Home | In The Classroom | The LANTITE: Holding our degrees hostage – opinion

The LANTITE: Holding our degrees hostage – opinion

Imagine you are at least halfway through your degree (93 per cent for me) and your university decides to spring on you that you now have to complete another hurdle before you are allowed to graduate. Not work. Graduate. Well that is exactly what universities, in collaboration with the government, have done to thousands of student teachers across the country.

That ridiculous thinking consists of letting us enter our teaching degrees and then throwing us a large curveball. That large curveball is two tests that involve money and added stress. That large curveball does not take into consideration that we got accepted into these degrees in the first place. That large curveball essentially looks to test what we were taught at school, which has no relevance to how we are as teachers. Does this truly make sense?

In my education course, the emphasis was to focus on the individual learner in the classroom. The emphasis was on how they learn better. Are they a visual learner, a kinaesthetic learner, an auditory learner, etc? Yet, here they are giving us standardised tests. Standardised testing and personalised learning are the antithesis of each other. Hypocritical much?

Shouldn’t the focus be on the actual education system? It should not be on some random, useless tests that, according to my messages with Simon Birmingham, measure my personal numeracy and literacy skills.

In an email from the Victorian Department of Education and Training in February of 2018, I was told I had to sit and pass the LANTITE prior to graduation. Sounds easy enough to pass, right? Pass as in 50 per cent. The halfway mark. The mid-point. In the next paragraph I was told that my personal numeracy and literacy has to be in the top 30 per cent of the population. So, which one is it? Pass or top 30 per cent of adults? As our scores are scaled, how do we know whether our own personal numeracy and literacy is up to standard or not? By scaling our results, doesn’t that then indirectly set us up to continually fail? Since there are no scores on the document of results, how do we know our true results? Therefore, there is no concrete evidence to ascertain whether each of us “failed” or not. Also, I must ask: Since when do standardised tests equate to the implementation of knowledge? At best, a standardised test is synonymous with rote learning. In our education degrees, we were taught to focus on personalised learning, which is the antithesis of rote. So, which one should we, the educators, be focusing on?

In April 2018 I sent Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Education and Training, a Facebook message about my dilemma. He replied: “It is important to note that the test examines an initial teacher education student’s personal literacy and numeracy skills, not their ability to teach these skills to school students.” Huh? OK. Let me get this straight. These tests should measure our personal numeracy and literacy skills, not what we can teach in the classroom. Am I missing something? If they don’t measure anything of value in the classroom, which they do not, why are we wasting approximately $93 for each test? We are all in education programs to work as educators, so if these tests do not measure our ability to teach, what is the point of them? OK, someone help me. I think I am really missing something here. Education degree - educator. Test = how good our teachers taught us. Again, what is the point of testing us on material that does not measure our ability to deduce the way our students learn best and thus plan accordingly? As one student wrote, these tests do not measure our ability to teach students concepts like nouns and verbs. Despite my own personal numeracy not being great – according to these tests – I successfully managed to teach students various multiplication strategies.

On a Facebook page dedicated to the LANTITE, many student teachers are at a loss as to what to do next since many (myself included) will have wasted years of effort and money for a degree they will not receive. One student teacher was kicked out by her university for not meeting whatever requirement needed, despite having only one subject left. Many students felt confused after they completed their third attempt (which used to be the maximum, but now it has changed to five). Many students cannot continue with their placements because they have not “succeeded”. One student wrote: “Ours tacked the LANTITE onto our third year prac from this year. It has become an assessment piece, you don’t get your grade for the whole subject until you pass all assessable components. Therefore, you also can’t proceed to the 4th/5th prac as the others are pre-requisite and of course we [can] not graduate."

Again, what a complete waste of time. One student commented their efforts were now “useless”. If they are now deemed useless, can we get HECS refunds please as we did not graduate and are not able to work? I was of the opinion that the government wanted a better education system. An article in The Australian from 2016 notes that the LANTITE was the brainchild of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG), which was founded in 2014. According to website education.gov.au, TEMAG issued a 2015 report that highlighted the need for a difficult selection process for education courses. I am assuming the LANTITE falls into this category. Sadly, what TEMAG fails to comprehend is that teaching is more than a test. TEMAG and thus the government is equating the standard of who I am as an educator with whether or not I can meet an apparent standard on a test, thus encapsulating the entire teaching profession to marks on a piece of paper.

