ACER recently reported that:
In recent debates about ATARs we have lost sight of what matters most in teacher recruitment: selecting high-quality candidates to ensure a strong profession, says Lawrence Ingvarson.
In 2015, while 68.5 per cent of all offers for university places were made to Year 12 applicants with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of at least 70, only 42 per cent of teacher education offers were made to Year 12 applicants with an ATAR score of at least 70. The number of entrants with ATAR scores less than 50 has more than doubled over the past four years.
Similar numbers apply to students who applied post Year 12, and we should not be taken in by academics who argue that the rising numbers of non-Year 12 entrants obviates the problem. Most non-Year 12 applicants also have an ATAR score, even if universities do not use these in determining non-Year 12 applications, and the profile of their scores is even worse.
Over the past 10 years, we have reached a point where almost everyone who applies now finds a place in a teacher education program. Over the same period, Australia’s performance on international tests of student achievements has declined significantly.