Viewpoints: should teaching students who fail a literacy and numeracy test be barred from teaching? | 1/18/2019 | Staff
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Starting this month, teaching students who fail or haven't yet taken the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) will not be able to teach in Victorian schools. Previously, around one in 20 teachers who had failed the test or hadn't taken it yet received provisional registration. Prospective students who took the test late in 2018 received their results on January 11.

Victoria is the first state to implement these new standards. The test is a federal initiative. By 2020, all states and territories will be required to ensure all new teachers pass the test before registration.

Test - Teachers - Maths - Equations - Viewpoints

The test is meant to ensure all new teachers can read, write and perform simple maths equations. In this Viewpoints, Lynn Sheridan argues this test can't predict a teacher's effectiveness, while Nan Bahr argues we should prevent teaching students who haven't yet passed, or who fail the test, from registering.

Lynn Sheridan: The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) is limited in assessing the future quality of teachers. This test only assesses the students' baseline literacy and numeracy skills for teaching in the classroom. It is modelled on year nine NAPLAN tests, complex to administer and expensive for students to access.

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This means students who don't have the means to pay the A$185 fee (up to three times) will be barred from registration, regardless of their efficacy as a teacher. It also doesn't test for a range of personal attributes essential to good teaching, including interpersonal and communication skills, resilience and passion for teaching. And it measures their test-taking ability, not their ability to teach that knowledge in practice.

Increased attention on how we select teachers for initial teacher education programs and employment is needed. Research shows we need to pay attention to both academic and non-academic capabilities to recruit the most appropriate...
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