In a 2015 paper, University of Southern Queensland Senior Lecturer Stewart Riddlle noted that the demonstration of basic grammar skills on a test and the ability to teach literacy within the classroom do not have any relationship with each other. If, as Simon Birmingham states, it is about personal literacy and numeracy, how in the world does that relate to being inside a classroom? Riddle (2015) states that “reducing the complex work of teaching to performance on a test… only works for those wanting a fast headline and political advances”. Boy, is he right!

A 2018 article by Melissa Barnes, a Monash University lecturer in Education, and Russell Cross, a Melbourne University Associate Professor in Education, states that there is no evidence to suggest a correlation between the tests and excellent teachers. They also note that, as a policy initiative, the LANTITE suggests that the selection of students into educational programs is the first step to ensure a higher teacher quality. In that case, why were we all accepted into the programs by universities? Shouldn’t the LANTITE, if there is substantial proof that it creates better teachers (so far there is not), be administered to incoming teaching students, not those of us who have spent years working towards being able to teach only to be told that there is another hurdle? This hurdle essentially means that many universities around the country are holding many of our deserved degrees hostage. To be fairly blunt, ensuring a higher quality of teachers will not come from a test or two. Teaching is apparently a highly valuable profession and yet many are overworked and unbelievably underpaid. How about start there?

What I do not understand is how meeting some benchmark on two standardised tests automatically proves that a person is qualified to teach. Meeting marks on tests does not take into consideration any of the 37 professional teaching standards of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

The 7 Main Standards, which are further categorised into a total of 37, are as follows: 1. Know students and how they learn, 2. Know the content and how to teach it, 3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning, 4. create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments, 5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning, 6. Engage in professional learning and finally, 7. Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community. How are any of these standards depicted in the standardised tests, which apparently prove an individual is ready to teach?

A quote that is attributed to Albert Einstein is “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is." Along with this quote is the cartoon image of a monkey, a penguin, an elephant, a fish, a seal and a dog all standing in a line. In front of them is a teacher sitting at a desk telling them to take the same test, in this case, climbing the tree behind them. This exquisite image is, in a nutshell, the education system in this country. Standardised testing works apparently, above all else, despite the fact that in our degrees we are told to cater to the individual learner in the classroom. Again, which one is it? Standardised testing or personalised learning? The government can’t have both. Having your cake and eating it too just does not work. Trust me, I have tried. The double standards here actually prove one thing: that the government and the universities are absolutely clueless in that they have no idea what they are doing. As far as I am concerned, this is purely a money-making exercise by the government. It never was about producing better teachers. It is a facade.

Mihad Ali is a Master of Teaching student who lives in Victoria. She is currently a teacher's aide at an aftercare school program. She hopes to graduate soon and fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]


  1. Agree, I finished my degree in 2018 but cannot graduate as I have not passed the numeracy component. These tests are designed to make you fail with the tricky wording and 65 questions that have two or three component to each question and in a 2 hour time frame is horrible. I have completed the numeracy test 4 times and have not completed the test in the set time. These tests have caused so much anxiety for me. Then to the tutor that are in it for the money grab, it is disgusting, they are on all lantite social media poaching student, some of these tutors are not qualified to be teaching students.

  2. The idea of putting this test at the start is meritorious. It will save people from getting to the end of their courses and being unable to graduate. Sadly, in the past, I have seen teachers who struggle with their own literacy and numeracy so much that they cannot adequately teach in their own subject area as well as they should be able to.

    As for AITSL standards, I look to 2 and 5 in particular.

    2. Know the content and how to teach it,

    Every subject has its own specialised language and genres. That is part of content. With poor literacy skills, graduates will be unable to teach this aspect of content well. I teach Maths and Chemistry, but as well as the numeracy aspects to these subjects, I focus o the literacy of them too. Funnily enough, some of my Maths students have asked me if I am an English teacher? Nope. We should al be teachers of language.

    5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

    Assessing and providing feedback do encompass assessing and providing feedback on literacy skills of our students.

    If we ourselves do not know correct grammar, punctuation and spelling, we cannot do this.

    You may be able to be a doctor or an engineer without passing this standardised test, but having seen what happens without it, I fully support the test. But I’ve always thought it should be an entry requirement for the reasons you cite.

  3. I am sorry, but I believe no student should be permitted to enrol in Education at University until they have passed basic literacy and numeracy tests. I had to do this in Western Australia when I enrolled. After all, don’t we expect our teachers to be the best of the best – an example to our students and someone we want them to emulate.

