Trust

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’

Politicians :  When will YOU say something?  Aussie kids need your help!  Can you be trusted?

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Trust

Trust is THE essential element of any form of management, organisation or administration that relies on competent leadership for improvement and success. Trust is a two-way process. If the business or operation or government department is one that has to focus on personal interaction to get things done, the greater the need for trust. Co-ordinated effort and good-will all fall flat and become nasty without mutual trust. Very little can be achieved without fair-dinkum trust. Organisational anomie is the only product of a cold-hearted managerial style, no matter how big or how small the organisation. If an organisation is peopled by tertiary-trained professionals, then any disrespect it shows for the long-held social norms and professional values of their work-face ensures that the organisation has no useful future.

Yes, I am describing the politically-biased establishment of fear-based, number-crunching, lifeless NAPLAN blanket testing to Australia, its modus operandi and its predicted future. NAPLAN has a limited life.

1.Trust depends on open-ness and frankness.  NAPLAN was introduced to Australia without thought; unrequested by any professional body, by any teachers or education academics, by any political body. There was no need for NAPLAN, because trust in teachers had kept Australia up there with the best, as far as international comparisons of any sort …even the number-based PISA tests…went. Educators were visiting Australia in increasing numbers to learn about teaching and learning and school administration. The provision of post-school academic courses became an industry that rivalled the tourist industry in terms of numbers and dollars. Australian schools needed some thoughtful renewal;- discussions about teaching strategies and their application to local curriculum requirements,sharing evaluation and assessment devices and making the most of their links to the teaching act….but certainly not GERM-ridden, heavy-handed impositions that destroy the joy of learning.

An obvious sub-purpose of NAPLAN is to destroy the morale of quality teachers and force them to return to the use of crash-bang-wallop, practice, practice, practice techniques of old.

There was no discussion with school people nor debate with the public before fear-based testing regimes were copied  from New York. How could this infusion of fear-ridden schooling, and contempt for pupil welfare have happened? Who knows? Perhaps the children of some corporate executives or managerial freaks were not performing at school, so they pulled rank within their own organisations….cloned managers flexed their financial muscles….political leaders jumped…their jelly-fish swarms flowed aimlessly behind with the tide …school principals apostatised. ..teachers and their invertebrate organisations submitted under pressure….AND…. our child-despising leadership was able to pronounce to the public: “ NAPLAN is here! .  Ready? FIRE! Aim!”   The next step for all of the aforesaid, ever ready to do as they are bid,  is to go to the battlefield and kill  the wounded. The field is strewn with victims.

That’s a speculative scenario…..but…..it could be close to home.

[Ms.Julia Gillard, as Minister for Education, realised that her best political support would come from business executives and banking CEOs. They’d been on her back and that of her master, K.Rudd. When she met a like-minded, sweet-talking New York lawyer, who had taken over a school district through his political manipulations, she thought that he had a solution. He warned her not to trust Australian ‘academics, teachers or unions’ who would only criticize high-stakes tests’….so she followed instructions. Skilled sycophant, she knew that her P.M. would approve of her wild-cat idea. He could trust her. Unfamiliar with US schooling operations [and, indeed, Australian schooling], she bought the lawyer-cum-test-addict’s packaged ideas [fear-ridden tests, teacher sackings, school closures, funding threats] all wrapped up – devoid of any humanity or respect for children and their teachers.Her commitment to the top end of town enabled Joel Klein, the numbers man from New York, to come to Australian to speak to influential groups and opinion makers; at the expense of UBS, Australia’s largest banking firm. Educational personnel were kept at a distance..At a dinner in his honour on 26 November, 2008 she opened :Let me thank UBS for their generous hosting of this evening and of the hosting of Joel Klein and his wife Nicole Seligman in Australia. It is an extremely generous and valuable gesture that we greatly appreciate – one example of how companies can contribute to the common educational goal. Peter thank you very much.” Her post-prandial postulations are now part of Australia’s sad history.]

2. Trust infers a lack of deceit in any form.  It is patently obvious that the right to say ‘no’ to testing has been deliberately concealed. Further to that, ACARA appears to have encouraged its operatives, to insist or pretend that taking the test is mandatory. After five years of effective deceit, few people realise that their children do not have to participate in the tests nor the practice periods and that they should send their children to school for normal school lessons during the practice sessions and on the three days of the test.

Illustrations of Mass Deceit? :There has been no public notice of any kind supplied, to date, about the rights of parents and pupils; that they need not do the test. [ It gets a mention in the entrails of the copious instruction manual]

No option to do or not to do the test has ever been provided to families. 

Schools are forbidden to announce the options. 

State School principals are not allowed to express a professional view.

This climate of deceit and distrust has been a feature of NAPLAN testing for five years.

