Media Release

24 November 2016

Smith: ATAR standards important but only one part of the solution

Wednesday 23 November 2016

ATAR standards important but only one part of the solution

ATAR standards are important. But equally important is the quality of their teaching degree and the curriculum that teachers teach from.

Education in Victoria has never received so much funding, with billions of extra dollars flooding our schools. Yet the latest NAPLAN results show that Victorian students are not improving and even going backwards.

Minimum ATARs for teaching do nothing to ensure that once students are in university studying teaching, that they are receiving a high quality education that equips them with the skills they need to help their students.

A more rigorous registration process would also ensure that teachers leaving university and entering the classroom are ready, particularly those who entered teaching via a pathway that didn’t require an ATAR.

When I asked about what the government was doing to improve teacher performance and student outcomes over a year ago in Parliament, they had no answer.

That is because Daniel Andrews’ ‘Education State’ is a fizzer.

Addressing teacher standards is only one part of the solution. As our population grows, a more holistic look at the education system, including the low retention rate of graduate teachers and the curriculum, is needed.

Teachers are struggling under the weight of a crowded curriculum, with Daniel Andrews forcing them to focus on political indoctrination rather than teaching our children the key skills and knowledge they need to transform their lives.

Daniel Andrews and James Merlino need to stop playing politics with our classrooms and start making sure our kids are getting the education they need and deserve.