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In the ATAR battle, one thing is clear: teaching needs to attract better recruits

Lawrence Ingvarson writes in The Conversation (7.3.16) about debates over the fate of the ATAR tertiary entrance system, arguing that more consideration needs to be given to the selection methods for trainee teachers.

'In recent debates about Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores we have lost sight of what matters most: the recruitment of high-quality candidates to ensure a strong teaching profession.

'Teaching has a recruitment problem much more than a selection problem. Recruitment is about the academic quality of students attracted to a career in teaching. We can introduce all the filters and selection tests we like, such as the basic literacy and numeracy skills test, but they won’t make any difference unless demand from our ablest graduates increases.

'What distinguishes countries with high student achievement is the salaries of teachers relative to other professions. Recent OECD studies report that high-performing countries are more likely to focus educational policy directly on recruiting academically successful students.'


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