3. Trust does not need Strict Controls nor Threats of Punishment. NAPLAN Protocols are replete with do’s and dont’s. There are endless pages of NAPLAN literature that dictate the preservation of the operation’s code of control that must be followed because measurement-possessed educrats do not trust teachers. If an ‘incident’ has been reported and the suspects have been identified and their ‘incident’ labelled, their misdemeanours are published in an official report. There are strict processes to be followed once a suspect has been dobbed. See “Process Map Overview For Managing Test Incidents.” The press can have a field day then with guilty NAPLAN breachers of protocols. They are not hard to find, poor beggars. This part of the ‘name and shame’ process can be quite frightening and demeaning.

The term ‘cheating’ is grist to the press mill. NAPLAN defines it as ‘gaining an unfair advantage’.  ACARA would want, no doubt, for everyone to play fair and square. It’s operations and its integrity would be suspect if schools pushed the boundaries and tried to gain advantage over others by, say, using practice tests to try to do better than other schools. Faint hope.  In any ordinary human undertaking, the more you practise the better you get….golf, reading, knitting,  cricket, quizzes, netball, crosswords, football, swimming, passing tests….

The integrity of the results would be upheld if no one practised, and conditions for test days was an ‘as is’ pause in school operations.  You know what happens. ‘Practice makes perfect’ syndrome. Talk about a debacle!  NAPLAN even produces its own practice tests and publishing companies have no respect for protocols. Cheating by practising is a rampant scourge. Those who steal school time from other school learnings are plainly dishonest and are cheats.  How can such miscreants be named on the ‘cheat sheets’? Too tough, so on it rages.

Also, will ACARA  name schools that start practising NAPLAN style testing in Year 2, even using the practice tests where they apply?

4. TRUST  !!!??? When class teachers are not allowed to view their pupil’s work immediately on completion, nor take a copy, one has to doubt the authenticity of the arrangements, the integrity of the tests as a diagnostic tool and the use of them as an evaluation device. They make a mockery of effective teaching interlaced with shared and self evaluation. Returning results some months later and then describing them publically as useful diagnostic devices is a giant hoax.

Mention of the margin of error in the results is not made nor revealed to parents. They can’t be trusted to understand.  “If results are sent to parents, the margin of error should be plainly marked on the report and it should be explained”  said David Hornsby and Margaret Wu in “Say NO to Naplan”

[www.literacyeducators.com.au ]

[A re-reading of “Inappropriate Uses of NAPLAN Results”  by Margaret Wu and David Hornsby; and “Misleading Everyone with Statistics” by David Hornsby and Margaret Wu is worthwhile]

Suppose a child is in Year 5 and competing a Reading tests. The only honest way to report to parents about NAPLAN results is to say, “Your child’s reading ability is somewhere in the range of Year 4 to Year 6 as it is for most of those pupils who also took this test.” The allocation of a number or a limited grading, beyond this, is a sham; as any crap detector will reveal.

NAPLAN tests are not diagnostic and no strict control nor threats of ‘disciplinary action’ can make them claim any measure of importance except to tell us that pupils in a status suburb are better at taking tests of these fragments of literacy and numeracy than the pupils in an outback Aboriginal community school. Big deal. Don’t we know this?

The absurdity of blanket testing and the application of numbers to educational decision-making and inferring that one school or teacher is better than another from the results and the use of totalitarian forms of control to do these things, demeans us and our school children.

saynotonaplansaynonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynottonaplan

Have you ordered your bundles of “Say NO to NAPLAN’ stickers yet?  Order in bundles of ten.  $1 each plus postage. Quick delivery.

Contact l.m.wilson@bigpond.com while they are still available.

Postage for 10 : $1.20

Postage for more than 30 : $2.40

Bank: ANZ       Branch : Carlton North

    BSB:  013-374               A/c Number : 5697-99435         

Account  Name :  WILSON,  LORRAINE

[If you should want just one or two for your car – free – be quick – limited number – contact me and I shall post asap]

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

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Parents !

‘Say NO to NAPLAN’

now

saynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynoton

Recommended Links

www.literacyeducators.com.au 

http://unitedoptout.com 

http://saveourschools.com.au

http://www.marionbrady.com 

http://www.susanohanian.org 

http://www.joebower.org

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz   

http://www.alfiekohn.org 

http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com

www.networkonnet.co.nz  

http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

http://www.dianeravitch.com

o0o0o0o0o

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

Maintained by outstanding NZ educator, Allan Alach

Phil Cullen AM,FACE, FACEL

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

NAPLAN – A Crazy GERM

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’

Politicians :  Tried a NAPLAN test yet?

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 GERM Testing is plain crazy

NAPLAN is a fear-based application of GERM

GERM [Global Education Reform Movement] is a totalitarian based threat to children’s welfare in some English-speaking countries.

