Educational Testing Service

February 18, 2011 14:45 ET

GWU Graduate Dean Advocates Reforming International Educational Comparisons to Improve Student Achievement, Economy

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - February 18, 2011) - "To better understand U.S. student achievement and its role in ensuring a strong economy, we should work on improving the quality of international educational comparisons," Michael J. Feuer said today as he delivered Educational Testing Service's (ETS) 13th Annual Angoff Memorial Lecture at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) at The George Washington University said, "Learning from the efforts, accomplishments, and circumstances in other countries is critical as we anticipate an increasingly complex and globally interdependent world." 

His presentation, "No Country Left Behind: Notes on the Rhetoric and Reality of International Educational Comparisons," focused on the nature and quality of comparative data, why they tend to provoke heated policy debate, how methods for international comparative study of education might be informed by other cross-national studies, and how the research and policy communities might improve the collection and use of international data.

"The appropriate interpretation of comparative educational data can help educators and policymakers evaluate policy choices aimed at the improvement of teaching, learning, and the governance of our schools," Feuer said. "Getting the right data -- and getting the interpretation of those data right -- should be among our top priorities."

Many people associate America's current economic situation with the state of the nation's education system, and the goal of continued economic productivity and competitiveness is certainly linked to our educational performance. "But the extraordinary resilience of the American economy and the historical agility of the American education system should give us hope for our future," Feuer said. 

Ida Lawrence, Senior Vice President of ETS's Research & Development Division, adds, "Good international educational comparisons should be a stimulus for broad and deep conversations about what the nation values in its school system, and what we need to do to improve student achievement and continue economic progress."

The William H. Angoff Memorial Lecture Series was created in 1994 to honor the life and work of Bill Angoff. For more than 50 years, Dr. Angoff made major contributions to educational and psychological measurement. Aligned with Dr. Angoff's interests, this lecture series is devoted to relatively nontechnical discussions of important public interest issues related to educational measurement.

Media interested in speaking with Dean Feuer should contact Courtney Bowe at
(202) 412-3142 or

About ETS
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

About GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD)
The George Washington University's Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) is dedicated to the mission of Leading Innovation through Learning. We are proud of our renowned faculty, dedicated staff, robust partnerships and successful alumni. Our students emerge from our programs enriched in theory and practice and become agents of change in education and human services. To learn more about GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development, visit

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