Best wishes for NO NAPLAN launch

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 30

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Heartiest

Congratulations

&

Warmest  Wishes

 to the

‘Say NO to NAPLAN’

launch in Melbourne today

May your message spread widely and quickly

to other Australians who care about kids

and how they are treated at school.

You are opening the door to learning.

Australian children will recover from the 2008+ assault

and all school achievements will have no limits.

Treehorn is so proud of you.

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Aussie concerned parents send best wishes to those thousands of parents

gathering in Washington DC today to tell legislators

that they want to see an end to their crippling blanket tests

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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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

NAPLAN or NOPLAN?

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 29

Hi Politicians:  Ever think of going to Finland?

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 NAPLAN or NOPLAN : That is the Question!

Derek Hedgcock, former Primary School Principal, shares the concern of parents about the worth of NAPLAN to do what it purports to do. In earlier correspondence, Derek comments: “As I talk with the few parents with whom I have contact these days, mainly at kids footy etc., they are curiously concerned about the tests and certainly have an innate cautionary concern about it all. I think the moribund inertia among the profession is mainly caused by ‘survival mode weariness’ as much as anything more sinister such as apathy.”

Please read Derek’s short article, which is at the foot of this posting. He emphasises the relationship between learning, evaluating and planning; and, since learning, as the business of schooling,    entails these elements, the usefulness of NAPLAN as a device to cure an imaginary problem is incompetent. You’ll like the way that Derek shares his concerns.

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Pull your kids out of NAPLAN tests, say educators

This newspaper article by Bethany Hiatt in The West Australian quotes from those who have written articles for ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ to be launched in Melbourne on Monday. Statistician Professor Margaret Wu and Literacy Consultant David Hornsby say: “…the tests measured only fragments of student achievement and could not provide accurate information on their abilities.”  “It is unnecessary and a waste of public money….”

Renowned music educator and Victorian Opera Director Richard Gill said that activities used to prepare for tests, “destroy individuality, stifle creativity, stultify thought and make all children respond in the same way.”  “It is an educational circus in which the children are the trained animals and the teachers the poorly paid ringmasters. If we want a nation of non-imaginative robots who can do NAPLAN tests then we are well on the way to achieving that condition.”

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13531760/pull-your-kids-out-of-naplan-tests-say-educators/

Monday 30 April 2012 is a watershed day. It will mark the beginning of greater support for school children and their teachers in Australia; the beginning of that ‘peaceful insurrection’ to end the political and corporate control of what is done in our schools.

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U.S. Parents say NO in Washington

It’s a big day up-over too. Parents from around the country are gathering in Washington, DC, the capital, on Monday and intend occupying the Department of Education until Wednesday, 2 April. They are sick of  big business control of schooling…..the Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, Joel Klein kind of control …..that, you will know, has already extended itself to Australia…and is responsible for NAPLAN…as you also well know. Click on http://unitedoptout.com/event/we-endorse-occupy-wall-street-with-action/   Yes. It’s another sample of the Occupy Movement. Parents have reached the end of their tether. “We asked – they said  NO. We wrote – they said NO. We sent them research – they said NO. We say NO. We opt out. We will put a screeching halt to corporate education by saying NO to the test.”

If the Australian public listens also on Monday to the voices coming from the Literacy Education Coalition’s launch of ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ also on Monday, Australian parents will not need to go to these lengths. You can read more in the article ‘Movement Against Standardized Testing Grows As Parents Opt Out’ .  The authors say: ‘Parents in the movement say teachers spend too much time teaching to the test while neglecting long-term projects or more creative learning strategies. They say the tests measure only what students know at a given time, not what we should be defining as ‘learning’.”

 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/o4/movement-against-standardized-testing-grows-as-parents-opt-out/

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(Australian) Teachers set to boycott NAPLAN skills tests

[The Australian  19-01-2010]

Steady. Don’t get your hopes up. Look at the date.

It was a day of enormous joy and wondrous hope for concerned parents and serious educators. A future of learning, love of learning, high achievement and academic challenges for our children looked assured.  The Australian Education Union was showing its mettle. Its President said that the reporting of school results and league tables was a “touchstone issue for the teaching profession.” 

