The Progress In International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016 is the fourth administration of this international comparison since the initial administration in 2001. PIRLS is used to compare over time the reading skills of 4th-grade students and is designed to align broadly with reading curricula in the participating countries. The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned the reading concepts and skills likely to have been taught in school. In 2016, there were 58 education systems (including countries and other education systems) that participated at grade 4.
The focus of the report is on the performance of U.S. students relative to their peers in other education systems in 2016, and on changes in reading achievement since 2001. For a number of participating education systems, changes in achievement can be documented over the last 15 years, from 2001 to 2016.
In addition to framing the reading literacy of U.S. students within an international context, the report shows how the reading literacy of U.S. 4th-graders varies by student background characteristics and contextual factors that may be associated with reading proficiency. Following the presentation of results, a technical appendix describes the study design, data collection, and analysis procedures that guided the administration of PIRLS 2016 in the United States and in the other participating education systems.