We’ve just survived two weeks of a media and political storm over the release of TIMSS and PISA results. We’ve heard loud and clear that Australia is falling behind OECD nations like Singapore, Finland and Estonia in reading, maths and science. We also know that we need to lift our game when it comes to educational excellence and equity. However to say that our education system as a whole is failing students because of the TIMSS and PISA data is for me, drawing a long bow.
While the trend data might not be good across the board, I believe Australian schools are committed to doing their best for young people. We know there is always opportunity to do better but sometimes we all need to step back and look at schooling through a wide lens.
I had the opportunity to sit down recently with a former student of Gilroy Catholic College. Chris Lee’s story is powerful because the formative experiences and life skills nurtured throughout school are now having a positive impact on others. It is a timely reminder that more often enough schools do get it right.