The Treehorn Express
Treehorn was a normal every-day school boy just like any other. But then he started to shrink…so much so that he could walk upright under his bed. Nobody took any notice. Adults do that . When they send their children off to school, they prefer not to care much more about what happens there. You know it’s true because you haven’t taken much interest in the evil Naplan in Australia, nor done anything about it, have you? Treehorn learned the hard way that adults don’t care much about pre-adolescent kids. His parents, teachers and principal didn’t want to have anything to do with his condition, thinking that it would just go away. It didn’t go easily. He found his own remedy and then resolved not to tell any adults about a new condition that hit him. Florence Patty’s book The Shrinking of Treehorn reveals our haughtiness and neglect charmingly by telling Treehorn’s sad story.
What really controls our children’s schooling for C21 ?
Greed of course….more than anything else….and we fall for it’s tactics, so easily .When media moguls take control of politicians in their pursuit of the mighty dollar no country’s future is ensured. It’s children’s learning capacity is crippled, for sure.
Australian principals in particular need to reflect on contemporary influences more than they ever had. They know that our PM was sold a pup and that her political foes would have done the same thing if they had followed Brendan Nelson’s notions of schooling. You complied….and the voting public as usual treehorned. All pollies know that and make the most of it. Who cares much about schoolkids?
Ms Gillard’s 26 February 2008 address of welcome to Joel Klein [now the strategist for Rupert Murdoch’s UK problems] at the USB banquet arranged by Australia’s bankers, set her stamp of approval on the introduction of the hard-data test-based system of schooling that is now in place, without consultation with principals or any other professional schoolies. She fawned on her new-found idol Joel, and quoted from her hero, Rupert Murdoch who, on the previous week-end in his fourth Boyer Lecture, said, “ As a chief executive, I notice that many companies devote a large part of their giving to higher education. At the very critical levels of primary and secondary education, there is much less corporate participation. We tend to leave that to government.
…But Australian business has a role, too. Companies need to take a more active role in working with government to ensure that schools are giving people an education.”
We now know what he was up to, don’t we?
Both Rupert and Joel meant business. Klein joined the empire. According to Ian Quillan in ‘Education Online’ [18 July] “NewsCorp began its dive into education last fall by announcing the hiring of…Joel Klein, and shortly after, purchasing 90% of Wireless Generation, an educational software company for $360 million. “
“Klein has told the Financial Times that the company was poised to grow its division through acquisition. It is unclear whether the process will be slowed or halted because of the scandal. Wireless General had already secured a testing contract with New York state Department of Education for $27 million.” [ http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2011/07/could_news_corp_scandal_touch.html ]
Little has been made in Australia of Joel Klein’s present roll. One can be quite sure that the Murdoch empire can easily shed some of its media interests since and concentrate on the real big ticket items….
school tests and digital delivery of curriculum. It will be enormous and the empire will rely on our treehorning. Why care? Leave it to somebody else. It will go away.
It is surely strange that the presence of Joel Klein in the phone scandal has received little if any mention in the Australian media. How did that happen? An oversight, of course. Dan Goldberg in his New York Magazine article says, “…what has received less ink, but may be more intriguing, is what the future holds for Klein – and what it means that Rupert Murdoch has decided to dive headlong into what his newest employee calls ‘the education market-place’ “
Murdoch’s hiring of Klein suggests that the mogul’s interest in education is no longer merely posing or purely philanthropic. And this has caused no small degree of both befuddleness and conspiracy-mongering.”
Murdoch’s education strategy is all but certain to revolve around one of the most fertile areas of innovation today – the application of digital technology to learning.”
Exactly how Klein’s burgeoning passion for the stuff will take place out of News Corp has yet to be hammered out.”
In addition to the pecuniary benefits of his shift from doing good to doing good by doing well, Klein will enjoy another perk in his new private-sector life : the absence of disgruntled parents and braying union bosses constantly pelting him with verbal tomatoes. “I wont miss being called a jerk, that’s for sure.” he says.
One of Klein’s greatest strengths was…a thick-skinnedness that sometimes came across as a masochistic streak, to the point where it makes you wonder if he might actually miss the abuse.
‘Well ‘ he says ‘if you need to editorialize it, you should feel free to do so.’”
The cartoon on this says it all.
Please send this to as many friends as possible and please help our school children and their schools to regain the freedom to learn.
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