    • yes I agree, but why are we ONLY ALLOWED to appear for the test when we have completed one year of our course. I am an international student who scored all 8 in IELTS and yet failed LANTITE. I paid more than $50k on my course so far and cannot graduate? this is ridiculous. if this exam was so important why isn’t it a pre-requisite for enrolling? the lecturers who teach us how to teach and set assessments for us HAVE NOT DONE LANTITE!!!

    • you are completely missing the point!

  4. Interesting read. But I disagree with your position. The LANTITE examinations are an examination of the teacher’s personal literacy and numeracy skills – a cross curriculum priority in the Australian curriculum. I am a first year teacher, and I completed both tests. Whilst a clear ‘knee jerk’ reaction to fears concerning literacy and numeracy standards, they are not exceptionally difficult tests. They cover simple comprehension and problem solving. To be blunt, if you cannot at least pass both tests you probably do not have the literacy and numeracy skills to appropriately assist students in the classroom. These you will need when creating work and marking/giving feedback. A better target for argument is the atrocious integration of the tests into qualifications, and the overall poor quality of Australian universities’ education degrees.

  5. What a well written article.
    I agree and it definitely is a very contradictory system.
    I have worked hard over the past 6 years an completed a Masters degree at the end of 2018(with HIgh Distinctions), butt am unable to graduate due to not completing the LANTINE tests. It’s ridiculous.

    Passing 2 test does not make a great teacher..I have worked in the education sector for many years and I cannot see how the tests determine a good teacher. All they seem to be doing is causing unwanted stress and loss of money to University students.
    As far as University’s go, they definitely should not have expected students if they thought they were incompetent of passing a degree. Holding degrees at ransom is disgusting. As far as I am concerned, I completed the degree and should be entitled to graduating or they should give me some sort of compensation for all my time and money lost.

    So disappointed with the education system and I really cannot see it getting any better over the next 5 or so years. If anything there will be a teacher shortage, which will result in over worked teachers and, over crowed classrooms.Which will definitely impact on students learning and the future of educating students with individual needs.

    • Nada,
      The Lantite tests were put in place as a response to the outcry against the poor standards of graduate teachers’ personal literacy and numeracy skills.
      Despite achieving High Distinctions, you did not know the Year 3 spelling rule to apply to pluralise the word ‘university’- change the y to i and add -es. Instead you demonstrated the same error that proves why this test is legitimate- you put an ownership apostrophe.
      As an executive leader of a large school, I cannot begin to express the frustrations felt by students, parents, other teachers, and leadership when a teacher cannot adequately satisfy basic personal literacy and numeracy. It is an embarrassment to the profession when the person who is meant to be teaching the students consistently has poor spelling and grammar use, or poor literacy skills. It affects every class, every assessment, every piece of feedback given, and every report written.
      I agree with both TG and Gavin’s comments above- Literacy and Numeracy are basic skills, cross-curriculum priorites and a necessity for all who would be teachers.
      I will not interview a teacher who has mistakes in a resume and I will not give ongoing employment if a teacher’s literacy and numeracy skills are not up to scratch.
      Thus, I agree with the original point that the Lantite tests should be sat and passed before acceptance of entry to a teaching degree.
      I appreciate the frustration of those who are nearly finished their degrees to have this imposed- but if your literacy and numeracy were adequate, you would not be frustrated at all.

      • I would love to ask, have you done this test?

        Because if you haven’t done this test before, you are not in any position to say anything.

      • TS,
        Are you saying that you have never made a spelling, grammar or punctuation mistake before? Additionally, I have actually passed the literacy component and was well above the standard. On a seriously note, I believe that it should be and entry requirement, not an exit requirement.

      • I agree with your overall opinion TS, however I also agree with Steffi in looking at the actual test/s.

        I graduated from my BA with the Chancellors Letter of Commendation in 2011, and am now completing a Masters of Secondary Education (English & HaSS). I graduated secondary school in 2004, and haven’t dealt with the more complicated mathematical strategies since (my BA was in Writing and Creative Communication). That’s about 16 years.

        I’m due to sit my LANTITE this week, and the literacy component practice tests have been very high. However, numeracy is my issue, and I’m nervous as to how this will play out.

