Yes a commonality nation wide would be desirable and I thought that's what the National Curriculum was all about...?
As for my girls maths problems I don't really believe they have problems except for the way it is taught. In America there is a big backlash against the most commonly used maths program called Everyday maths. From what I've read it sounds remarkably similar to those in Aust. if not a little more extreme. Here is one parents discussion of it. http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywil...-program-ever/
I see that like many parents he to thinks that basic maths skills are vital and are missing in today's maths curriculum. Also the spiral method where maths concepts are touched on briefly each year as opposed to achieving mastery is another major road block to maths success for most kids. Here is an explanation http://www.saratogafalcon.org/conten...E2%80%99t-work
So in summary I am not overly concerned about my kids maths anymore thanks to Kumon. It is not a problem with them it is very clearly, in my view, a problem with the way it is taught. As I said after 4 months of Kumon (a mastery instead of spiral program that makes sure kids know their addition, subtraction, multiplication etc) my eldest moved her mark from a D for 2 years to a B. So I think that is evidence of what works for her. I have mentioned to the teachers that I believe both my kids need plenty of time to practice new concepts but since they use a spiral approach that doesn't fit with the schools program.
Also if I was the principal of our school I would be very concerned that half of year 4 failed English and maths and would be desperately seeking ways to turn that around. Instead he seems to be truly committed to a constructivist approach even if it means half his school flunks out. I think this is really sad.
Then you compare our school, that can barely make up the numbers each year to keep our teachers, with the one up the road that is bursting at the seams with students and can't even take all those they have in catchment and you wonder why. I wondered why this other school 5 mins away was so popular and it wasn't to hard to work out. Same kids, same cohorts from same backgrounds, not exclusive and yet they have fantastic Naplan results and it turns out that they have fully implemented John Fleming's explicit instruction model.