Australia may introduce new visa for 'specialist teachers'
Federal Education minister Simon Birmingham has said Australia may consider getting specialist teachers from overseas in the wake of declining student performance in Maths and science.
The second release of international data shows Australian students are slipping behind in maths, science and reading.
Australia is above the OECD average, but sits equal 10th in science, equal 12th in reading and equal 20th in maths, according to analysis by the Australian Council for Educational Research.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham acknowledges Australia's performance in the three-yearly Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), released on Tuesday night, was slipping.
Senator Birmingham said the government was willing to consider a special visa for specialist maths and science teachers to stem the decline in student performance.
"If we do need to get more specialist maths and science teachers into the classroom, that’s a discussion I am very open to having," Senator Birmingham told ABC Radio.
"I hope that states and territory minister, who of course directly administer our schools systems, will actually engage in constructive conversations with me about how we can work cooperatively to address this very serious decline in Australia's real performance across these key areas," he said.
The latest report comes on the back of last week's Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showing Australian students still middle of the pack after 20 years of testing.
The PISA results are showing that we are getting worse at preparing our students for the everyday challenges of adult life in the 21st century," Sue Thomson of Australian Council for Educational Research told AAP.
Dr Thomson says there is an issue with the teaching of maths and science in Australia.
"TIMSS has shown that and now PISA has shown it again," she said.
"Other countries are getting better than we are and we're not even just standing still in this one, we're falling behind as well."
More than half-a-million 15-year-old's complete the test worldwide, aimed at measuring how well they use their knowledge to meet real-life challenges, with more than 14,000 Australian students taking part.
The 2015 test, which focused on science, asked students about issues such as migratory bird patterns, running in hot weather and sustainable fish farming.
After sitting behind the likes of Kazakhstan and Slovenia in the TIMSS , Australia was outperformed by Finland in all three PISA areas, Vietnam in Science and Slovenia, again, in maths.
Singapore was the highest performing country across the board.