“It’s one of the most critical issues that we’ve ever had to confront and we cannot and will not sit by and allow the further creation and publication of leagues tables given the damage they will cause to students and school communities.” 

The article also comments: “Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is responsible for education and industrial relations stared down the union threat…” That lady can stare!

Not a squawk from anyone since……and NAPLAN with NOPLAN [no teaching/learning plan] soldiers on.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/teachers-set-to-boycott-naplan-skills-tests/story-e6frg6nf-1225821023104

And Mr. Murdoch’s (that man with the enormous wallet full of test publisher’s millions) newspaper The Courier Mail will publish on Monday also, the most comprehensive set of  tables of Queensland schools [2008 to 2011] it has ever published….an unprecedented insight . “We have harvested all the data so you can compare.” Ho hum.

Think of Unions                                        Think of guardians of work practices                                                          Think of eunuchs                                      Think of Professional Associations                                                                     Think of ethics                                          Think of ‘What?’

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So….Monday, April 30 2012 is an historic day:-

Melbourne: Say ‘NO to NAPLAN’ is launched.

Washington :  Anti-test parents occupy the Dept. of Education.

Brisbane : Mr. Murdoch holds court.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

———————————-

NAPLAN or NOPLAN :That is the Question!

by Derek Hedgcock

Recently, as is the course of daily life, a few things did not go all that well for me.

Don’t be alarmed …. For they have been nothing of any major, life-threatening or life-changing status in the scheme of things: bothersome perhaps is the best description.

Firstly the gearbox in my aging Landcruiser began making odd and expensive sorts of noises as I drove about town. So l took it to an expert who, by actually driving my car and listening directly for himself as i sat beside him saying things like …. “That’s it right now!’…. duly assessed the cause of the emerging fault and then at an agreed time and manner, fixed it. l settled the account directly with him and now drive with relative peace of mind amid the normal cacophony of sounds, normal to a twenty-something year-old 4\/\/D vehicle …..

Secondly, the refrigerator began freezing everything we had stored in it. So, l called in an expert, who assessed the problem by actually visiting the house and making an on-site diagnosis by looking at our fridge (He even took some panels off to peer inside) whilst he made all sorts of soothing utterances. He explained the problem clearly with direct reference to our very own fridge and with our grateful compliance, then ordered the required new parts and in due course with regular informative phone calls to keep us up-to-date with parts availability/delivery: fixed the problem without having to take the appliance away from its place in our kitchen. We can now have breakfast without needing to thaw the milk each early morning rush …

Thirdly, I had a puncture whilst on a training ride for an upcoming endurance event for a worthy charity. l was the one in charge. l had all the necessary expertise and equipment. So, l fixed the flat myself and continued on my merry way to complete the ride. The tyre remains serviceable some 500km later …

How things come in threes? A bit like learning really? …… EVALUATE-PLAN-LEARN-EVALUATE-PLAN-LEARN EVALUA TE-PLA N …

There’s a pattern here is there not, However, the threesome componentry that is PLAN-LEARN-EVALUATE, are neither discrete nor linear. They occur in daily life as highly interactive co-dependencies. Otherwise we get nowhere from dawn to dusk to dawn…

Firstly, a problem is detected by the person so affected/involved, on-site. However, l was evaluating, planning my next move and learning all at one.

Secondly, suitably qualified expertise assesses the problem, on-site and in direst consultation with the person so affected: if such consultation is deemed necessary by they so affected. However, we were evaluating, planning the next moves and learning all at one.

Thirdly, the problem is fixed, on-site: participants directly reassured, encouraged and supported by the most appropriate expertise for the situation. However, we were evaluating, planning the next move and learning all at one.

The firstly, secondly and thirdly descriptors are no more than temporal references as a narrative account such as this demands for coherence and communicability.

How does this perfectly normal pattern of daily life compare to NAPLAN?

Who detected the problem NAPLAN purports to resolve?

ls the problem real or imaginary and how significant is it in reality?

Have there been on-site, interactive diagnoses of the problem? Surely the NAPLAN tests do not suffice?

Have the parties directly involved in the “problem” been consulted in the context of their daily life: the context within which the “problem” is supposed to exist?

