OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Australia 2011

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This book provides, for Australia, an independent analysis of major issues facing its educational evaluation and assessment framework, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches. It shows how student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and system evaluation can bring about real gains in performance across Australia's school system.



Conclusions and recommendations

Student learning outcomes in Australia are very good by international standards even if there is evidence of some decline in the last decade. In 2009, achievement levels of Australian students in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) were significantly above the OECD average in each of the assessment domains – reading, mathematics and science. However, trend analyses of PISA results have raised concerns about a decline in student learning outcomes – for example, Australia is among the five OECD countries for which student performance in reading declined significantly between 2000 and 2009. The variation in performance between high- and low-performing students in Australia was higher than the OECD average in reading and science, and similar to that found for the OECD as a whole in mathematics in PISA 2009. However, no statistically significant difference was observed in variation in student performance in reading between 2000 and 2009.


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