Ling Tan and Yan Bibby—Australian Council for Educational Research
In 2009 the IB commissioned ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research) to report on how PYP and MYP students performed on the ISA (International Schools’ Assessment). The ISA assesses performance in Grades 3 to 10 on math, reading, and expository and narrative writing. The reading and mathematical literacy portions are based on the internationally endorsed frameworks of the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). As a follow up to this study, IB again commissioned ACER to further document student performance on the ISA from 2009-11, as well as investigate perceptions, attitudes and wellbeing of IB students through student questionnaires. The study sample included 270 schools (117 with the PYP and 86 with the MYP), and a total of 50,714 international students, of which 68% were IB students. An analysis of student performance showed evidence that, on a global level, the PYP and the MYP students performed better than students from non-IB schools in all 4 assessment areas at many grade levels. The grade 9 and grade 10 ISA scores of IB students also averaged significantly higher than the PISA 2009 OECD means in mathematics and reading. A multilevel analysis found that between-school variations across IB schools were smaller than the between-school variations across non-IB schools in all four ISA domains, implying that IB schools were more similar to each other than the non-IB schools with respect to the four domains of ISA performance. Across all dimensions of the primary-year and secondary-year student questionnaires, high proportions of agreement were observed among IB PYP and MYP students.