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Ideas for Australia: Why is Australia falling behind in maths, science and literacy – and what can be done about it?

Sue Thomson writes in The Conversation (13.4.16) about Australian school students’ results in core subject areas falling against international benchmarks, and suggests how this trend might be reversed.

‘There is no doubt that Australian education standards are slipping. International tests show that Australia has either stagnated or declined in maths, science and reading literacy.

‘At the recent Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, Andreas Schleicher, the OECD director for education and skills, referred to Australia’s poor performance in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and warned that the country’s previous ranking as a high-equity and high-quality education system was in jeopardy.

‘… Of concern is that much of the change in the scores for Australia is associated with a decrease in the proportion of top achievers – those students in the highest proficiency bands in PISA, for example.

‘However, of equal concern is the students that the system is failing – those students in the lowest achievement bands.’

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