National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education

7.7 Assessment: Programme for International Student Assessment

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) compares the performance of 15-year-old students internationally using the same assessment tasks. Three domains are tested: reading literacy, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy.
 
In 2009 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were oversampled so that reliable estimates could be inferred.
 
Further information about PISA is available in Student achievement – Programme for International Student Assessment in this report and from the Australian Council for Educational Research which project manages PISA nationally.

Key performance measures

The proportion of students in the bottom and top levels of performance in international testing is a performance indicator for schooling in the National Education Agreement. The proportions achieving at or above the proficient standard on the PISA scales are key performance measures (KPMs) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia.
 
The proportions achieving at or above the proficient standard (Level 3) on the OECD PISA combined reading, mathematical and scientific literacy scales are reported in Table 7.14.

 

Key Performance Measures 1 (e), 2 (c) and 3 (b)

Table 7.14   Achievement on OECD PISA scales: Proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level by Indigenous status; proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard (Level 3) by Indigenous status; proportion of Australian students achieving at each proficiency level and at or above the proficient standard; proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard, OECD average, 2009 (per cent)

 

Proficiency level (%)

At or above the proficient standard: Australia

(%)

At or above the proficient standard: OECD average (%)

 

Below 1

1

2

3

4

5

6

Reading literacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigenous

5

34

26

23

10

2

0

35

 

Non-Indigenous

1

13

20

29

25

11

2

67

 

Australian students

1

13

20

28

24

11

2

65

58

Mathematical literacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigenous

19

22

25

22

9

3

1

35

 

Non-Indigenous

5

10

20

26

22

12

5

65

 

Australian students

5

11

20

26

22

12

4

64

56

Scientific literacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigenous

13

22

27

24

11

2

1

38

 

Non-Indigenous

3

9

20

29

25

12

3

69

 

Australian students

3

9

20

28

25

11

3

67

58

 

Source: Sue Thomson, Challenges for Australian education: results from PISA 2009: the PISA 2009 assessment of students’ reading, mathematical and scientific literacy, Australian Council for Educational Research, 2011

 

 

In general, the achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at or above the proficient standard in 2009 was below that of other students in all three key literacy areas. 
 
The gap between the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and non-Indigenous students attaining at or above the proficient standard in the three literacy areas is around 30 percentage points. The gap between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the OECD average is around 20 percentage points.
 

Figure 7.11    Proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard (Level 3) by Indigenous status, Australia; OECD
                         average;
2009

Proportion of students achieving at or above the p