defined as the ratio of the values of an education indicator for students with ‘few’ resources relative to students with ‘many’ resources. Comparisons should be made with caution, as the groups of students
with ‘few’ and ‘many’ resources are not equal in size in every country. In lower-income countries, there are more students in the group with‘few’ resources; the opposite is the case in richer countries. One way of expressing inequality is to compare students with‘few’and‘many’ resources in terms of the percentage who were at or above the Low International Benchmark. Inevitably, as a country comes closer to ensuring that all, even the most disadvantaged, students reach the Low International Benchmark, inequality ‘disappears’. However, even in countrieswhere at least 80%of students reach the Low International Benchmark, disparity can be large, as in Serbia and Slovakia (Figure 4.5.2) .
FIGURE 4.5.2: Socio-economic status parity index, percentage of fourth-grade students who reached minimum proficiency level in mathematics, 2019
Hong Kong SAR, China
Russian Fed. Singapore
Spain Cyprus Lithuania Sweden
U. A. Emirates
N. Macedonia France Bosnia/Herzeg.
Iran, Isl. Rep.
Grade 4 students above the Low International Benchmark (%)
TIMSS 2019 participating entities reflected in the figure above have been selected by and named according to UNESCO.
Note: * Turkey administered the assessment to fifth-grade students.
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