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Governments need to look beyond education rankings and focus on inequities in the system

Radhika Gorur writes in The Conversation (5.12.16) about the ‘furore’ over Australia’s international rankings in science, maths and English, suggesting that this obscures what educators should really be focusing on.

‘The latest Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) results will be released around the world on December 6. And as usual, there will be a flurry in the news media.

‘Australia will likely have dropped further in the rankings which test 15 year olds in reading, maths and scientific literacy. And if so, it will be in keeping with the trend over the last several cycles.

‘Some hand-wringing will occur over what our students are not able to do, and how far behind Shanghai and Korea – to name a few – they are.

‘The rankings, which are based on the average performance of all the test-takers in Australia, attract the most attention. But the real stories on which we should focus are the within-country variations that are obscured by global rankings.’

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