From the Office of the Chief Scientist

The state of mathematics in Australian schools is a widely shared concern.
Parents, educators, industry groups and governments all query why
a prosperous country, placed second on the United Nations’ Human
Development Index, is sliding down the global education rankings.1
The trend is clear: Australia’s mathematics performance has stalled or
declined in NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program – Literacy and
Numeracy), TIMSS (the Trends in International Mathematics and Science
Study), and PISA (the Programme for International Student Assessment)
whilst government funding per student has increased.2,3,4
In TIMSS, strong international performers like Singapore and Japan
continue to extend their lead.5,6 Canada, a nation to which we are often
compared, now significantly outperforms us in all PISA and Year 8 TIMSS
domains, despite its similar levels of per-student expenditure.3,4,7

Read More in the Chief Scientist’s Occasional Paper