So what did the results show?
Where did Australia rate in the world for Mathematics literacy?
Well, this table shows we came in 19th place. Good news is we are ahead of New Zealand. Looks like Finland has dropped a bit and most of the top 10 countries are located in Asia. Our spread of scores is pretty wide but not as wide as some countries including Belgium and Chinese Taipei.
Is there a difference between males and females?
The answer is a very disappointing yes. Females are not performing as well as males in this testing. We are well down the table on this one. Not a good thing for our country.
How did each state perform?
Glad to see the ACT leading the country here. In fact, if we were a country we would be only one point behind Finland and almost in the top 10. Still, we're 100 points behind Shang-hai.
Is there a difference between males and females in each state?
Yes - some states are worse than others. Not a significant difference in the ACT.
How about our indigenous students?
This is really concerning - a difference in scores of 90 points. This is not good enough. We cannot sit back and accept this as just the way things are.
Does where you live matter?
Sure does. Metropolitan students are way ahead of their country cousins. Seems to indicate to me that their is an inequitable distribution of resources here.
How have our scores changed over time?
This is going to make the headlines - our scores have gone downhill steadily since 2003. Each time we have participated in the PISA assessment, we have done worse. And this is what is going to provoke outrage in the media - not the great divide between male and female, indigenous and non-indigenous, rural and urban, government and non-government.
And how long will it take before the first journalist starts pointing a finger at teachers and apportioning blame to the profession whose members are abandoned by their elected members of parliament the minute things get hard?
(Was that too impassioned and political? Sorry - it's been a bad week for teachers and schools and I do give a Gonski...)
Anyway, stay tuned and keep a weather-eye on the media over the next 24 hours. Let's hope for some informed and enlighted voices to speak words of reason.