        As a parent, I completely agree with your position in ensuring a high-quality standard is met in the classroom (and this is what I expect from my own childrens’ schools), however we must be mindful of the highly diverse and dynamic cohort of people who are studying to be educators. There are people like me, who are quite strong in literacy who will struggle in numeracy. There are those who are fresh out of high school and those who aren’t. I know of several peers who have multiple degrees and lecture in Maths and Sciences in tertiary institutions overseas, but will take much longer to achieve the literacy component due to the language barrier (to be clear, they are fluent in oral and written communication but will struggle in more technical writing skills).

        So in sum, yes, graduates must be literate and must be confident with every day numeracy. However, converting improper fractions to a mixed number or finding ‘x’ in an incomplete Venn diagram isn’t something I will ever deal with in my English/HaSS career. And choosing an alternate heading for an opinion-piece text or summarising a point of view in a persuasion piece isn’t going to be common for a Maths teacher.

        The intent for these test are great, but I think it does miss the mark and automatically disadvantages a proportion of really knowledgeable people. Also we can’t predict what to study – as this article states (and one of the most frustrating parts for me), is there is actually not a clear-cut way to know if you will pass. It IS based on skill, but there will be a section of people who will fail due to the ‘bad luck’ of the proportion changing. I’m not sure if this is the best way. Do you?

        Just some food for thought.

      • My daughter has just received her results for the LANTITE test and passed the literacy test. She failed the numeracy test and was absolutely gutted so say the least. I have watched her study and complete all the assignments with high distinctions. She will not be teaching maths at all. I asked her about the numeracy test and was told anyone studying maths would pass it with no problems. But for me it was very hard as I am concentrating on doing the best in the subjects I want to teach. She will be sitting the test again and hopefully will get a better result.
        Can you please tell me if you are studying English and Drama is she expected to teach maths ? So long as you have a basic understanding of maths is this not accepted. Especially if this is not your chosen subject.
        I am 60 years of age and I have a basic understanding of maths, but to give me a test I probably would fail miserably.
        So is she supposed to teach chemistry, physics, science, languages as well to become a high school teacher. She has a great love of teaching students from lower socioeconomic situations and has received very good feedback from her mentors.I feel her as if she fails the next numeracy test that will be the end of her teaching degree. Then having to pay back the hex bill on top of that with nothing to show for her 4 years of study.
        There probably will be a lot of mistakes in writing this as I am sure you will see.

      • Perhaps there is too much being crammed into the school syllabus? Perhaps the universities are teaching the wrong thing. Perhaps the teaching standards need to be looked at all the way up the line to the university teachers and those who set the university syllabus/standards! You can’t blame the student if the University cant get it right …

    • ‘As far as University’s go’

      A case in point. People who write like this should not teach children.

    • Nada, “should not have expected students” is another literacy mistake and should be “should not have accepted students”.

    • I will never understand why students who excelled in their English majors have to pay $99 to sit a literacy exam. It’s frankly insulting

  6. I agree the Lantite is not the answer to improving the quality of teaching graduates.

    However, as a parent I don’t want someone with a subpar knowledge of numeracy and literacy teaching my children. These are the foundations of learning and while it may not affect how well someone teaches, it is detrimental to a student if the teacher can’t identify and correct grammar and numeracy mistakes.

    It’s bad enough so many ITE graduates gain a degree with absolutely NO knowledge of phonics and how to teach reading. It’s a national disgrace.

    • Its not the new grad teachers who have failed our children its the teacher who are currently in the system and will remain teaching for 3 generations. If the education hob knobs are fair dinkim about improving the results of our children then make it mandatory that all teacher both new and old Test sit the test.

      I bet half would fail yet they will continue to teach our children without being questioned

      • Yes so correct the teachers already in the system should have to sit this test also if they feel this is the answer to the future of teachers. But I guess this will never happen as the teachers union would be up in arms.

    • Although I don’t disagree with you Janet, I think that to base the whole 13years of a child Education on some “Random” Literacy and numeracy test that has no relevance to the curriculum being taught is a waste of time and resources. Do you know what and how your children are being taught now? Are you able to assist them with their maths/English/history etc? If not how effective are the teachers teaching your children? How do you know that they are providing the best guidance for your child learning style? None of this is proven by the fact that the teacher has passes a basic numeracy and literacy test. There is more to teaching than passing a standardised test. Just like we don’t judge our children by their NAPLAN results neither can you judge a teacher by LANTITE.

