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The role of book ownership in PISA test scores

The decline in Australia’s performance in the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) since 2000 has been of considerable concern to policy makers. While a number of different possible causes have been identified, a study which attempted to evaluate several of these identified a significant factor which had not previously been raised—a decline in the number of books in Australian students’ homes. Read more...

Australia’s performance in international student achievement tests – another perspective

There has been considerable public discussion about Australia’s relatively poor performance in recently released international student achievement tests, with one newspaper describing the results as ‘Australia’s disaster in education’. These results have also called into question the Government’s aim to be in the top five countries on reading, mathematics and science by 2025. But just how bad are these results?The results released on Tuesday 11 December by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) are the 2011 outcomes from the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement’s Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress ... Read more...

PISA – more than just league tables?

In announcing the Government’s response to the Gonski Review, Prime Minister Gillard statedthat the aim of the new National Plan for School Improvement ‘is to ensure that by 2025 Australia is ranked as a top 5 country in the world for the performance of our students in Reading, Science, Mathematics’.Much of the discussion about the Australian school system has focussed on the relative (and absolute) decline of Australia in the results from the triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) over the period 2000 to 2009 despite an increase in real expenditure on school education of 44 per cent over the period. In considering how the school system can be improved, commentators ... Read more...

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