Has there been on-site, context relevant, fair and equitably provisioned, expert support, to fix the “problems” that the NAPLAN assessment has with great fanfare announced?

ls NAPLAN a natural act? Classrooms have to be natural, human suited places.When compared to daily life, NAPLAN is inhuman as a learning thing.

Did my motor mechanic place an advertisement in the national press for all to read, to my shame, about the “substandard” condition of what l believe and rightly so for my needs and context, to be a perfectly functional car?

Did our refrigeration mechanic establish a nation-wide website for all to become aware of the “problem” with our kitchen appliance?

Did l have help foisted upon me despite, as an experienced cyclist, although all alone, I was confident of my ability, my foresight to be prepared for such a problem, my expertise and my determination: to diagnose and fix my own problem?

Learning is the absolute function of daily life. Learning governs the present and predetermines our future existence, whether it is about having a functioning car, refrigerator, bicycle or something way more complex and important as an education system.

A healthy education system is far more important than any car, appliance or contraption.

So, why is it that the same levels of common sense, justice, expert autonomy and effectiveness cannot be applied to our children’s classrooms as is so normally the natural course of things for trivialities such as a puncture?

l\/lore importantly, why is it that despite common sense AND a comprehensive, government funded enquiry into the resourcing of our schools, that the ”problems” NAPLAN exposes are well publicised but remain so poorly addressed.

Wherein sit the incompetencies of NAPLAN and its inevitable shortcomings, as has proven to be the case elsewhere in the world where such approaches have been applied to schools?

Is it within the falsehoods of our politicians and the vested interests they support?

Or is it the fault of innocent children, involved parents and committed teachers?

NAPLAN… NOPLAN …. same thing l reckon!

Derek Hedgcock

27th April 2012

Marion Brady’s powerful message

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 26

Hi Politicians: It’s happening!  What do you think?

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Launch of ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’

It’s truly exciting to think that we are on the brink of real, fair-dinkum Aussie reform, about to start when enough parents give serious consideration to what is happening to their children. The reform has to start with the complete scrapping of NAPLAN. It is evil. When you get a chance to read the booklet  “Say NO to NAPLAN” [to be distributed on Monday]on http://www.literacyeducators.com.au  you will find heaps of  reasons to scrap it.

The launch in Melbourne on Monday afternoon has already received some press attention in today’s The Age; The Sydney Morning Herald; The Canberra Time; The West Australian

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/call-to-boycott-education-tests-20120426-1xo0w.html

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A ‘simple fix’ for School Curriculum

Marion Brady

The Washington Post 26 April 2012

Marion Brady is a widely-known and highly respected U.S. educator[ http://www.MarionBrady.com ]. He writes regularly for Veronica Strauss’ ‘The Answer Sheet’ in The Washington Post’ .  His messages are usually meaningful and powerful. This one is as powerful as it gets and I do commend its careful reading. As an editor said of another of his writings : “Serious minded educators who begin to read this manuscript are very likely to finish it and be influenced by it for the better. Those who are not serious-minded, if there is any hope for them at all, might start to be serious minded…”

Yes. It is that kind of paper.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-simple-fix-for-school-curriculum-and-its-not-common-core/2012/04/25/qIQArVxnhT_blog.html#pageweak

Towards the end of the article he asks, “Do I want authorities to mandate school use of what I am talking about? Absolutely not.” He then proceeds to list, in Australia terms:- The Federal and State Governments, ACARA, Business Interests, publishers of tests – to just get out of the road. He continues, “What they are offering [accompanied by threats and bribes] is more of the same old 19th Century thinking, now ‘legitimized’ by rich philanthropists, big-business CEOs, politicians, lawyers, fund managers, all supported by mainstream media that think Arne Duncan , Joel Klein, Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee, and other high-profile pontificators really know how to fix schools. They don’t.”

The article concludes : “It’s hard to imagine a poorer system for preparing the young for coping with the mess that the system has helped to create.”

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Sincere best wishes to the ‘serious-minded’ educators gathering in Melbourne on Monday.

The gathering gives hope to those who care for kids.

Australia is already a better place because you are doing what you are doing.

