School science, maths and reading in crisis – Comment on PISA report

“Australia’s performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in the science, reading and mathematics skills of 15 year olds is nothing short of a crisis,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said in response to the release by ACER of the latest report PISA 2015: A first look at Australia’s results.

 “The PISA results show that not only is Australia falling behind relative to other countries, but that the achievement of our students in the vital areas of scientific, mathematic and reading literacy is in absolute decline. This is a very disturbing report in the wake of the recent poor performance in maths and science outlined in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) released only last week,” Mr Willox said.

“We know that the economy increasingly needs people with strength in STEM skills. Both the TIMSS and the PISA reports paint an exceedingly bleak picture of our student achievements in maths and science. This represents a major problem in finding the skills we need for our future workforce. 

“The results from this PISA report highlight the need for urgent action in school reform. There is no greater challenge in education today than to turn these student performance results around. All schooling sectors need to be focused on this as the most important priority,” Mr Willox said.