Its application in Australia is called NAPLAN [National Assessment Program of Literacy and Numeracy]

Parents and teachers are put through many nonsense, unnecessary routines attached to NAPLAN tests that are conducted under pressure once every two years. It’s a recent phenomenon and needs to cease.

Parents send their children to a school to learn.

They are usually keen to have their children learn the foundations of their future everyday activities by becoming very competent at basic standards….and they want to know how well their child is doing as they build on each learning experience. Teachers are keen to do just this …to teach children to achieve the utmost in accordance with their abilities; and to share the child’s progress with the child’s parents. Teachers see the evaluation of progress as part of the teaching and learning act. Indeed, it is an essential part. They appreciate the differences between children and treat each as if there is no limit to their learning capacity.

The atmosphere is warm and encouraging – as illustrated – as children are treated as pupils,  not done in a barren, unpleasant place for a set time over  three days once every two years where frightened children fill in bubbles, which are whisked away before the teacher of the child can see them, scored by some distant non-teaching scorers and the scores published, as erroneous and unreliable as they are, for all to see. Bureaucratic threats and intimidation become common-place, controlling the exercise of professional ethics. Nobody really cares about the kids. Then, crucial educational decisions as to curriculum and funding are made!

That’s GERM-based NAPLAN blanket testing. It just doesn’t work. It is a waste of money [$100 million annually]. It’s contemptuous of children and teachers.

If we believe that learning at school is an individual act encouraged by skilled teachers and supported by parents, how in the name of caring for kids, did we ever let NAPLAN start in this country? It’s cruel, unnecessary and meaningless. It forces teachers to breach basic professional ethics, using devices and techniques that destroy a child’s natural passion for learning. How did the nightmare ever start?

Have you told as many parents as you know that they should write to their school now and say ‘NO to NAPLAN.’  It’s important that you do. Think of the kids.

saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynonaplan 

Totalitarian Control 

The extent of the totalitarian measures of control

over the unprofessional activities of NAPLAN users is scary.

A Brisbane writer to the Courier Mail writes, “If, as is claimed, the tests provide useful diagnostic information about student learning, teachers would now be using that information in their planning. Unfortunately, the results will not be available until September.  Who would wait that long for a routine diagnosis from their doctor or car mechanic?” [Gerry Collins]

A Melbourne teacher writes : “As a teacher I cannot believe the ridiculous lengths gone to in this year’s NAPLAN writing assessment.

I was not even able to read through my students writing piece after the test because they had to be locked up immediately after completion [a new regulation this year].

In previous years we were able to read them and observe their structure in order to inform future teaching and to actually help our students improve their writing.

Now I don’t even know how they actually went. What is the point?”

Test Security

With totalitarian control comes strict security. Test administrators must follow orders precisely and teachers cannot be trusted.  For this particular teacher’s orders, see Page 28/33 of National Protocols for Test Administration, a document that officers of corrective institutions would be proud to claim : http://www.nap.edu.au/_Documents/PDF/National_Protocols_for_Test_Administration_270112.pdf

Tests have to be ‘…kept in highly secure locked locations…may include safes and secure rooms….not filing cabinets’.  No one should be trusted. Mein Gott.

What would happen if a teacher found that some of the 2010 writing tests that he handed to his superior officer were not the same as those that were returned in the following September; and what does he do if he doesn’t discover this until some months later? If, then, his superior officer sent the evidence to headquarters and the scores were changed….. much, much later than the effort was performed…and decisions had been made on the original evidence… what would you think of the integrity of the testing results?  {This is a hypothetical story, of course.}

100 Academics  would have much more intellectual fire-power than most groups. They don’t like NAPLAN testing because…..

the Commonwealth Government  introduced high stakes testing despite international evidence that such approaches do not improve learning outcomes;

  •  too little informed debate about its use as a measure;
  • focus on assessment of  learning rather than assessment for learning;
  • pressure on teachers and children to perform;
  • narrowing of curriculum and erosion of teaching/learning time;
  • only a snapshot of progress at one point in time;
  • estimated $100 million annual cost should be spent more appropriately.

Diane Ravitch this week. This week’s conversational piece, amongst those committed to child education, is the interview of Prof. Diane Ravitch by Charlie Rose : http://www..charlierose.com/view/interview/12375  or google ‘Charlie Rose Diane Ravitch’  In summary she mentioned four specific items that America needs to make progress:

  1. Re-commit effort to public education [There has been a shift of USA’s funding towards private/charter schooling].
  2. Re-establish the prestige and respect that teachers deserve.
  3. Return schools to the teaching of the full curriculum, especially the arts.
  4. Get rid of high-stakes testing.

