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An Open Letter to the Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham

Leadout Education Consulting

Dear Simon,

It takes a village to raise a child.

Much gnashing of teeth, furrowing of brows and pointing of fingers has resulted from Australia’s performance on the recent TIMSS and PISA tests.

The TIMSS tests measure a narrow band of maths and science achievement for Year 4 and Year 8 students. They have been conducted every four years since 1995. PISA measures maths, science and reading of 15 years olds.

For those who have not read a newspaper or listened to any news for the past week, the results for Australia were not great. On TIMSS our students performed about the same as they did in the past three to six years. On PISA they performed significantly worse than  in 2006.

My first complaint Simon is that we exaggerated the negative. It has been reported that Australian Performance in Maths and Science on TIMSS is slipping. In fact it…

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