Trinity Represents US in International Study

David Pfeifer, Staff Reporter

Students from Trinity were selected to represent the United States in an international study. The Program for International Student Assessment Field Test is used to gain information about students throughout the world, to find more efficient ways of educating.

It is one of the most respected sources of data and will make a major impact on education throughout the world. There were 60 students selected throughout the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes. The students volunteered to take part.

Sr. Kathy Cash, Ph.D., a Trinity teacher and Dean of Studies, helped in organizing the test on campus.

“It is a totally random selection,” she said, “and somehow we were selected this year.”

The test is just for educational researchers, and the results will not affect the students, but they will be given the chance to view their scores compared to other students in the U.S.

Cash said they compile “reports of the PISA test internationally” and compare countries.  Cash is looking forward to seeing how the United States compares to other countries and what changes could possibly be made after. 

I took my knowledge and went for it.

— Trinity junior Jermaine Boyd

The test takes place every three years, the last being in 2018. It focuses on reading, mathematics, and science. In the last test, China scored highest in all three categories.

The United States placed in 13th, falling behind New Zealand by just one point in the reading portion. Every year, one subject is used as the main focus. In 2018 it was the reading section, and in 2021 it will be the mathematics section.

Students were notified during class and via email about the opportunity to take the test.

Junior Jermaine Boyd was excited for the unique opportunity to represent his country during the test. “I took my knowledge and went for it,” Boyd said.

Students were told not to prepare in any specific way. Boyd said, “Math was definitely most difficult. We could not use a calculator.”

Junior Zach Lancaster described the process: “They just told me what the test was about and what it was used for. After that, I was sent on my way.”

He agreed that not having the ability to use a calculator made it much more difficult but was not worried about his results. “I think that they did a good job setting it up, and everyone did a good job taking it,” Lancaster said.

Even without seeing personal results, Lancaster said it was an “amazing opportunity” to represent the United States in this rare opportunity.