Great stuff. I’d have been tempted to add something about shared-evaluation and treating school children as pupils…just for good measure. May I, Diane?

Week-end Readings  Hasn’t Allan Alach done a super job in providing these? I realise that there are some who might only be able to handle the information , but most if not all of these articles are engrossing, right? Since NAPLAN has an American origin, we do need to know how its form of GERM is working…. amongst other matters…computerisation of schooling, charter schools, legalities, publishing companies..how well out masters, Klein, Murdoch, Pearson, Gates are going….

‘NO to NAPLAN” Car Stickers will not effect the appearance of your car one little bit. Quite tasteful.  As I wait at traffic lights or move along the highway, in fact, I feel pretty proud that I am doing this for kids. There is no other reason. It’s a great feeling, believe me…and…..if if only one in every 100 who spots the sticker, does something about it, it’s progress.  See how to order below or I can send you one.

Garn. Do something for kids. It’s not too much.

saynotonaplansaynonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynottonaplan

Have you ordered your bundles of “Say NO to NAPLAN’ stickers yet?  Order in bundles of ten.  $1 each plus postage. Quick delivery. {I’ve had mine on my car since the first day of NAPLAN.}

Contact l.m.wilson@bigpond.com while they are still available. One far-north-Q’ld school has ordered 100. More such orders are expected.

Postage for 10 : $1.20

Postage for more than 30 : $2.40

Bank: ANZ       Branch : Carlton North

    BSB:  013-374               A/c Number : 5697-99435         

Account  Name :  WILSON,  LORRAINE

[If you should want just one or two for your car – free – be quick – limited number – contact me and I shall post asap]

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

.saynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplan

Parents !

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good. Even in the middle of NAPLAN or at the end.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

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Recommended Links

www.literacyeducators.com.au 

http://unitedoptout.com 

http://saveourschools.com.au

http://www.marionbrady.com 

http://www.susanohanian.org 

http://www.joebower.org

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz   

http://www.alfiekohn.org 

http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com

www.networkonnet.co.nz  

http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

http://www.dianeravitch.com

o0o0o0o0o

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

Maintained by outstanding NZ educator, Allan Alach

Phil Cullen AM,FACE, FACEL

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Weekend Readings

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’

 bannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplan

Weekend Readings

By Allan Alach

Greetings. This is the first of weekly (hopefully) postings highlighting interesting educational links that are pertinent to current educational issues. One thing that has become very apparent, and increasingly so, is that the standards/testing/teacher accountability/etc agenda is not specific to one particular country, and that rhetoric from an Australian or New Zealand politician is usually a very close match to that emanating from the United States.

It is very clear, to those who have their eyes open, that the attack on ‘schooling’ in many countries, particularly England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and USA, is a planned action, that has nothing to do with education and much to do with opening education up to corporates to enhance their profits streams and to enrich shareholders.  The fact that these are the ‘white dominated predominantly English speaking” countries must be a coincidence.

We must not make the mistake of thinking that our own local educational issues, regardless of country, are specific to each country. We can, and need to, learn from what is happening all over and we must play very close attention to the developments in the USA, as we can reliably assume that events and rhetoric there, will arrive elsewhere before too long.

Each week I will highlight half a dozen articles, out of the many that turn up on my computer from various sources, to enable readers to keep up to date with developments. I welcome suggested articles for this, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allan.alach@ihug.co.nz.

This week’s homework!

US educationalist Susan Ohanian is another who has taken up the keyboard to attack the school ‘deform’ movement and also to provide links to suitable articles. Here are a couple of examples.

Early last year, a nasty piece of propaganda was produced in the form of a movie called “Waiting for Superman.” Superman in this case referring to super teachers, following the disparaging of teachers in the movie. In response, a group in New York produced a counter movie, “The Inconvenient Truth of Waiting for Superman.” This article tells more and also provides a link to the online version of this.

http://susanohanian.org/show_yahoo.php?id=761

The following article “The fantasies driving school reform: A primer for education graduates” features a presentation to a group of graduating teachers. Spot the similarities with local developments!

http://susanohanian.org/show_yahoo.php?id=760

US educator Paul Thomas is another eloquent anti-testing campaigner. Here he draws a comparison between high stakes standardised testing and the tobacco debate, in a post entitled “The Education Games: Reform as Doublespeak.”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/27/1068659/-The-Education-Games-Reform-as-Double-Speak

The Education Week web page isn’t always a friend of the anti-school reform movement, however here’s an exception written by a school principal, Peter DeWitt, “Are We Paying for the Sins of the Past?” Peter discusses, among other things, the Common Core Standards (CCS) in the USA, which have a frighten amount in common with New Zealand’s National Standards, although, to be fair CCS seem to be worse.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/05/are_we_paying_for_the_sins_of_the_past.html

Author C.M Rubin has produced a series of articles on her webpage under the title “Global Search for Education.” In this one, the attention is turned to Singapore,

“… we are honored to share the insights of Dr. Pak Tee Ng – Associate Dean, Leadership Learning, Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning, and Head and Associate Professor, Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group, at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore.”

