An analysis of Australia's performance in international tests has found a fall in student scores is concentrated in the independent and Catholic sector, reports The Australian.
The Melbourne Institute study, published in the Economics of Education Review, analysed Australia's performance in the reading and maths tests run in OECD countries. Scores have fallen by 13 and 19 points over the past decade.
A separate analysis in the same journal of the effectiveness of Catholic schools found the advantage the sector had 15 to 20 years ago over government schools in graduating more of their students from Year 12 and university has diminished.
The Melbourne Institute study found that literacy and numeracy levels should have risen in the past decade, given the changing student profiles.
That Australia's results fell in the Program of International Student Assessment, run every three years by the OECD, reflected a decline in school performance, he said.
FULL STORY Analysis of school performance