New Rosetta Stone Analysis Reports Translate Regional Study Results to TIMSS and PIRLS Benchmarks


Named after the famous archaeological discovery that enabled translation between different written languages, Rosetta Stone is a collaborative project between the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), IEA, and the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Centre, Lynch School of Education at Boston College,  implemented with the support of Conférence des ministres de l'Éducation des États et gouvernements de la Francophonie (CONFEMEN), and Laboratorio Latinoamericano de Evaluación de la Calidad de la Educación (LLECE).

The project focuses on SDG Indicator 4.1.1, which operationalizes the SDG 4 goal as the demand to “ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.”  The international community agreed upon measuring the progress of this target as the percentage of children and youth achieving at least a minimal level of competency in literacy and numeracy at three points in the grade structure, and by sex: (a) in Grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary.

Rosetta Stone was envisioned with the aim to provide countries who participate in regional assessments, but not in TIMSS and PIRLS, with information about the proportions of primary school students that have achieved the low TIMSS and PIRLS international benchmarks to monitor progress toward SDG Indicator 4.1.1 and allow international comparisons.

Today, we are pleased to release two new Rosetta Stone analysis reports that establish a concordance table between TIMSS and PIRLS and regional assessment results, translating regional results to TIMSS and PIRLS International Benchmarks of Achievement:

  1. Establishing a concordance between ERCE and TIMSS/PIRLS
    This report compares UNESCO’s Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE; Estudio Regional Comparativo y Explicativo) assessment results in Colombia and Guatemala to TIMSS and PIRLS    benchmarks.
  2. Establishing a concordance between PASEC and TIMSS/PIRLS
    This report compares the regional Programme for the Analysis of Education Systems (PASEC; Programme d’Analyse des Systèmes Éducatifs) assessment results in Burundi, Guinea, and Senegal to TIMSS and PIRLS benchmarks.

The concordance table projects the score distributions estimated from two regional assessments to distributions on TIMSS and PIRLS.

Rosetta Stone offers many possibilities for secondary analyses that can help improve global reporting and facilitate comparative analyses of education systems around the world. Each assessment reflects the curriculum of the region/country, and the proficiency level distribution is adequate for global reporting.

Questions about the study design, the data analyses, and the reports for the Rosetta Stone study for ERCE and PASEC should be directed to the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College (

For more information, read the full reports in the link below.