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Why we need to review how we test for teacher quality

Melissa Barnes and Russell Cross write in The Conversation (23.4.18) that Australia's decline in international PISA rankings and criticisms of NAPLAN tell us we should also be looking at how we assess teacher quality.

'With Australia falling further in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings, new debates have emerged about why and who is to blame. Some have made links between the quality of teachers and student outcomes in the rankings.

'In response to calls for teacher education reform, the government introduced the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) in 2016. It requires teacher education students to reach a certain level of literacy and numeracy before graduating.

'The LANTITE is said to be modelled on the year nine NAPLAN exam. The Australian Council for Education Research (ACER), a not-for-profit organisation, developed and administer the test.

'The test is being implemented differently from university to university and there is currently no evidence to suggest this test will ensure Australian schools have high-quality teachers with strong literacy and numeracy skills.

'With a world education expert calling the NAPLAN writing test “bizarre” and “testing all the wrong things”, it’s timely to also discuss the LANTITE’s purpose and effectiveness as a measure of teacher quality.'


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