  7. Let’s be clear on one thing – Universities did not introduce the LANTITE tests.

  8. I have thought about this a lot, as the numeracy test was my achilles heel. I aced my literacy component with incredible marks and then was timed out for the first numeracy test, because my maths anxiety peaked in exam conditions.
    Does this make me unsuitable to teach? I have run a farm business, excelled in retail operations, passed VCE maths in 1993 with good marks and have used statistical operations to gain a Post Grad Dip in Psychology. I passed the second sitting of the test, with quite a few changes to how I took the test (the first was remotely conducted). I passed it well, in fact. I paid for extra help and had extra help on top of that, to coach me through operations I can do under natural conditions, but not under test conditions so well.
    My thoughts are these: I like the idea of LANTITE tests for Bachelor degrees in Education, particularly if coming straight from school or a gap year. I see so many kids get through VCE with a false sense of their own literacy. I see many adults with poor literacy.
    The author here speaks from the perspective of a Masters graduate. I completed a Masters and was told in February that I would not be able to graduate from my course until I passed the numeracy test. My graduation was scheduled to be paid for before the numeracy test was released. I was livid. I passed those units, fair and bloody square! I was passed on my placement and I could accept not having registration until passing, but GRADUATION from units I passed with HDs and Ds? That is immoral. When I enrolled, this was not a condition of graduation, only registration.
    A strongly worded letter to the Dean was met with an explanation of a timely meeting between universities and VIT to put a temporary stay on that ruling, and I was given reprieve to apply for graduation before the results were released.
    Masters students have relevant academic and industry experience. That makes us vocationally literate and actually literate, some of us numerate and highly so. Denying graduation to candidates who have been meritorious in other fields, rather than spending that money to provide support to those candidates is a complete waste of good teaching resources.
    My methods are English and Hums. I could teach Psych or a LOTE if I chose to qualify further. Ironically, I am teaching Maths and Numeracy, as well as English and it is so perfect. My experiences provide me with the necessary empathy for students struggling with Maths.
    And do you know what the LANTITE tests can’t screen for? Emotional Intelligence. Empathy. You want to connect with students to make a difference to their education? They don’t care if you can organise your own banking and algebraic needs within 2 hours under test conditions. They want to know that you CARE about HOW they learn. LANTITE doesn’t teach or screen for it, and neither does any teaching course.
    VIT has this one all wrong. Wasting good teachers instead of providing them in-course support. It is immoral and sells our students short.

    • I don’t wish to teach with people who are illiterate and Inumerate. I don’t want such people causing the profession to be held in contempt.

      I don’t want my children taught by people who are ignorant but arrogant enough to think they should be allowed to have power over children’s futures just because they call themselves ‘teacher’.

      Being caring and nice might make for a pleasant classroom but it does not guarantee kids will learn anything. People can’t impart knowledge they don’t have.

      • I would love to ask, have you done this test?

        Because if you haven’t done this test before, you are not in any position to say anything.

        • I have and I agree with Catherine.
          If you want your kids to be taught by people who don’t know the content then just homeschool them.

      • Innumerate, not inumerate. Maybe you need to take the test too. Talk about being “arrogant enough”. Your literacy isn’t enough up to scratch.

  9. I am a teacher and was perfectly happy to sit the LANTITE tests at university.
    I would not want someone who does not have good literacy and numeracy skills teaching my children. It is my understanding that the tests are at a high school level of Maths and English. The tests are not rocket science and they help to raise the bar for the standard of teachers we have here in Australia. The only thing I would change about the LANTITE tests is to hold them at the beginning of an education degree. This would help to avoid the issue of individuals completing the majority of their degree and then not being able to graduate due to failing the tests.

  10. Teachers jump many hurdles to prove their ability in providing a quality education for Australia’s youth. From attending professional development courses, becoming registered and maintaining registration, being involved in external validation processes, planning effective units and delivering content that is engaging, differentiating lessons, developing IEPs, volunteering and supporting families and other staff members. It’s also a very competitive industry, you’ve got to prove you have what it takes against other teachers as determined as you. Passing these tests ensures you have the skills to recall and apply your knowledge of Australian curriculum content. I have recently finished my degree and will soon graduate. I did these tests as it was required of me. I feel it would be unjust to then allow some students to be exempt from the same tests I had to study for and pass.

  11. My biggest concern here is not with the tests but that you have been indoctrinated with the totally debunked and discredited notion of learning styles. The fact that some education faculties are still pushing this is reprehensible given all the evidence to the contrary.