God bless you.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Treehorn Shortie : Oops. Wrong day. It’s Monday

 Treehorn Shortie

Oops. Wrong day. In yesterday’s Treehorn Express I mentioned the big day of Say NO to NAPLAN as being held on Tuesday next. Wrong. Senior moment. See the attached invitation. Most of us will not be able to attend, but the details are given on this attachment. The launch is being held on Monday.

APRIL 30 should be a significant day for Australia.  The launch of  “SAY NO TO NAPLAN” should represent the beginning of the end of the worst period in the history of schooling in Australia.

This is not said lightly.  Australia has had examination systems since public schooling started.  NAPLAN, however, represents deliberate gross fear inflicted on every single Australian school child who is unable to escape its dreadful implications….and for no teaching/learning benefit whatsoever.

The papers will be available on www.literacyeducators.com.au on Monday. The site is already an active one, but it is being re-designed for Monday’s big launch. Please spread its papers and their messages to as many as possible.

If you should like to send best wishes for the launch, you might like to contact any one or all of the following. Please try to do so. It’s a big occasion. Tell your friends to do the same.  Do it now! Let’s join them.

What a wonderful group of people.

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Indignez Vous

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

  __________Hi EsteemedPolitician : Quiet lot aren’t you?________

__________________________________________________________________-

Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 25

175

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Indignez Vous

“Time for Outrage”

This week’s Time mentions a popular French pamphlet called Indignez Vous [Time for Outrage] which exhorts folk to recapture the spirit that had made their country great; to mount a “peaceful insurrection” against injustices and decries the electorate’s convenient and ”general amnesia”. The theme of the booklet reminded me so much of the injustices against the likes of little Treehorn and his school friends; and the need for an Australian “peaceful insurrection”.  The convenient memories of our school children’s parents, teachers, principals, political representatives and their numb-mind silence on an issue of such national importance is disgraceful….and… The lamestream press is too busy with the easily handled. Most, really, just do not give a stuff about the assaults on our children’s future perpetrated by NAPLAN and other GERM forms of blanket testing. As rude as it sounds, let me repeat…Most of us do not give a stuff about the future of Australian children. 

But.  Take heart, Treehorn. There are others. Anti-Germ educators are starting to say something here in Australia and in the U.S.A. There is small group of child-oriented, learning-knowledgeable, teaching-focussed, curriculum-concerned, family-friendly folk in Melbourne who want to ask the Australian population to “SAY NO TO NAPLAN”. Let’s join them.

If one is concerned about their own children and whether they should contest the test,

or if one does not know what to do in the face of pandemic mindlessness,

or if one wonders if the test has any relevance to learning and teaching;

or whether the test is a reliable measure of achievement that can be used to make statements about the academic worth of their children or the teaching prowess of their child’s teacher,

….they should check out what the group has to say.

SAY ‘NO’ TO NAPLAN

If the population takes notice with an open mind, NAPLAN is finished… and Australia will start to progress in achievement terms, creative terms and cultural terms. There is no risk about this.  If the cessation of testing is accompanied by  some Finland-like planning, with an even  higher-level long-term vision, the world becomes an Aussie oyster. Make no mistake! We have made enough colossal blunders since 2008. Let’s think about positive blame-free progress.

On Tuesday next in Melbourne, teachers, parents and academics will foregather to launch “SAY NO TO NAPLAN”. A special small book is the focus of the launch containing articles that deal with :

* Inappropriate Use of NAPLAN tests.

*Teaching to the Test.

*Holistic Reading vs NAPLAN Reading

*The Problem with NAPLAN testing of Spelling

*Your Children and NAPLAN

*What NAPLAN ignores

*The Age of Absurdity

*Evidence-based Assessment

Each article is short and easy to read. It will be made available online for downloading and copy.  It can be easily spread amongst teachers, parents, university, high-school  and university students for their deliberation. The lead-article will be presented by Professor Margaret Wu. There has been a keen interest expressed by journalists from the  press. It will be a most important day in the history of Australian schooling, the first of peaceful insurrection and the beginning of the end of fear-based NAPLAN testing.

More details to come.

