A separate study rating the maths and science performance of primary school students also shows Australia performing badly. Year four students ranked 18th and 25th in the world, respectively.
“To say the results are disappointing is an understatement,” said Geoff Masters, chief executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, which performed the testing in Australia.
It is the first time Australian primary school students’ reading skills have been benchmarked internationally. The ranking is significantly worse than Australian high school students’ reading levels.
It's interesting that the high school students' results weren't nearly so poor - what has changed, I wonder?