The Undead


 The Treehorn Express 

 Treehorn story?

Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

The Treehorn Express is dedicated to the cessation of Kleinist NAPLAN blanket testing in Australia.  Our recently introduced Australian schooling system is based on one introduced to a New York school district by a lawyer, Joel Klein. in 2002 and copied by Australia’s Ms. Gillard in 2009, without consultation or examination. Now, the key-stone for Australian schooling is the administration of blanket testing of some measureable items for each child every second year, in May. Upon the results, teacher, principals and schools are judged and rated.

Mr Klein, the founder, now heads the Murdoch test-publishing company worth billions!  Australian test-freaks are amongst his disciples.

Why have it? Kleinism is a New York version of fear-driven schooling which separates ‘haves’ from ‘have nots’ and opens the door for mega-bank-rolling by known curriculum vandals for control of school-based learning. That’s why it exists.

It disrespects school pupils, devalues teachers’ professionalism, forces States to prescribe school texts and teaching strategies, threatens Australia’s future and rivals the Perth Mint as a money source for the top end of town.  Why does Australia support it? Why? Money.

You have seen the current advertisements on TV – buy test-practice books – approved cheating on a large scale – making a mockery of what Australia could be – a really advanced, educated society – where love of learning and achievement is happily pursued.

Come on folks. Get off the fence. Say something to somebody who might be able to help our kids.

Parents can stop the malignant practice by telling their school that they don’t want their children to contest NAPLAN.

Politicians can stop it if a few fair-dinkum Aussie ones stand up for Aussie kids in their Parliamentary Party Room.

Principals can stop it by refusing to have their professional ethics battered any more.

Teachers can stop it by saying ‘enough is enough’. We like our kids.

____Little Treehorn and his cobbers reckon that “Adults just don’t care about school kids.”  You don’t?______

The Undead

A well-known contemporary author, school consultant and commentator, Bruce Hammonds refers to  people, who remain embedded within a professional occupation, but ignore its raison d’etre as well as the effects of changes to their profession’s operations; and who maintain an unhelpful silence when their clients are badly treated, as undead. They haven’t been interred and still possess movement of a kind….sorta dead but they won’t lie down. They cannot or will not speak up and thoughtlessly assist superordinates in flagitious operations that impact seriously on the welfare of clients.

The term is a most suitable one to describe those who just go with the flow and find it easy to ignore professional ethics.  That’s why it’s a Treehorn topic.

Those who claim membership of the teaching profession, but don’t work at its raison d’etre, nor read much about it, nor share opinions about it on a professional level, nor worry about it, nor have any great view on how to care for kids are conspicuous amongst the ranks of the undead. The profession can do without them. Some run our schools….public, systemic and private.

Classroom teachers in a public school system can openly claim to be amongst the highest of professionals if they are conscious of and proud of what they are, and what they are expected to do.  As a rule, members of a public school system know what teaching and learning is all about [there’s the rub] and they care greatly about the demotic children who turn up on the school’s doorstep. If you have been in a school, you know that they do their tasks with great love and determination. True blue professionals. There is no picking and choosing of clients, no specially chosen school in which to serve.  The description is real.

If the superordinates are from beyond the profession or are of limited experience in the school classroom, yet exert controls over the operation of the work-place, teaching time and syllabus modus operandi that infringe on an operator’s professional standards, there is tension of many kinds. What happens in the normal classroom and its place as the learning centre for the school curriculum cannot be absorbed into the psyche of such superodinate controllers through texts or by casual observation. It’s an intricate and complicated operation. To pester the learning atmosphere with foreign blanket tests or aim a national curriculum at the said tests is aperient.  If the tests are their own and concocted without respect for the learning climate, the complications are prodigious. A senior officer of a state education department told ABC Radio recently [Monday,23 Jan.] that the new national curriculum was so good that the Year One children would do ever so much better at NAPLAN tests when they get to Year 3 than others have ever done.  Unbelievable. I’ve been waiting for an outcry from professional representatives in the press, haven’t you? This is the purpose of the new curriculum?

Classrooms are special places where the action for a country’s progress and greatness takes place; and primary school classrooms are different from secondary ones.  The problems caused by mixed non-classroom-relevant ideals are manifold and if allowed to persist, will become ‘manifolder’. While true classroom teacher-professionals of all kinds want to take each client to the very limits of their abilities, most sciolist superordinates [and the politicians who push them] don’t.  They don’t seem to like children and  their aim, patently, is “…not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality. That is the aim of the U.S. [and of Australia using the Klein model], whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other mountebanks… Their purposes, in brief, are to make docile and patriotic citizens, to pile up majorities and to make John Doe and Richard Doe as nearly alike in their everyday reactions and ways of thinking as possible.” [Mencken]

The compliance of Australia’s undead is legendary. Despite their collective knowledge of the dangers of blanket testing, for instance, they succumb….too easily. They not only jump to commands, but they join the spoilers to improve the presentation of the deadly tests. The rights of the child are abused by such undead operators. UNESCO, by the way, has a lot to say about the rights of children. These rights are ignored and untested.

Governments love the undead. In an article called “Education Deform as a Farce” the USA  author speaks of the power of propaganda. During war time, conspicuous people and the media were paid to support the war through silence and ‘proper’ comment. Remember that few Australians knew that Darwin had been bombed as often as it was, hidden by silence;  and a later PM assured us that there were WMDs in Iraq when he sent our soldiers there. “The tactic is so powerful that it has the ability to make lies true”, says the author.

“Now those drums are beating in the current war against teachers.” he continues. Wealthy philanthropist Bill Gates, together with Australia’s patron saint, Joel Klein, and the big USA union boss, Michael Mulgrew ‘’…all work with the same lexicon: ‘effectiveness’, ‘outcomes’ and ‘value added’.  They cannot speak of love of learning or achievement happiness. It is beyond them. Low in experience, high in pretence, they become government appointees to important decision-making committees. Friends of kids find it hard to get anywhere near such important decision-making….as the compliant undead march to the music of conformity with North Korean precision. “

Bill Gates especially, but Eli Broad, the Waltons and the Koch Brothers as well, give the marching orders.”

The article suggests that educational deform will never be overcome unless more  defenders of public schooling [like the parents, pro-pupil politicians  principals, teachers suggested above] do something. [Before May, for Australia’s sake.] 

The author concludes “Anyone short of being a radical defender of public school children and the teaching profession is a shill [aka an undead ‘stooge’]. Anyone who assumes the presence of the Big Lie of education ‘reform’ is having their strings pulled.”

[Come on Aussies, come on..true blue child-oriented ones.

Undo the strings. Get off the fence. Say NO to NAPLAN]


If you have 4 minutes 17 seconds to spare from your busy schedule, click on the theme song “Care for Kids” above, relax and ‘take in’ the words. Meditate. Calm your anger. Enjoy. For their sake, just say NO to NAPLAN.

Other Treehorns ? :   Check Recent Posts and Archives in the sidebar.

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443


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