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THE BEGINNING OF THE END

Meanwhile back in New York, the birthplace of fear-driven schooling and testing, conspicuous educators are also restless. The New York State Professors Against High Stakes Testing have released an on-line petition [see Treehorn 17-04-12], because “...it undermines creative classrooms instruction and because it puts teachers and students under intolerable stress.”  You can join the people to help New York children and our own, by doing this…

1. Click  on    http://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-state-regents-end-the-reliance-on-high-stakes-standardized-testing

2. Make a comment.

3. Follow the suggestions to contact your Facebook friends who might be interested in schooling issues.

{I did this and was overjoyed to learn than every single one of my Facebook friends also joined the petition. It is a great feeling.}

The anti-GERM movement is growing and sharing. We are all starting to ‘care for kids’ while hopeless politicians will not. It’s the beginning of the end for GERM-based testing in many countries. Let’s hope that Australia gets the gold in the contest.

GETTING RID OF HIGH_STAKES TESTS

Stop! The News Gets Better.  On Tuesday [24 April] Valerie Strauss wrote in The Washington Post of the growth of anti-high-stakes aka anti-Germ aka anti-NAPLAN movements in America:

National resolution against high-stakes tests

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/national-resolution-against-high-stakes-tests-released/2012/04/23/gIQApRnNdT_blog.html

Within the article make sure that you click on the reference ‘latest in series of recent initiatives taken’ and you will find : Education reform protests pick up steam.  Both are great articles.

PLEASE READ THEM AND EVERY REFERENCE WITHIN  – You can even frame the National Resolutions for your own encouragement. Share the articles around. They are so full of promise for our children’s learning freedom. 71 national organisations have signed the resolution mentioned in the article. See http://www.timeoutfromtesting.org./nationalresolution/orgs

Pam Grundy of Parents Across America says: “Parents are fed up with constant testing. We want our elected leaders to support real learning not constant testing.”

Robert Scott, Republican Commissioner for Education : “The mentality that standardized testing is the ‘end-all and be-all’ is a perversion of what quality education should be.” [Joe Brown, Governor of California said the same thing last year.]

A New York school official: “A Principal should not ever be in a situation where ultimately their judgment gets trumped by a mechanistic formula.”

The articles are enlightening. Is there a Valerie Strauss somewhere in Australia?

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Trevor Cobbold of Save Our Schools asks 16 poignant questions in What is NAPLAN Doing to Your School?  They will intrigue you. For example

5. Does absenteeism increase on test days?  7. Are some subjects missing out from increased times spent on NAPLAN? Which subjects?  13. Has the public reporting of NAPLAN results affected the ability to attract and retain experienced teachers?  16. Do schools inform parents they can withdraw their children from NAPLAN?

No.16 is NOT a trick question. See  http://www.saveourschools.com.au

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Allan Alach, the world’s most avid reader of books and articles about schooling, supplied  yesterday’s article by Valerie Strauss and almost every article that has appeared on Treehorn. We have begun to exchange casual letters, much in the way Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier exchange, but with a down-under, antipodean flavour and style. Allan, the guardian of https://treehornexpress.wordpress.com, has listed the first one in the side-band and head-band of the website. It’s my letter to him that was intended to say thanks for his amazing efforts. The new column has been called Bridging the Ditch and it is appropriate that we first mention it on 25 April – Anzac Day. They’ll come in random order at any time. Join us if you wish.

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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

The rough end

 Treehorn Shortie

Daniel Pinkwater, ‘renowned children’s author and accidental exam writer’  comments …

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/04/20/daniel-pinkwater-on-pineapple-exam-nonsense-on-top-of-nonsense/?mod=wsj-share-facebook#

The Washington Post takes up the story. It discusses the impact of such tests on VAM [soon to hit Australia if present trends are followed and NAPLAN is supported] – the measurement of teacher competency based on test results – and concludes : “…the whole push for test-based school reform makes about as much sense as a talking pineapple.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/talking-pineapple-question-on-standardized-test-baffles-students/2012/04/20/gIQA8i01VT_blog.html?wprss=rss_answer-sheet

And such U.S. based measurers,  indirectly of course, control the curriculum for Australian schools. Despite pious utterances, VAM – value-added-measurement of teacher ability as ‘revealed’ by pupils’ test results will become a feature of Australia schooling…in spades.   Measurers love the idea. It’s a certainty.  If Australian teachers SAY NO TO NAPLAN, then idiotic VAM cannot get started. It is as simple as that…….