  12. My daughter is in the same predicament after passing all the requirements for a Batchelor of Education but because she hasn’t passed her literacy exam they are not awarding her the degree she has worked so hard for and will have to pay off.
    I am interested in getting enough students together to launch a class action against the Federal education department to force them to change the legislation that either all teachers take the test or that the test be taken before enrolling in the degree. Are there any students interested in joining this class action?

  13. Sammantha Hutchinson

    I believe what people are missing is that teachers’ from various teaching fields are competing against each other, this means early childhood teachers’ against specialised upper high school teachers’. As mentioned there is no pass mark, we are actually weighted against each other. The Hunger Games for all pre service teachers if you will. Something needs to change.

    • You are not competing against each other in the test. A success benchmark is set before the test. Any student who reaches that benchmark will ‘pass’. Go to the LANTITE website and read the information about the test.

  14. Completely agree with this! I know of many education students in the same position and it is detrimental to their confidence and stress levels, and completely unfair and a disrespect of their time. They should have introduced the tests to a new cohort from the beginning and not sprung it on students who had nearly finished.

  15. Trisha-mary Fitzgerald.

    It is interesting to me to read people’s comments here who have passed the exams easily. They appear to be communicating little understanding or empathy about a part of the human population’s struggle with online test exams. Take heed parents who have posted on here and be careful of what type of educators you are asking for, when you advocate for this type of systematic filtering. What if your child was taught by someone who never had to learn or teach diversely. Would they be cut off, shut out and dismissed as a student who hasn’t tried or one who has merely not good enough to succeed in life and society? Be careful of what types of teachers are passing.

  16. I am a fourth-year student that began my degree part-time 6 years ago, I face the fact that I may never teach if I fail the government cash grab again. The test has no bearing on teacher quality or experience. Education is screaming for qualified teachers with a trade, well I have 25 years as a traditional cabinetmaker, which progressed into detailed joinery, building, 3d drafting design and production automation programming. my first question for the literacy test was an A4 reading on Plato’s educational physiology written in the year dot, followed by 6 ambiguous questions that each could have been correct depending on your religion and ethnicity, note each question equates to 2 minutes 33 seconds. As an aspiring teacher to be, that has a wealth of experience, what does Plato have to do with teaching Design technology and food technology? My other point is Young people that come straight from the HSC into uni will pass the tests, but what life experiences do they bring to education? Third Australian education is failing our students, since 2009 we have dropped from 9th in the world to 21st in 2018 in regards to PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) in Math, Science, and Literacy. I feel that if you started your degree before the introduction of Lantite you should site and end of degree exam on your particular l teaching field. I would join a class action to retrieve my money.

  17. I feel so sad for all the students who have failed their LANTITE tests and now cannot become a teacher. I understand the need to have a literacy/numeracy standard for teachers, but feel that “NAPLAN for teachers” is NOT the answer. This testing only assesses how well you perform under pressure. It does not assess your true Literacy or Numeracy capabilities. Surely four years of academic essay writing, as part of your University degree, demonstrates your Literacy skills. If not, maybe that is the area where change needs to be implemented. I can support using some form of assessment to gain entry to a teaching degree, but I am really against introducing this mandatory testing mid course. Also, can anyone please answer why an Early Childhood, or Primary School teacher needs to have the same level, knowledge and understanding of Mathematics as a High School teacher? A lot of people have said that passing these tests ensures you have the skills to recall and apply your knowledge of Australian curriculum content. This is true for the Numeracy tests if you wish to be a High School Maths teacher, but how will this ensure that you are a better Early Childhood teacher? or an Art teacher? etc. If these tests are being administered to improve the quality of teachers, will they start testing existing teachers and making these tests mandatory to renew teacher registration? I imagine there would be a lot of current teachers who would not pass these tests. I also feel that having to be in the top 30% of the population, just to pass this test, is ambiguous. Did the test population sit the exact same test, under the same conditions? If not, how is this a valid testing method. It is interesting to me that rural teaching and Early Childhood education sectors are in desperate need of qualified teachers, yet many highly qualified, quality teachers are now being denied their hard earned qualifications. The drop out rate for teacher graduates, in the first five years or so, is already very high and now they are reducing this number further by not allowing teachers to graduate. I feel very sad and afraid for the future of the teaching profession and for the impact this will have on our children and their futures.

