State Schools & NAPLAN

Until the sickening, Kleinish national blanket testing is “…dead, buried and cremated.”

The  Treehorn  Express

Treehorn is totally confused by the reporting of the Naplan results. He is surviving the rituals of Year 3, hoping that NAPALM NAPLAN will burn itself out by 2013 [Year 5 & Election Year]. He checked himself out. Ho hum. Last May, wasn’t it ? There was nothing much to talk about this week, it seemed, after the Clueless Report on Assessment Procedures [as his teacher calls it] seemed to reveal itself for what it is. Then the big guns came out!   Duck,Treehorn!..if you attend a public state school.

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State Schools & NAPLAN

Naplan purports to measure and give reliable scores on about half-a-dozen bits of number and some general aspects of language like reading, spelling etc. to act as benchmarks for those schools whose pupils can’t, or aren’t allowed to,  evaluate their own progress. Held in May the tests seriously affect learning and classroom management in Years 3,5,7,9 throughout Australia.

I hope that you can truly appreciate what happens.

Newspapers have stated bluntly or hinted over the past few days, that some schools are better than others because of these  NAPLAN ‘scores’.

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW SUCH CLAIMS CAN BE MADE?

1. A major Gold Coast newspaper even had a black-board displayed on its pages with a list of  the ‘Gold Coast Best Year 3’ and ‘Year 9’.  Yes. That is the way that it was displayed. Five schools in each category were mentioned.

Also, believe it, there were, for all to see, ‘Gold Coast Worst Year 3’ and ‘Year 9’. Please hold on to that dyspeptic impulse. Each was listed!

Because I have read a lot about Gold Coast schools over the years, I notice that most of the ‘worst’ have been mentioned in honourable dispatches in the same newspaper quite often for all sorts of achievements. My grandchildren attended one. Most are known as good schools, honoured and applauded by their school parents; and none deserved to be publically branded as ‘worst’ of anything, especially because of a petty political testing regime.

Because I love and admire the work that teachers and parents do for children in schools that cater for all children of compulsory school age, I felt pretty ill. Seldom squeamish, I truly did. I did.  I was more than extraordinarily dismayed….that this sort of thing could happen in an honourable, civilised society… encouraged by parliamentarians of all flavours…supported by the silence of professional groups and teachers associations!

What happens in an ordinary classroom every minute of every day to try to help children develop and grow and to love learning, to challenge life and achieve whatever they do to the best of their ability, is enormously complicated; but it is beautiful and extraordinary. An everyday classroom is far too complicated for anyone to make any hard-fisted assessment about any one of the million bits of it. Don’t our pollies and their Kleinist supporters realise?

2. The newspaper article was introduced by a statement; “Industry insiders said the improvement of certain public schools on 2009 results was the true measure in assessing …[improvement]”  Who said?  What? How come?   Nuff said.

3. The principal of one of the ‘noticeable improvers” [Yes] fessed to focussing on the tests; and had changed the culture of the co-operative, multi-age teaching/learning design to one of single-age, one teacher units.  Nuff said.

That’s how things are going, Folks.  The Kleinists second-hand salesmen are winning.  Don’t you care?

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OPTING OUT

If you click on http://blogs.eduweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/09/the_slekar_family_stands_up_on_1.html  or google “The Slekar family stands up and opts out”, you will read the story of a couple who withdrew their children from testing and why they did. Because of the way that laws are framed it seems to be more difficult to withdraw your child from testing in the U.S. than it is down under. All that we have to do down here, is write to the Principal.

In the first comment on this article, you will read, “In reality these tests are not about our students. They are designed to provide numerical justification for replacing our public schools and educators with a private educational system.  The ‘industry insiders’ [-see above-] and the growing number of those who are behind the manufacturing and implementation of standardised tests have become brazen  in their deliberations that schools must be run like businesses and be run by business interests. The big-dollar  power-houses behind blanket testing are publically recording their ultimate goal. Profit.”

Yep. Profit. That wraps it up…nothing whatsoever to do with improved schooling.

This commentator further illustrates . Cut a 1 cm. square piece out of the Mona Lisa and use it to describe her haunting beauty and the magic of the artist’s brush. That’s what we do with Naplan testing. Read the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigond.com.au

http://primaryschooling.net

http://kelleyandcullen.net

National blanket testing like Naplan makes us sicker and sicker,

doesn’t it?


Please share this around.

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