One could write at length on why politicians in the GERM countries are ignoring Singapore and Finland, or one could summarise it rather succinctly!

http://cmrubinworld.tumblr.com/post/23492434959/the-global-search-for-education

Saving a heavy one until last, here is an article about the right wing USA organisation known as ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). Comprised of representatives from many of the biggest multinational corporations and people such as Bill Gates, ALEC develops and writes policy and legislation for the right wing side of USA state and national politics. Links have been found between ALEC and the Conservative Party government in the UK, and it’s not to hard to imagine similar links to like minded political parties in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  A read through ALEC’s education policy will ring alarm bells – how come many of the ideas and expressions are being implemented in Australia and New Zealand, as well as parts of Canada? Make no mistake, US activists will tell you that ALEC is the enemy.

http://www.empowermagazine.com/alec-on-a-mission-to-dismantle-public-education/

saynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynoton

Recommended Links

www.literacyeducators.com.au  

http://unitedoptout.com 

http://saveourschools.com.au

http://www.marionbrady.com 

http://www.susanohanian.org 

http://www.joebower.org

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz   

http://www.alfiekohn.org 

http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com

www.networkonnet.co.nz  

http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

http://www.dianeravitch.com

o0o0o0o0o

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

Maintained by outstanding NZ educator, Allan Alach

Phil Cullen AM,FACE, FACEL

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Mindlessness

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’

 bannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplanbannaplan

Mindlessness

The most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.

NAPLAN and similar forms of the the GERM  empire’s testing regime  do that. The mutilation of spontaneity, of the joy in learning, of the pleasure in creating a sense of self in children is now happening in many Australian schools….and few adults care.  The heavy-handed insistence of Australia’s politicians and educrats for schools to do as they are told, promotes a reluctance amongst school managers to think about what they do and why they do it.  This serves the purpose of large corporations and the vested interests of committed measurers; but it destroys the natural love for learning that each person possesses; and the self-motivation of learners to achieve at the very highest of levels.

Adults take schools for granted. They have implicit trust in those who control them because the government assures them that the public schools are managed by those who have extensive classroom experience; because systemic schools tend to follow this age-old pattern; and private schools are trusted because it costs a lot of money to send one’s children there.

Adults fail to appreciate what joyless, grim and oppressive places all schools can become, how intellectually sterile and aesthetically barren the atmosphere, how an appalling lack of civility can pertain when domineering test regimes become the raison d’etre. That is clearly, where Australian schooling, after five years of practice, are heading. They are, almost  every last mother of them, under the direction of the more powerful, mutilating our children’s spirit.

It’s not that school managers are no longer head teachers acting as guardians of each school’s teaching-learning experiences, nor that they are timid toys of totalitarian commands which refuse to recognise teaching’s professional ethics.  It’s not their venality, indifference or stupidity . It’s their mindlessness.

They never seem to stop to ask themselves why their school is doing what it is doing. They never think seriously about the general purposes or consequences of schooling. They never ask themselves: What am I doing to these children? Will they remember me for the right reasons? Did I stand up for them when the chips were down? What is my purpose here…in this place? Did I spur them on by making their learning enjoyable? Am I equipping them with the learning-to-learn tools or do I just live in this moment of time, pushing them to pass NAPLAN tests?  Was the early part of this year bountiful for their over-all development?

There are so many questions for teachers to ask before mindlessness become a permanent affliction and professionally endemic.

The solution seems to lie in infusing the various levels of schooling with purpose – more important, with thought about purpose, and about the ways in which techniques, content and organisation fulfil or alter purpose. School institutions need, for example,  to grapple with the meaning of evaluation and its purpose.  Given the tendency of institutions to confuse day-to-day routine with purpose, to transform the means into the end itself, the infusion cannot just be a one-shot affair. Self-renewal has to be continuous and never-ending. It should be linked to school and system renewal, which has no relationship to extrinsic school or system reform, heavily imposed.

The general public, as Treehorn will tell you, needs to be persuaded to do the same thing. As Erik Erikson said, “The most deadly of all possible sins in the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” It needs public protection.

saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynotonaplan saynonaplan 

NYC Parents Infuriated Over “Valueless” Tests

New York City, the spiritual home of NAPLAN, it is claimed in the publication ‘Schools Matter’ “…might be in the midst of a perfect storm strong enough to blow the cover off these valueless, worthless, measuring tools and bogus formulas [sic] once and for all.”