  18. There will be no graduation celebrations for many of us 🙁 Extremely heart breaking

  19. Having almost completed my undergraduate degree, it never ceases to surprise me how disconnected educational practice is from educational research. Throughout my studies I have yet to come across research that supports standardised testing of students. In fact, as a parent myself I have seen first hand the anxiety it causes. So why then do some parents/teachers/politicians believe this will make better teachers? We are taught that all students are individuals and learn in different ways and yet we believe that pre-service teachers are different. That somehow they are not students and once they finish high school they mysteriously change and become super human. This is not about making better teachers, this is simply the very thing that is destroying the teaching profession. This is politics in education. “Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group” indeed.

  20. Very well written but will anything ever happen? Imagine spending $40k to get a truck license and just before you finish they say sorry we can’t give you your truck license even though you have passed unless you can drive this forklift. Fair enough, can you show me where it said that when I started my truck lessons and paid all that money?? Unfair, unethical and very stupid. Flawed in so many ways. Early Childhood teachers have to undertake the same lantite test as a grade 12 Physics teacher or an English high school teacher. Apples with oranges……Kindy kids really don’t do high level maths or have to think about the placement of colons and apostrophes. Governments must grandfather clause this for all students who were told after they had started their courses or they have a legitimate reason to ask for their HECS debt to be erased.

  21. Finding this article made me feel like maybe I’m not the biggest failure and idiot for not passing the numeracy test three times. I am glad I’m not alone and that someone else shares my opinion on how ridiculous this test is.

    I have a bachelors degree and have completed all my units and practicums in my diploma of Primary Education. Shouldn’t that be enough evidence that I have basic knowledge and understanding in literacy and numeracy? The fact that one test is stopping me from becoming a teacher and fulfilling my dream is inconsolable. I know I am capable of teaching students literacy and numeracy as I have done that in both my practicums working in schools.

  22. I am in favour of the Lantite test.
    Teachers should be able to pass this test because it is set at year 9 level.
    I was not strong at Maths or English but passed both through study and reading.
    I agree that it should be completed before entry into any type of teaching course even masters level.

  23. Why the heck do the DETT approve of a 3rd party using a bell curve to grade teachers who only need to meet the expectation of Year 9 Maths. Teachers aren’t competing against each other to see who’s got the biggest brain but rather the ability to answer what is being taught in our schools.

    Sure, fail every damn preservice teacher out there who can’t complete Year 9 Maths. I don’t like the idea of plebs and nuffies teaching my kids who can’t express the area of a farm. However, preservice teachers should not be penalised for clearly meeting the demands for teaching at a primary school level but falling short of the 70th percentile.

    ‘Tis stupid. This whole ’employing a private company to ensure standards are met’ sounds like a tax-write off for universities to continue lining their pockets while taking away the onus of grading and standardising new generation teachers.

    I love a test. Fail all who can’t meet the standard. Let ’em know a standard must be met but not at a loss…

  24. The shame of it is that there are many more important aspects to being a good teacher but the narrow minded view taken Education departments and Governments really hinders people entering the profession.

  25. I graduated in 2017 and this was due to the university not remembering to find a placement.
    I actually have graduated and have my degree in early childhood and primary teaching. I have sat the exams 3 times and have not passed, I have a back injury and I am unable to sit for long periods of time. I have worked the first 2 years after my degree and most of this has been in special education. Staff members from special education schools have complemented me on my class management and teaching skills. Now I am unable to teach in the primary sector until I pass the exams. I still am able to teach in Kindergartens but I have only been placed in a kindergarten once since I lost my primary VIT registration (because of the tests), and now have been requested from a specialist school but am unable to be there as a teacher, only as an aide. I feel that my degree is useless, it’s just another piece of paper. All that time and money. The last 2 times I have sat the test I cried all the way through it because I was in so much pain. My doctor wrote a certificate form me explaining that I have to keep moving, so they just extended my time for the exam for another 30 minutes which only caused more pain. I can still teach quite well as I am always moving which is better for me.
    I am so angry that I have graduated but still am unable to teach.

  26. Brian, I know a person that is facing the same cruel fate. They are destroyed. Is this action still to proceed?

  27. I agree. I have credited 28 units and cannot pass the numeracy section of the test. There is no feed back where you went wrong and after spending weeks studying the lantite practice tests, Naplan tests and attending workshops I cannot seem to pass the test. I have spent nearly $500 and not quite sure who is benefitting from all of this?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *