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Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) Field Test Recruitment

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National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).




In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 11, 2019.


To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use by searching the Docket ID number ED-2018-ICCD-0131. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street, SW PCP, Room 9086, Washington, DC 20202-0023.

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For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, 202-502-7411 or email

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The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

Title of Collection: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) Field Test Recruitment.

OMB Control Number: 1850-0645.

Type of Review: A reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

Respondents/Affected Public: Individual or Households.

Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,515.

Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 295.

Abstract: The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an international assessment of fourth-grade students' achievement in reading. PIRLS reports on four benchmarks in reading achievement at grade 4 and on a variety of issues related to the education context for the students in the sample, including instructional practices, school resources, curriculum implementation, and learning supports outside of school. Since its inception in 2001, PIRLS has continued to assess students every 5 years (2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016), with the next PIRLS assessment, PIRLS 2021, being the fifth iteration of the study. Participation in this study by the United States at regular intervals provides data on student achievement and on current and past education policies and a comparison of U.S. education policies and student performance with those of the U.S. international counterparts. In PIRLS 2016, 58 education systems participated. The United States will participate in PIRLS 2021 to continue to monitor the progress of its students compared to that of other nations and to provide data on factors that may influence student achievement. PIRLS is coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an international collective of research organizations and government agencies that create the assessment framework, the assessment instrument, and background questionnaires. The IEA decides and agrees upon a common set of standards and procedures for collecting and reporting PIRLS data, and defines the studies' timeline, all of which must be followed by all participating countries. As a result, PIRLS is able to provide a reliable and comparable measure of student skills in participating countries. In the U.S., the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducts this study. In preparation for the PIRLS 2021 main study, all countries are asked to implement a field test in 2020. The purpose of the PIRLS field test is to evaluate new assessment items and background questions, to ensure practices that promote low exclusion rates, and to ensure that classroom and student sampling procedures proposed for the main study are successful. Data collection for the field test in the U.S. will occur from March through April 2020 and for the main study from March through June 2021. This submission describes the overarching plan for all phases of the data collection, including the 2021 main study and requests approval for all activities, materials, and response burden related to the field test recruitment, scheduled to begin in May 2019.

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Dated: December 7, 2018.

Kate Mullan,

Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.

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[FR Doc. 2018-26859 Filed 12-11-18; 8:45 am]