Australian School Kids Getting Dumber

Results of a study on school children in a number of countries found that Australian children continue to fall behind in just about every subject and particularly the most important, mathematics and literacy.

The results came from an international body known as PISA (Program for International Student Assessment). In 2018 there were 79 nations or economic zones that were tested by PISA. Australian school children finished 16th in Reading, 29th in Mathematics and 17th in Science. Sixteenth doesn’t sound that bad from 79 countries but results are of concern as there has been a continued decline results since 2000 when the PISA testing commenced.

PISA results table. Australian school mathematics in nosedive.


When the results were announced recently Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison deflected any blame by quoting the Federal Government’s record spending on education. True, most responsibility does lie with respective state governments as they allocate funding inside their own borders and implement education programs.

In total Australia spent $57.6 billion on education but results have not improved.

Where have we gone wrong?

  • Are there too many female school teachers? And have those teachers created an environment that prioritises girls over ‘problematic’ boys.
  • Are teachers being taught how to teach during training?
  • Is sustainability, climate change dogma and other left wing fads taking up too much of the school curriculum?
  • Is multiculturalism causing the classroom’s combined progress to slow down and in turn preventing potentially high achieving students from advancing?


  1. Great to get some feedback. You certainly sounded like a school teacher, but then I read your second last paragraph.

    We agree on most things Lesley, I differ on the child led ideas and I hope that children can look at tests the way I did. Then again I had a mother and father and siblings that cared about me, not about the marks I got.



  2. Multiculturism, climate change agenda, safe schools agenda, keeping everyone at the same level, too much red tape and control over teachers, too much testing and not enough child led learning. So many things need to be changed. Kids are smarter than this shows and they need to be free to learn and play at their own pace with well trained teachers who love their job and their students.
    Kids should love school, not hate it. Set the teachers free to teach the best way the children learn. The curriculum is too full and to tight. Kids are not all the same …they are unique with amazing potential and possibilities if encouraged to see themselves as valuable with abilities to offer and permission to help each other.
    Read good books to the children that stimulate their imagination. Give them enthusiasm and hope for the future not doom and gloom. Get them outdoors to run and play games and when they are done read to them adventure stories of heroes of the past. Stimulate their desire to be heroes.
    I am not a teacher, I am a grandparent and great grandparent but I love children. It breaks my heart to see their potential stifled the way it is.
    We need more male teachers (father figures) who are good role models and who bring a sense of order and safety into the school.


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