International Reading Achievement: Insights into Policy and Practice Using PISA/PIRLS Data

Trends in reading achievement are measured internationally by two large scale assessments.

Presentations from IRA's PISA-PIRLS Task Force

Professional Development Guides

IRA’s PISA/PIRLS Task Force developed these documents to guide informed discussion by national affiliates about trends in reading achievement.  



PIRLS (Progress in International Literacy Study) assesses levels of reading achievement among 9-to-10 year olds, and provides data on literacy influences in the home, school, and classroom. PIRLS is administered on a five-year cycle, and reports are available for 2001 and 2006.


PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) assesses reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills among 15 year olds. PISA is administered on a three-year cycle Each administration includes assessments of all three subjects, but assesses one of the subjects in depth. The most recent administration was in 2006 and focused on science literacy. Reading achievement was the primary focus in 2000 and will be the focus again in 2009.

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