PISA is the primary source for internationally comparative information on the mathematics, science, and reading achievement of 15-year-old students in approximately 60 countries and is administered every three years. The 60 countries cover roughly 90% of the world economy. As part of Florida's Race to the Top project, Florida is using funding to participate in PISA as a means of obtaining information that allows for international comparisons of student achievement. It takes approximately two years for the technical report and data handbook to be published. PISA 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.
In 2012, PISA will focus on mathematics; in 2015, it will focus on science; and in 2018, it will focus on reading. In each assessment year, the other two subjects will be assessed more briefly. PISA’s goal is to measure how well students approaching the end of compulsory schooling are prepared to meet the challenges of today’s information societies. PISA focuses on young people’s ability to use their knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges, rather than merely on the extent to which they have mastered a specific school curriculum and can reproduce it. Similar to NAEP, students complete questionnaires about themselves and their principals complete questionnaires about their schools.
The PISA assessment is scheduled for September 24 - November 2, 2012; however, Florida's dates for participation are October 2 - October 31, 2012. The test will be administered to 15-year old students, defined as students born between July 1, 1996 and June 30, 1997.