How and Why Has Teacher Quality Changed in Australia?

19 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2008

See all articles by Andrew Leigh

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Chris Ryan

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

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Date Written: 2007-09

Abstract

International research suggests that differences in teacher performance can explain a large portion of student achievement. Yet little is known about how the quality of the Australian teaching profession has changed over time. Using consistent data on the academic aptitude of new teachers, we compare those who have entered the teaching profession in Australia over the past two decades. We find that the aptitude of new teachers has fallen considerably. Between 1983 and 2003, the average percentile rank of those entering teacher education fell from 74 to 61, while the average rank of new teachers fell from 70 to 62. We find that two factors account for much of the decline: a fall in average teacher pay (relative to other occupations) and a rise in pay differentials in non-teaching occupations.

Suggested Citation

Leigh, Andrew and Ryan, Chris, How and Why Has Teacher Quality Changed in Australia? (2007-09). Australian Economic Review, Vol. 41, Issue 2, pp. 141-159, June 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1148460 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8462.2008.00487.x

Andrew Leigh (Contact Author)

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

Chris Ryan

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

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