The Australian is reporting today that the National Numeracy Review, commissioned two years ago by the Council of Australian Governments, has finished its final report (a background paper to the review can be found here, and a discussion paper with terms of reference can be found here. Here is AMSI’s submission to the review). The report raises concerns that the minimum standards for maths and numeracy skills at the primary and high school levels are too low, and recommends that teachers devote more time to these topics than is currently required.
The Australian is also running a statement by the education minister, Julia Gillard, on the importance of increasing achievement levels in literacy and numeracy, as well as a dissenting opinion by Kevin Donnelly, who warns of the dangers of forcing teachers who are inexperienced with mathematics into teaching more maths and numeracy skills to students.
Coincidentally, a similar report has been released in the U.S. by the National Council on Teacher Quality, entitled “No common denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools“. (See also a recent recommendations on maths education by the U.S. National Mathematics Advisory Panel.)
[Update, July 16: additional links added; thanks to Jan Thomas for the references.]