Naplan is Flopping. U.S. Parents Opt Out

 Until Naplan  blanket testing is “dead, buried and cremated”…

The Treehorn Express

Help is coming, Treehorn. You have had your ups and downs what with your shrinking and skin-colour  problems, as revealed in Florence Patty Heidi’s The Shrinking of Treehorn. And, your school friends have had to get used to fear-inducing mass testing demons, over a couple of generations…. but parents are starting to object at last, and rally – big time. Parental care and concern is showing first in the U.S.A. This is surprising as testing has been endemic to its school culture, since the beginning of the 20th Century when Binet, a French psychologist made a big mistake and invented what he called measures of intelligence. When Simon joined him, the measurement thing got out of hand. It was a band-wagon and we all climbed aboard without realising how much damage we were doing. Supervising educrats, unwittingly I‘m sure, led us astray, and encouraged the notion.  We became almost obsessed with giving test after test after test on as many school curriculum items as we could test. We didn’t need to do it to find out how well the pupils were doing. Even a mug teacher knows his pupils well enough.   Now the really big mugs now do it with a really big stick, en masse; and say that they are helping children to learn.. Come on.!!!!!…how? ….four months after the dirty deed!

I was one of a generation that gave lots of blanket school tests. Sorry, sorry, sorry kids. I just didn’t realise the seriousness of my actions at the time….that I was doing great damage. Sorry. sorry, sorry. I’ll try to make up for my inadequacy by encouraging parents everywhere in the world, not to have anything to do with blanket tests. PLEASE PARENTS, help to protect your children and your children’s children from the insidious evil..


Naplan is Flopping. U.S. Parents Opt Out

Naplan results hit the news stands in Australia on Saturday 10 September, four months after the test, with the impact of a feather.  They used to say that such  blanket testing makes pupils learn better. I beg yours !!  You work it out. There’s no such indication.

Looks like the testing didn’t frighten the kids into doing much better at the things that the measurers thought was important.  Brisbane’s  Courier Mail had a little article about Naplan cheating. That’s all. No other comment until the SMH mentioned that NSW was declining in achievements despite committing $261m over five years, including an extra 900 teachers.  The CM cited instances of correcting papers before despatch, giving copies out early etc. as examples of ‘cheating’. Riveting news!  If that’s cheating, what do you call spending long periods of time before the tests, practising for them? What do you call those simony freaks who make money preparing booklets for practice? Don’t they deserve headlines and editorials? Shouldn’t they be sin-binned in rubber rooms ? Aren’t they the really big, greedy cheats?

If the tests are intended to provide reliable information to measurers, surely such practices breach the ethics of measurement. People do become skilled at pushing bell-shaped curves out of shape. They need monitoring for accountability more than teachers do.

It is certain that only the measurers  and their disciples enjoy the exercise. Their efforts are a great educational waste of time and money and the test results provide nothing useful for the competing pupils. Yes. It’s just a dictatorial imposition on valuable school time by political Kleinists.

If I was a school Principal with deep concern for my reputation and that of my school, forced to give the learning-useless tests I would take every opportunity to cheat. I would tell teachers that they were not to teach anything else but numeracy and literacy items for all of March and April…unless the topic was special. We would call it Cheating 101. No Phys. Ed., Art, Music, Social Studies. These subjects can be easily removed from the time-table for a while.

Why do this? I figure that if any school-ignorant-outsider invades my professional space and I can’t do much about it, anything goes. This is a war of ethics. Stay away, measurers, if you can’t observe your own set of standards; if you can’t play clean, why should I?

Professionally, I would feel really bad about having to do this. But then…

As a school principal I want to guard my pupils from dangers of all kind. One of the biggest threats to present day schooling is the manipulation of the basic curriculum  and the dilution of associated teaching and learning techniques for political purposes. The secondhandedness of imported Kleinism is the basis of Australia’s mediocrity. We could have donkey-licked Finland in whatever it is supposed to be good at, had we thought about it and had bothered to indulge in that time-wasting PISA comparison. We just make it too tough on principals who are in an ethical spin.

In Australia, we call it Kleinism, defined as ‘fear driven learning’ after its New York founder, Joel Klein, who proudly claims to have introduced it down under. The idea is, that, if your pupils don’t do well in the test, you and your school are made to feel disgraced; and all sorts of sanctions are imposed by Klein-oriented authorities.  Klein, as an educational innovator, is galaxies away from  people like Dewey, Goodlad, de Bono, Piaget, Montessori and our local breed of schoolie; and yet his influence is  profound. His school expertise can be written on the back of a postage stamps in large font, but millions of children in Australia are stuck with his peculiar ideas.

Parents are waking up, however. They are noticing. May God bless them. They really want their children to love learning, to achieve at the highest possible level [not the Kleinist-type mediocre limited targets] and to accept a challenge of any kind without fear, to grow and develop in a healthy school atmosphere; and to carefully evaluate and share their own progress at every step of the way.

Parents can withdraw their children from the testing program at any time, of course.  Mum or dad can do it right now….and of course they bloody-well should! They only have to write a note to the Principal of their school, as many did last year.  Do it now, Mum, and help to get rid of the stupidity.

Nor is there anything wrong with the distribution to parents of Years 3,5,7,9 pupils of a form asking them to give approval or disapproval. It’s democratic. A professionally ethical school would also have the question on its enrolment form; and withdrawal forms available..

A very large and popular parent movement in the USA is called United Opt Out. You know about it.  It is nationwide and has representatives in each state. It now has an outreach in New Zealand and Australia. It is there to help. Follow it . Together we can succeed. Remember the success of the United4kids and the march on the White House of 8000 parents and teachers. recently?


Okay ? Let’s OPT OUT


Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point  2486

Australia  2486

07 5524 6443

Please take this seriously.

Please follow the UnitedOptout links that were provided by Allan Alach.

Please free the kids from pedagogical heresy.


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