The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is administered every three years and is the primary source for internationally comparative information on the mathematics, science, and reading achievement of 15-year-old students as they near the end of compulsory schooling. PISA helps monitor trends in acquisition of knowledge and skills across approximately 60 countries and in different demographic subgroups within each country. This enables policy makers and the interested public to see how education systems are similar and different - and what that means for students. PISA is sponsored by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In 2012, PISA focused on mathematics; in 2015, the focus was on science; and in 2018, reading will be the area of focus. In each assessment year, the other two subjects are assessed more briefly. PISA's goal is to measure the ability of students to apply their knowledge and skills within a real-life context, rather than merely the extent to which they have mastered a specific school curriculum and can reproduce it. PISA examines how well students can apply acquired knowledge to unfamiliar settings, both in and outside of school. This approach reflects the fact that modern economies reward individuals not for what they know, but for what they can do with what they know.
The test lasts approximately 2 hours and is composed of a mixture of open-ended and multiple-choice questions that are organized into groups based on a passage depicting a real-life situation. Similar to NAEP, students complete questionnaires about themselves and their principals complete questionnaires about their schools.
PISA 2015 Overview (PDF)
PISA 2012 Release
- Report published by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (PDF)
- National press release
- Florida's PISA report (PDF)
PISA PowerPoint presentation provided by Institute of
Education Sciences (IES) (PowerPoint),
- PISA Word presentation (Word)
The PISA contact for the state of Florida is Michele Sonnenfeld. She can be contacted by email at or by telephone at 850-245-0513.