NAPLAN ? ….as much sense as a talking pineapple.

Phil

The Talking Pineapple

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

  __________Hi EsteemedPolitician :Try this question ________

__________________________________________________________________-

Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 21

174

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The Talking Pineapple

We friendly fossils fighting the good fight [Les O’Gorman] will enjoy this article

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/talking-pineapple-question-state-exam-stumps-article-1.1064657

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2012/04/the_pineapple_story_questions.html

Such NY tests are constructed by Pearson, the largest testing and assessment group  in the world, in close competition with Murdoch whose test publishing manager is Joel Klein [whom you may see holding Rupert’s hand again at the Leverson inquiry in London next week] . These folk control the school curriculum in all GERM countries, especially Australia where Joel has a vested interest. Of all the bright, intelligent folk in New York [19-20 millions] Julia chose  him, a school-loose ex-lawyer whose knowledge of the classroom is up there with the moon-fairies, to lead us into the future   He, on behalf of Emperor Rupert, and Pearsons share the test market and determine our curriculum.

http://www.moreaboutadvertising.com/2010/11/rupert-murdoch-takes-battle-pearson-schoolroom-2/

Their employed measurers ensure what content is taught in schools throughout each GERM country, since the curriculum in GERM countries, such as ours, is based on what is measured  in tests.

This particular test item describes a contest between a pineapple and a hare and will probably become a legendary item.  The story has started to spread.  It was written by a measurer, whom an outstanding quiz expert thinks must have been on peyote.  The question has been used seriously in a number of US states. Peyote, taken from the flower of a cactus plant. is an anthogen that has psycho-active effects. It was used by the author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest” while writing some of the chapters.  Maybe measurers need this sort of stimulation to do what they do!

Allan Alach asks,”If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?”

__________________________________________________

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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Some Weekend Reading

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

  __________Hi EsteemedPolitician : Do you know what GERM is?________

__________________________________________________________________-

Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 20

173

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Weekend Readings

Professor Mark Naison of Fordham Uni. says on Facebook : [Google]

“What is going on in public education in the U.S. is total and complete bull…t. It is straight out of ‘1984’ or some science fiction novel portraying a dystopia of mind-control and double-speak. The life is being squeezed out of teachers and children by relentless testing and evaluation, while everything that makes learning joyous is being marginalised and suppressed. If there is no revolt against this regime of obedience-training and rote learning. I fear for the future of this nation.”

Amen.

Schools Matter – Professors Against High Stakes Testing

http://schoolsmatter.info/2012/04/professors-against-highstakes-testing.html

“Numerous studies document that the over-reliance on high-stakes testing bears adverse impact on student achievement….”

All That Testing is perverting public education

http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/All-that-testing-is-perverting-public-education-3464869.php?cmpid=twitter

 “Standardized Testing in Houston’s public schools is…. [a] draining away much-needed resources;  [b] driving curriculum; [c] occupying about one-third of your child’s time in class; or [d] all of the above…..”213 school districts in Texas have signed a resolution declaring ‘standardized, high-stakes testing is strangling our public schools and undermining any chance that educators have to transform a traditional system of schooling into an educational opportunity that prepares our students to be competitive on the global stage.”

The Testing Games: How Our Youth are being put at Risk http://www.artofteachingscience.org/2012/04/17/the-testing-games-how-americas-youth-are-put-at-risk/ 

“Hunger Games and Testing Games dehumanize youth and use them to punish or reward states, schools and teachers. The Testing Games need to go. They need to be banned. Above all else, we need to take our children and youth out of harm’s way and stop this testing mania.

The Bully Politics of Education Reform

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/05/1080584/-The-Bully-Politics-of-Education-Reform

“To mask the bully culture of the U.S., bullying is confronted as a school-based problem among children…yet, the exact ruling class who denounces bullying among children are themselves bullies.”

