In an increasingly globalised and automated world, problem-solving ability is the scarce skill. It is the skill that will generate the long-run productivity growth required to maintain high standards of living.
NAPLAN, by contrast, does test basic literacy and numeracy. However, unlike our declining PISA performance, there has been no downward slide in NAPLAN results. If anything, the year 3 NAPLAN cohort from 2013 did better than their counterparts from five years earlier.
Whatever the reason for the decline in PISA results, it is not mirrored by a corresponding decline in NAPLAN scores for the same cohorts of students. So what is going on?