No avoiding the ATAR in teacher education debate

The deans of education want to stop politicians focusing on ATAR scores for teaching degrees – it isn’t their only problem

Deans of education president Tania Aspland tells colleagues they need to broaden the discussion on their degrees away from course entry scores. “We, as the stakeholders, need to give the politicians something to run with if we don’t want them to run with the ATAR figure,” she says. (CMM yesterday). The teacher education lobby argues a minority of people enter their courses on the basis of a Y12 score and that there is no necessary correlation between a high score and becoming a good teacher

Good luck with that: But ATARs are exactly what the influential Grattan Institute wants on the election agenda, set out in its policy priorities Orange Book.

Grattan calls for a minimum 80 ATAR for entry to teacher education degrees. “Attracting more high-achievers would help raise the quality of teaching. People with good academic skills are more likely to make good teachers. … This would help to raise the prestige of teaching, and send a signal to young people that teaching is a socially valued career.”

But wait! There’s more for deans, and it’s worse. Grattan points positively to the work of Christopher Pyne’s Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group on entry requirements and literacy, numeracy and teaching, plus graduate performance outcomes, but the Institute suggests a review of teacher education will be needed in a couple of years to assess the existing reforms and consider;

* “consequences for universities who produce poor teaching graduates

* sanctions against poorly performing universities, such as caps on student places, greater transparency on student pass rates, or performance-based funding of initial teacher education courses.



to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education