The Treehorn Express
Proudly prepared and presented by Phil Cullen 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’
Save Our Schools. Save Us All. Save Australia.
Save Our Schools publishes an occasional document, usually written by Trevor Cobbold the National Convenor. His latest production Students Face NAPLAN Test Barrage was so revealing. I’m not usually shocked by the stories of what NAPLAN is doing to learning habits in our schools; but I truly did not anticipate the extent of the cheat-practice tactics that schools in Australia are presently undertaking. I was truly amazed at the volume and, as a geriactive dedicated primary schoolie, scandalized. “We don’t do those sorts of things to our children. Do we? Parents trust us to teach them properly.” Surely.
Did you click and read all of the highlights in the SOS document available on http://www.saveourschools.com.au ?
Please do so, now….again. You will be amazed, surprised and disappointed….. but I hasten to add that I fully understand why. Totalitarian governments do this to people; and their storm troopers in positions of power and control are relentless; and our elected representatives feign innocence and naivety and concern. What notice needs to be taken of schools, parents and teachers when they are so easily controlled?
Teachers who are proud of their caring, pupilling role are blameless. While one waits for them to say something, one appreciates that the pressure on them to obey is heavier than any other elite professional has ever had to tolerate. Can one imagine a collectivity of lawyers, doctors, academics tolerating the political/managerial bullying that is part of NAPLAN? Teaching is, or was and should be a very proud profession. However, in Australia, the superordinate protectors of professional ethics seem to have lost the plot; and classroom teachers are left confused, helpless and lonely. The general claim to professionalism is dwindling while its ethics are so maltreated.
I was quoted in the SOS article from what I had said in an OLO article. I’d like to repeat it and repeat it and highlight it and highlight it..
Practising is not teaching. It is big-time cheating, because the fundamental
schooling concept of teaching a full curriculum to all, using pedagogically
useful syllabuses and time-allocations based on society’s view of their
importance,is fiddled-with for nefarious reasons…publishers’ profits and
political bloody-mindedness. A balanced time-table, related to child
growth and development is a critical schooling issue.
It should not be compromised. Each hour at school needs to be well spent. There are never enough hours to do what has to be done. A well-balanced school time-table is so important.
If a government wants test scores to improve, then they will encourage schools to spend as much time as possible on practice testing to the detriment of each school’s curriculum time-table….aka cheating. The government, in effect, takes over the teaching program almost entirely. If it believed in pure, transparent and accurate evaluation of pupil efforts that is directed towards high achievement and wanted teachers to make pupilling decisions that will improve such achievement, it would help teachers and pupils to incorporate evaluation into the parent/teacher/pupil – teaching/learning act. Beyond its ken?
The Australian government, as an adherent of the GERM culture, shows its contempt for its teachers, school programs and school children by ignoring productive evaluation techniques and doing what it does….organising and controlling each school’s teaching program from its measurement centre [in Canberra or Melbourne or wherever it is]. Such totalitarian actions are politically and publically immoral. That’s clear.
Do you know any Australian politician who cares enough about school children to take an interest in the effects of NAPLAN ? What is her/his name? I’d really like to mention and applaud the person in Treehorn.
If I don’t receive a name, can I conclude that there is no politician, known to about 130 Australian educators [who receive Treehorn], who takes an active interest in NAPLAN? None on my list of politicians who were asked the direct question “Would you vote to have NAPLAN banned?” has responded. Okay. Elections are about 18 months away. Teachers have good memories.
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