“This great awakening of parents is occurring, not only in NYC, but right across the country, who see standardised tests as a stupid waste of time and money when there are so many more important priorities and needs”

“And, for those who still believe that market driven education reform and competition is a good model for education, or that business leaders with politicians in their pockets should be dictating curriculum and pedagogy, are obviously not reading the business news.”

“Parents from Williamsburg to Riverdale say the state’s high-stakes standardized testing program is out of control and a serious threat to their children’s education.” 

Again…fellow Aussies….NYC is NAPLAN’s spiritual home and so the same things are happening here.  Don’t you think that we should get in early before much more damage is done down here, and say NO to NAPLAN?

Read more: http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2012/05/nyc-parents-infuriated-over-valueless.html

saynotonaplansaynonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynottonaplan

Have you ordered your bundles of “Say NO to NAPLAN’ stickers yet?  Order in bundles of ten.  $1 each plus postage. Quick delivery. {I’ve had mine on my car since the first day of NAPLAN.}

Contact l.m.wilson@bigpond.com while they are still available. One far-north-Q’ld school has ordered 100. More such orders are expected.

Postage for 10 : $1.20

Postage for more than 30 : $2.40

Bank: ANZ       Branch : Carlton North

    BSB:  013-374               A/c Number : 5697-99435         

Account  Name :  WILSON,  LORRAINE

[If you should want just one or two for your car – free – be quick – limited number – contact me and I shall post asap]

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

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Parents !

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good. Even in the middle of NAPLAN or at the end.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

o0o0o0o

Recommended Links

www.literacyeducators.com.au  

http://unitedoptout.com 

http://saveourschools.com.au

http://www.marionbrady.com 

http://www.susanohanian.org 

http://www.joebower.org

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz   

http://www.alfiekohn.org 

http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com

www.networkonnet.co.nz  

http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

http://www.dianeravitch.com

o0o0o0o0o

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

Maintained by outstanding NZ educator, Allan Alach

Phil Cullen AM,FACE, FACEL

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

Comments re. NAPLAN Test Week

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’

Politicians : Do you have a sticker “Say NO to NAPLAN” on your car?  You do  know what is happening, don’t you?

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Have you ordered your bundles of “Say NO to NAPLAN’ stickers yet?  Order in bundles of ten.  $1 each plus postage. Quick delivery. {I’ve had mine on my car since the first day of NAPLAN.}

Contact l.m.wilson@bigpond.com while they are still available. One far-north-Q’ld school has ordered 100. More such orders are expected.

Postage for 10 : $1.20

Postage for more than 30 : $2.40

Bank: ANZ       Branch : Carlton North

    BSB:  013-374               A/c Number : 5697-99435         

Account  Name :  WILSON,  LORRAINE

Let’s turn every town corner and every city gridlock into a sea of gold and red ‘Say NOs’.

Leave them on your car until September, 2013 if NAPLAN has not been shelved on ethical or any other grounds by then.

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THE NORMAL SCHOOL YEAR STARTS THIS WEEK [21 MAY]

Those school children whose interest in learning and confidence in achieving were punctured last week will need special kinds of support.

It has been a cruel few weeks for the ordinary learner and low achiever.

They are our future.

Care for them

Join to campaign : Say NO to NAPLAN       Join the campaign : Say NO to Naplan       Join the campaign :  Say NO to NAPLAN     Jon the campaign : Say NO to NAPLAN   Join the campaign : Say NO to NAPLAN

Comments on NAPLAN

and other forms of GERM

Marion Brady, in speaking of Up-Over’s NCLB, has described the beliefs of our own misguided, easily-led, left-brained, well-corralled promoters of NAPLAN.  As GERM carriers, they believe….

  • that somehow just ‘raising the bar increases students’ ability to clear it;
  • that before the standards movement there were no standards;
  • that the talent wasted by one-size-fits-all programs isn’t worth developing;
  • that students who will be turned into ‘failures’ by the tests wont present a serious problem;
  • that standardized tests tell us something really important;
  • that market forces have a magical ability to cure the ills of education;
  • that extrinsic rewards are dependable motivators;

and  behind the unfortunate Julia-followers support and her standards juggernaut is a single, primary, simplistic and unexamined assumption that…

“what the next generation most needs to know is what this generation knows.”

Hang in there, Marion. More and more down-under folk are starting to challenge these assumptions and there are signs of hope and enlightenment. It is even possible that, as John Saint-Smith indicates below, Julia ”… the architect of MySchool and NAPLAN disease will have a ‘180 degree change-of-heart’”, as your Diane Ravitch did when she was involved with a much bigger system than Julia’s.

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GERM vs LEARN

There are major fundamental differences between a GERM system [= Australia’s Klein fear-based test system] and a LEARNING system [=Finland’s all for children’s learning system]

While GERM countries obtain their ideas from the banking and corporate sector with out-dated managerial techniques,  LEARN systems own dreams of what can be the best for their children and their future.

