Australia is dropping in the rankings of top students in the world.
People ask why this is and I think that’s a strange question because we are achieving the goals of our education priorities. For years, the focus of our education spending has been on disadvantage and we have at least three areas of disadvantage that most of the countries above us on the list don’t have, and these are related to remoteness, indigenous and non English-speaking backgrounds. China appears on the list above us but they are smart enough just to measure 4 large cities. Canada is the only multi-cultural, vast country with a high refugee intake above us in rank. Canada’s refugee and migrant intake is similar to ours, but her population is much bigger. We have been taking more refugees and migrants at a much higher percentage for a longer period.
The Asian countries at the top of the list are mono-cultural countries with ruthless, extremely competitive education systems. They do not attempt to integrate students with special needs and they emphasise excellence at the expense of a balanced education.
Of course, we could do the same. We could just submit students from Sydney and Melbourne. We could spend less on indigenous education and remedial English and stop taking refugees. Then we could beat them!