Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Lean over PISA. Make way for a better future for schools

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This article discusses not only the most recent most recent PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) assessment but also the release of proposals for Australia's next National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA). It's easy to get lost in the weeds of studies and policy proposals like these, but this article handles it pretty well, pointing to the overall decline in achievement over the last 20 years, matching it with a corresponding increase in economic disparity, and commenting wryly, "It's almost as if the lower half decided not to try harder." As they say bluntly, "large swathes of rural and low SES schools, even if they can attract teachers, struggle hard enough to offer a rounded senior school curriculum, let alone boast many, if any, high-level achievers. The latter have gone, and they took their high scores with them." Hence the new proposals, which emphasize "the need to increase socio-economic diversity in school enrollments and to do it soon." It will probably take more than that. This may sound like Australia's problem in the reading, but it's not just Australia's problem. The pattern is world-wide.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 5:38 p.m.

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