GERM countries tend to hire plumbers to run their garages; LEARN countries hire leaders who know what happens where the action takes place – classrooms.

Hang in there, kids. One day we will have a measurement-bare LEARN system where your progress will not be stifled by GERM beliefs.  THINGS ARE LOOKING UP IN AUSTRALIA – thanks to the ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ program.

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In his comments on https://treehornexpress.wordpress.com John Saint-Smith suggests : “Some progress at last!  Given the solid-resistance-that-melts-into-forelock-tugging-capitulation that characterizes all of our benighted PM’s recent decisions, from backing away from Carbon Tax, to re-instating it in order to grab power, to defending the principle of ‘innocence before the law’ to throwing Craig Thompson to the wolves, we can expect that the architect of MYSchool and the NAPLAN disease will have a ‘180 degree change-of-heart’ and leave the Minister for Bad Ideas to burn in his own bed. Well done!” 

Diane Ravitch might have a recruit….although there are indications that she and Julia’s mentor [St.Joel] are not seeing eye-to-eye.

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This year’s GERM –NAPLAN stories have demonstrated the uselessness of the tests. It seems to have been a debacle, typified by….

  • the stress of the Year 3 little ones [who, if they lived in a more advanced country, would not have started school yet];
  • the mums and dads who still believe that the tests are mandatory;
  • the number of Year 9s who also thought that the tests were mandatory and would not have done them, had they been told;
  • the widening extension of cheating practice, by the use of practice tests, encouraged by ACARA and State Departments;
  • the growth of the after-school tutoring industry;
  • the number of Year 2s who have started preparing for 2013;
  • the use of unreliable and invalid tests that are useless for what they are supposed to do;
  • the deafening silence of professional groups;
  • the profits of the textbook manufacturers;
  • the deceit of ACARA, State Departments and some schools by not making public pronouncements about the freedom of individuals;
  • the official pretence that the scores give an accurate description of Australian schooling;
  • the increased sales of bacon and eggs and of fish for those who believe in the cerebral power of such food items.

These are now ingrained aspects of Australia’s schooling system.

God bless Australia.

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Parents !

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good. Even in the middle of NAPLAN or at the end.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

o0o0o0o

Recommended Links

www.literacyeducators.com.au  

http://unitedoptout.com 

http://saveourschools.com.au

http://www.marionbrady.com 

http://www.susanohanian.org 

http://www.joebower.org

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz   

http://www.alfiekohn.org 

http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com

www.networkonnet.co.nz  

http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

http://www.dianeravitch.com

o0o0o0o0o

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

Goodbye NAPLAN

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’

Politicians : We hope that you have noticed. NAPLAN is on its way out.

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YIPEE!  NAPLAN Tests Over for 2012, kids and teachers. Back to Learning. Last one ever? We hope and pray, don’t we?

Goodbye NAPLAN

Things are looking better for Australian school kids.

Following the distribution of “Say NO to NAPLAN” [ attached], there has been a wave of support from enthusiastic educators [attached] and concerned parents who have indicated that they want to see the tests disappear and the school children taught in better fashion than monkeys are taught. They believe that school children need to do better at what they learn. The teaching of reading, writing and numeracy especially is suffering and will suffer further because of the unreliable and invalid  testing being forced on schools; and the crazed-teaching madness attached to it. Measurers just don’t care as long as they have numbers to play with.

Concerned educators and parents, put simply, want children to be taught better and their progress evaluated in ways that benefit their learning. The immorality of NAPLAN that now interferes with this needs to disappear.

It seems as if those who support NAPLAN follow their leader’s dictum: “What does not kill us will make us stronger”. [When Rupert speaks, you guys jump, don’t you?];  and so all Australian children are treated as whimps, who need a bit of toughening.

After the release of “Say NO to NAPLAN,’ an article in the SMH quoted my statement:

“Effective teaching-learning strategies are being contemptuously ignored. Preparing for the tests dominates school time and pushes creative aspects of the school curriculum out of the way.” 

In response to my statement, a spokeswoman for Minister Peter G. said that reading and writing were “the foundations of a good education.” The implication that I had suggested a dilution of attention to basics, is sick. It’s straight from the dirty-tricks section of the Standards Debate of the 1970s. Won’t work.

Peter and your henchlady, please note: 

‘Why are you trying to tell teachers how to suck eggs? Where did you get this cock-eyed idea that good teaching dismisses an emphasis on basics?”

Plainly, you don’t know what you are doing…or your troops are working from the wrong premise…or you don’t know what happens in classrooms…or you have gone measurement mad in accordance with your great leader’s views…or all of the above.