Survey: Teachers Place Little Value on Standardized Tests. http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/03/20/gates.html?tkn=YYOFvJReWV7OELHkPh1bCubdpGAVRhUGbVE%2F&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1 

“Only 45 per cent of teachers think their students take standardized tests seriously or perform to the best of their ability on them.”

Too Many Tests Give Education System a Fail Mark

http://www.news.com.au/national/too-many-tests-gives-education-system-a-fail-mark/story-e6frfkvr-1226313964671 

“Saturation testing [in Australia] is seriously undermining the quality of primary school education and should be stopped immediately, parents and educators claimed yesterday.”

Quality Teaching : We’re Looking in the Wrong Places. http://www.artofteachingscience.org/2012/03/23quality-teaching-were-looking-in-the-wrong-places/

  “Many claim that the educational system is broken. But who is at fault here?…..Measuring doesn’t make the kid smarter, nor the cow fatter. and A teacher asks, “Tell me how you can examine my skills and talents and attribute worth to them without knowing me, my class, or my curriculum requirements.”

Is Real Educational Reform Possible? If so, How?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201108/is-real-educational-reform-possible-if-so-how 

“Children learn wonderfully without anyone systematically or deliberately teaching them, but yet, we adults do have or should have the responsibility of providing the conditions that allow children to take charge of their own learning. Real educational reform, in my view, is reform that provides those conditions.  The most important condition is freedom .”

Testing : How to Stop the Reign

http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_atrocities.php?id=4232

 “Teachers. You are too good to revolt against the Caesars who rule education’s holy empire through fear….too patient….too battered….far too decent. You need to take control.

What Standardized Tests Should Assess 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/what-standardized-tests-should-assess/2012/03/11/gIQAJzDfSS_blog.html#pagebreak

“No more multimillion dollar checks for tests, that no one but manufacturers are allowed to see. No more of the pass-fail tests, the scores of which can be raised and lowered to make political points. No more kids labelled and discarded,  every one with a brain wired to do all sorts of amazing things. If storing trivia in short-term memory doesn’t happen to be one of those things, that shouldn’t put them out of school and on the street.”

Shameful and Degrading Evaluation of Teachers by Politicians.

http://www.artofteachingscience.org/2012/03/19/shameful-and-degrading-evaluations–of-teachers-by-politicians 

“The proposals are full of shibboleths of current reform such as high quality standards, common standards, data systems, teacher evaluation and student test scores. When you read the proposal, you wonder if any of these people have a clue about effective learning and teaching.” [On the Australian scene, one wonders if teacher unions as well as principals’ and elite ‘education’ associations know enough about effective learning and teaching to support GERM as they do.]

Why we need to bring Creativity and Technology back across the Curriculumhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/mar/21/creativity-technology-classroom-teaching 

“This enforced separation of technical and creative teaching and learning is something I see a lot in schools. I make my living as a  den-maker – helping teachers morph dull classrooms into thrilling learning environments. Technology is essential to what I do, as important as the fabric, boxes, plastic hoops and giant envelopes I use……It’s this combination of low and high-tech resources that enables immersive learning to take place…..The key is integrating  technology and creativity.”

Better Ideas from Finland.

http://thestandard.org.nz/more-good-ideas-from-finland/

“Diane Ravitch gives three good reasons…First, Finland has one of the highest performing school systems in the world, as measured by PISA…. Second, from an American perspective, Finland is an alternative universe. It rejects all of the “reforms” currently popular n the US, such as testing, charter schools, vouchers, merit pay, competition, and evaluating teachers in  relation to the test scores of their student……Third, Finnish schools come closest to achieving equality of educational opportunity – An American ideal…… It’s way over time we got rid of the GERMs; we’re forty years behind already.”  Enjoy the trip, Tony and Chris.

Where are their Children?

http://ww.susanohanian.org/show_nclb_outrages.php?id=4233

 “For almost a decade teachers and many caring administrators have raised concerns over the negative effects high stakes testing is having on children; specifically given the perverse incentives that encourages practices that are in direct contrast to what we know  and what young people need, to thrive and engage in learning activities.”

