PIRLS is administered every five years in more than 55 countries, 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. For the first time, Florida is participating in PIRLS to receive state-level results that can be compared to those of the United States and all the other participating countries. Florida’s sample size will be 80 grade 4 schools. The PIRLS report will be released in December 2012. PIRLS is designed to provide valid and reliable measures of U.S. students’ performance in the aggregate and for major subpopulations, as well as over time.
PIRLS asks students to read two texts and then answer approximately twelve questions on each text, including multiple-choice and open-ended constructed-response questions. Examples of released PIRLS test items can be viewed at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pirls/pdf/passage_full.pdf. The framework on which the assessment is based can be found at http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls2011/framework.html. 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 coordinator receives $100 compensation
Students receive small gift
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.