ACER has just published a national report on the PISA results from an Australian perspective. Schools from all sectors and states are selected to complete the tests. Overall the results are very good in scientific, reading and mathematics literacy and compare well internationally. However overall the results are not improving and there is a decline at the upper end of the literacy scales.
For me a significant point made in the summary was that the achievement differences are much larger within schools than they are between schools. This points the way forward – for school leaders to work with teachers to improve the instructional capacities between classrooms – to deprivatise teaching from the small boxes called classrooms – to increase the dialogue about teaching and learning in schools – to make explict the types of feedback all students need to improve and to challenge all student with both routine surface level tasks as well as the deeper connections they need to make learning relevant and engaging now.
I found the Pisa in brief report the easiest to read and link is in the resource list.