Literary and Numeracy Assessment

LaNA, the IEA’s Literacy and Numeracy Assessment, is targeted to students at the end of primary school in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and delivers high-quality data identifying strengths and weaknesses in education systems as a basis for evidence-based education policies.

Overview of LaNA

LaNA, an exciting new study in its beginning stages, aims to bring together internationally comparable data demonstrating strengths and weaknesses of primary education systems in literacy and numeracy achievement based on a more flexible assessment framework than existing international large-scale assessments. In doing so, LaNA will reveal the characteristics of successful students and schools, offering the possibility for national policy interventions and targeted improvement strategies. As a short basic assessment at the end of primary school, LaNA is intended for countries where IEA’s TIMSS and PIRLS may be too difficult or unfeasible to implement.

For developing education systems who participate in LaNA, the study can serve as a stepping stone for participation in future TIMSS and PIRLS cycles. Participation in LaNA provides education systems with valuable experience in assessment planning, design, implementation, administration and reporting. LaNA is designed so that student achievement finally may be linked to the TIMSS/TIMSS Numeracy 2015 and PIRLS/PIRLS Literacy 2016 assessments. Therefore, by participating in LaNA, education systems will have the opportunity to compare their students' numeracy and literacy achievement on an international scale.

LaNA Assessment Objectives

LaNA’s unique framework targets literacy and numeracy achievement of students in countries, while providing contextual data that reveals characteristics of successful
students and schools. While LaNA’s assessment scores and targeted background data provide useful indicators of literacy and numeracy proficiency and contexts for learning in its own right, the objective of the proposed project is to establish a concordance between LaNA with TIMSS and PIRLS, so that countries administering LaNA will be able to compare their students’ performance in LaNA with the lower TIMSS and PIRLS achievement benchmarks. These benchmarks, in turn, can serve as measures for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.1.1b (i.e., the proportion of children achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in reading and mathematics at the end of primary education).

IEA is looking for countries who are interested in a partnership regarding the administration of LaNA in combination with TIMSS/PIRLS linkage material to sample from a suitable student population. For this purpose, approximately 4,500 end-of-primary students from at least 100 schools per country need to complete LaNA booklets and the TIMSS/PIRLS linkage material in a rotated design.

Why Participate in LaNA?

The objective of the project is to collect sufficient data allowing for the establishment of a psychometrically sound concordance between LaNA and IEA’s international large-scale assessments, TIMSS and PIRLS. This concordance will provide participating countries an indication of the percentage of their students achieving a minimum competency in reading and mathematics and, therefore, a means to monitor progress towards SDG 4.1.1.b (by project’s end).

The administration of LaNA provides participating countries with valuable experience in standardized international assessment, implementation of the assessment procedures, and capacity building in planning and administering assessments and reporting outcomes. Participation will provide literacy and numeracy achievement data in both a national and internationally comparable context, allowing for the identification of characteristics of successful students and schools.

Study Partners

LaNA was developed by the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, United States and implemented in partnership with IEA. IEA welcomes potential partners and donors interested in helping emerging economies to implement capacity building in education.