Out-of-School Learning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wLOkZ69LwNw

Home schooling is growing in popularity thanks, in part, to NAPLAN. This is a 2-minute teaser tailer for a forthcoming film :”Class Dismissed: A Film About Learning Outside the Classroom.” It points out that Home Schooling does not mean being stuck at home all the time, and acting as if it was a classroom. As John Settledge said, “The classroom  is out there. Get into it!”

Bryan Gould [N.Z.]: Free Market Economy Wrong:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10799825

   “…the most startling example of the Government’s keenness to use private business to pursue its objectives in every aspect of our national life is the decision to contract private firms to build, own and run publicly funded schools for our children….. The ‘charter’ school is. like a privately run prison, an example of a public/private partnership or PPP.”

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Hang in there. There is more to come. You’ll breeze through them all easily. Each is short. Each is convincing [for most readers; anathema for the disinterested].  Thanks to Allan of Palmerston North for most of them, for Louise [Canberra], Mary [Brisbane]  and Mary E [Amsterdam] for the rest. Mary E claims that she is ‘not your average possibilitarian jedi’.    ??? Love it.

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Louise tells me that Lorraine Wilson of Literacy Inquiry says that she has just bought a fabulous, fabulous book.

Au, Wayne & Temple B[eds] 2012 Pencils Down, a Rethinking Schools Publication, Milwaukee. {cost via Amazon, $26.81 plus postage}

It is all about the impact of standardised testing. All articles are short and easily read. Authors include classroom teachers, university staff, test scorers and more.

Tom McKenna: “Where is the standardised test that can measure passion for learning, respect for others, and human empathy?”  P.31

Wayne AU : “Standardized testing has a stranglehold on education” P73

We all hope that the state and federal parliamentary libraries obtain multiple copies  for all to read before NAPLAN DAY. (May 17 Kiddies! Less than 20 school days to go!)

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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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

How teachers feel about NAPLAN

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen, proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

  __________Hi Esteemed Politician : Still burying potatoes to get rid of warts?________

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Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April  18

172

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How teachers feel about NAPLAN

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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Naplan Confusions

The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen, proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.

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Treehorn story? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=11697

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

April 17

171

If NAPLAN was in a lost property box, who would dare claim it as their intellectual property?

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Naplan Confusions

1. There are aspects of the administration of NAPLAN that one has to query…

Why is it that there is no public notice to tell parents that their children do NOT have to take the NAPLAN test?   Why don’t school principals tell parents on their websites?

The tests will be held in a few weeks and few members of the public know that they are not compulsory. Why the secrecy?

Then, why do Departmental officials tell blatant lies to parents… “Participation in the NAPLAN tests is mandatory for all children …”  http://www.education.qld.gov.au/parents/home-education/other-info.html

Surely such confusion places the credibility of the administration of NAPLAN in serious doubt.

When state department officials do not know the rules, there has to be a problem.

And doesn’t it feel strange that the public press has so little to say about NAPLAN.  [Wait for results and it will.]

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2.  In terms of financial accountability at the federal and state levels,  a search for prunings of public activity that do little for the public good is being undertaken. Strange things happen, and there is speculation that little has been recommended in education terms because the PM actually believes that New York’s Mr. Klein knew what he was  talking about; and her blind devotion is respected, albeit feared,  by state ministers. There has been little mention of NAPLAN as a source of immense saving. It is useless, unnecessary, damaging to our future, stressful for children, unprofessional, unethical and its demise would save millions of dollars. Why isn’t it, scaredy-cats?

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NEW YORK [The source of NAPLAN]

Meanwhile, back at the ranch  where all the high-stakes, fear-driven testing adamant was first entrenched, thanks to Messrs Klein and Murdoch, a group called New York State Professors Against High Stakes Testing has released an on-line petition to stop the damage that the tests are doing….”both because it undermines creative classroom instruction and because it puts teachers and students under intolerable stress.”  The alliance of Professors want to extend the alliance and share“….common cause with public school teachers and principals, who are trying to protect their profession from being undermined by management systems which disregard their traditions and best practices.”

http://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-state-regents-end-the-reliance-on-high-stakes-standardized-testing

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________________________________________________________________________

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

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net