Rosetta Stone

The IEA Rosetta Stone project is based on a strategy to measure global progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for quality in education (4.1) by linking regional assessment results to TIMSS and PIRLS International Benchmarks of Achievement.

The overarching goal is to develop a concordance table that translates scores resulting from regional mathematics and reading assessments on the TIMSS and PIRLS scales. The resulting concordance table would therefore represent the “Rosetta Stone”, analogous to the original Rosetta Stone which provided a link between Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Study Background

Rosetta is a collaborative project between the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the regional study centers, IEA, and participating linkage countries. Data collection for the first regional assessment ERCE started in August 2019 and ended in 2020. All activities related to data processing, analysis took place throughout 2020 to 2021, and the creation of the concordance table and reporting is taking place in 2021.

ERCE is a regional Latin American reading and mathematics assessment administered in nineteen Central and South American countries in 2019 and provides a perfect opportunity as a starting point to link the results from a regional assessment to IEA’s TIMSS and PIRLS achievement scales. ERCE measures achievement at the sixth grade. The content of ERCE is expected to align well with the TIMSS fourth grade assessments in mathematics; likewise, the reading component of ERCE is expected to align well with the PIRLS fourth grade assessment in literacy and reading comprehension.

Establishing a link between ERCE and other regional assessments with TIMSS and PIRLS and providing evidence for its precision is regarded as an important strategy to improve reporting towards SDG target 4.1.