OverviewThe Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is administered every five years in more than 55 education systems, including the United States, and provides important international benchmarking information in fourth-grade reading. PIRLS is designed to measure both trends in fourth-grade students’ reading literacy achievement, as well as school and teacher practices related to reading instruction. It complements what we learn from national assessments by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of students in reading relative to students around the world. In 2011, for the first time, Florida participated in PIRLS at the state-level. Florida's results were compared to those of the United States and all of the other participating countries. PIRLS is designed to provide valid and reliable measures of the performance of students in the aggregate and for major subpopulations, as well as over time.
Performance on PIRLS represents the international standard for reading comprehension at the fourth grade. PIRLS has measured trends in reading comprehension at the fourth grade every five years since 2001, with PIRLS 2011 being the third administration.
PIRLS asks students to read two texts and then answer approximately twelve questions on each, including multiple-choice and open-ended constructed-response questions. The framework on which the assessment is based and examples of released PIRLS test items (PDF) are available. PIRLS is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). PIRLS offers compensation and incentives to participating schools:
- Schools receive $200 compensation
- School PIRLS coordinators receive $100 compensation
- Students receive a small gift
PIRLS 2011 Release
- Florida's PIRLS report (PDF)
The contact for PIRLS in the state of Florida is Michele Sonnenfeld. She can be contacted by e-mail at or by telephone at 850-245-0513.