Please, Joel & Condi, Leave Our Kids Alone

The Treehorn Express

Treehorn story?

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

March 23

No mention of NAPLAN in the the Queensland electioneering yet.

Treehorn still wears a wry smile.



“Leaving large swaths of the population unprepared also threatens to divide Americans and undermine  the country’s cohesion, confidence, and 

ability to serve as a global leader.”

says the U.S. Education Reform and National Security report released on Monday, March 20.  It said the same sort of thing in its 1983 report:  A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, which introduced the notion of judging educational  progress by using blanket testing [kids using paper and pencils at the same time] of children at school and then praising or condemning teachers, principals and school on the scores.  It is clearly based on fear: “If you do not do better each year on these tests, as invalid and unreliable as they are, we will punish you in some way or other.” That’s a NY kind of thing.

So, then as always, our US ‘Global Leaders’ bowed before their own corporate canards and became about the first on the  GERM list – the Global Educational Reform Movement – to take school improvement the wrong way. As usual, then, many countries [UK, Australia, NZ amongst them] did as they were bid by their [false] idol, knowing full well that the use of blanket tests for learning purposes was about as useful as Iraqi WMDs were explosive; and that there are many more user-friendly ways of stimulating children’s learning processes and using stress-less modes of evaluating that have meaning.  One Aussie politician just didn’t know nor trusted her own and she shouldn’t have attended that party. Let me assure our friends up over that, even though we live a long way down under your righteous centre of presumed knowledge, we know a thing or two about learning in schools and would have been able to help you with your problems if only one of our more powerful but obscurant  politicians had believed in her own constituents. You blew it, Joel and Condi. You should have realised that other people might know more than you do; and they are always willing to help the US of A when you get into trouble…as you know.

You will also know, that, on most educational measures Australia is just behind New Zealand way up the the top of the charts…not so far behind Finland.

Here’s one :

Look towards the bottom for your place on world charts.

Now, after twenty-eight years of blanket testing – according to your pundits who wrote this  US report – your test-based reform has been a waste of time. Mediocrity has been maintained. That is what your report is saying.

AND….Do you think that you will continue with more of the same?  Watch

Please, USA, give up trying to lead the globe in school matters. Please mind your own business, stay at home and bugger-up your own schooling. Please leave our kids alone.

There is a number of noble dissenters from the opinions presented in the report, mostly those concerned with the teaching of children. Bless them. The others are stake-holders in one way or other with ‘corporations and education foundations some of which are for-profit’ says Jack Hassard, Professor of Science Ed., Georgia.

Joel Klein, co-leader of the panel, must now feel safe and cosy now in his $4million per year headship of the test publishing business, preparing for the introduction of digital-based schooling for his employer, Rupert Murdoch, worth $500billion in the USA alone.  Now that we Americans have made a mess of things, we should try harder, Joel seems to suggest. We should expand the business into the publishing of common core standards to include science, technology and foreign languages and keep testing the kids using ineffective blanket techniques. We don’t know any other way.

Prof. Jack Hassard suggests “The recommendations are the mantras of the corporate reform of education which is rapidly moving towards market based reforms.


Australian Gullibility Reigns

Australians are champions at gullibility and the world’s best exemplars. All that was needed to have the cruel and ineffective NAPLAN imposed on our school children was for sweet-talking lawyer Joel Klein to tell our Minister for Education at a cocktail party, that his school system, based on threatening children, teachers, principal and schools, improved scores that allegedly measured levels of numeracy and literacy. She bought it. Bingo for Joel. Now, ‘how the money rolls in’!

Australia seems destined to maintain mediocrity as is the US? Or… since we have always been streets ahead of the USA in measureable PISA tests [in which GERM countries have great faith], in which direction is Australia about to go?

Why oh why do we maintain the stupidity of copying systems that have nothing to offer and only maintain mediocrity…according to the report ?

Please, USA, do not attempt to exert your ‘ability to serve as global leader’ in educational matters. We know a lot more about schooling than you do. We don’t need to do your will in all things.

For most obscure reasons, although we know its source, we are stuck with NAPLAN until someone stands up and says NO  to the nonsense. Enough is enough. Stop it. If the Klein method helps our kids to learn how to learn and want to learn more; can help them to be more creative, industrious, independent, accountable, peace-loving, earnest and honest…please demonstrate.  Prove it to us parents and grandparents. You’re fooling with their future because you took notice of the wrong people.


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 on the plight of today’s generation of Aussie kids.

OtherTreehorns ? :   Check Recent Posts and Archives in the sidebar.

Maintained by outstanding NZ educator, Allan Alach

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443


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