Peter. Let me give you some good oil. Midday oil. Be proud of your teachers. On the world stage they rank very high indeed. Be proud of their achievements. They are world class. The world knows this. How come you don’t?  Why don’t you trust them?  You and your pollie mates are not doing too well in the mushroom business.

TRUST YOUR TEACHERS.  THEY WILL DO ALL OF US PROUD.

saynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplan

Parents !

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good. Even in the middle of NAPLAN or at the end.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

o0o0o0o

Recommended Links

www.literacyeducators.com.au  

http://unitedoptout.com 

http://saveourschools.com.au

http://www.marionbrady.com 

http://www.susanohanian.org 

http://www.joebower.org

http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz   

http://www.alfiekohn.org 

http://allthingslearning.wordpress.com

www.networkonnet.co.nz  

http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

http://www.dianeravitch.com

o0o0o0o0o

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

Testing leads to celibacy of the intellect.

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’

Politicians :

“Boycott the tests, and hammer the clueless politicians who support them. Do that and they’ll suddenly discover an interest in talking to people who actually know something about educating” said Marin Brady in Tuesday’s Washington Press.

What do you think?

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Ray Kelley is on a roll.

Sing this to Frank’s [and others] “Fools Rush In.”

Schools rush in

For books that must be read

Before Year 7s have to do

The NAPLAN test ahead.

Those who see

The danger there

Are told it’s one thing

To grin and bear –AIR —

Schools rush in

To let the parents know

Those vital books are now on sale

At Grabbabuck & Co.

Don’t your kids

Deserve the chance to win?

Oh, how the scholar-dollars flow

When schools rush in !

Yes, Ray.  The test publishers and floggers of practice books wear big grins at this time of the year. Is there another purpose behind NAPLAN beyond the mighty dollar? Some think that NAPLAN helps children to learn more!  Duck! Those pigs fly very low, these days.

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Most Australians seem to believe that very limited testing of small selected pieces of Reading, Writing, some Language Conventions and of bits of Numeracy [aka NAPLAN] represents the full substance of schooling. Nothing else seems to matter. According to talk-back radio, letters to the editor and some editorials, that is what schooling is all about. NAPLAN does it all.  I guess that they have yet to see their children grow up to appreciate the benefits of a full curriculum taught by quality public school teachers and their contemporaries in other kinds of schools…..and weep with deep regret that they ever allowed their kids to be treated by such maliciously retarding practices.

WHO WINS?

Marion Brady said in Tuesday’s [15 May] Washington Post :  “The secretive, long-running, organized, well-financed campaign to centralize, standardize and privatize American education is on track. To follow the campaign, follow the money.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/a-radical-alternative-to-standardized-curriculum/2012/05/14/gIQABGXpPU_blog.html#pagebreak

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Some Important Readings

Ravitch: A primer on the group driving school reform        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/ravitch-a-primer-on-the-group-driving-school-reform2012/05/01/gIQAKh3MvT_blog.html

Josette Luvmour : Teaching to the Test is not Education        http://www.parentinvolvementmatters.org/blogs/teaching-to-the-test-is-not-education-103.html

Joe Bower: The Folly of Multiple Choice        http://www.joebower.org/2012/05/folly-multiple-choice.html

Alfie Kohn: Will the Common Core Benefit Children?        http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2012/05/alfie_kohn_interview_here_is_t.html

US Professors Against High Stakes Testing :   Schools Matter             http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2012/04/professors-against-high-stakes-testing.html

More to come to enhance our knowledge of NAPLAN and its effects.

Some Quotable Quotes

[Useful for school website or newsletter]

TESTING…

It has to do with fixing blame.

It has to do with parent and and children’s guilt.

It violates due process.

It violates good sense.

It serves the best interests of a growing number of test publishers and it serves the schadenfreude ambitions of politicians and educrats.

Let me not mince words. Many educators feel that testing is a necessary part of education……At best, testing distorts and corrupts the learning process.

Our chief concern should not be to improve testing, but to find ways to eliminate it.  [John Holt The Underachieving School . 1970]

 Testing leads to celibacy of the intellect.

Curriculum backwash is a certainty, for testing has a dumbing-down effect on instruction. Teachers are very likely to shape their instruction to match a test’s specific focus.

                Testing is about politics. Some insist that it is technically necessary. Such people lack imagination about how to teach and how to run schools.

Legislators and educrats scheme to achieve greater control over what is taught, by whom and to whom. Their motives are partly egotistical, and some intentions are honourable. However, their actions are not judged by their intentions but by their consequences which are uniformly bad.

saynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplan

Parents !

Let’s do things on our terms and not be pushed around anymore.

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good really.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

o0o0o0o0o

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 – News

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’

Politicians : Did you visit a school today? Everybody happy? Learning like mad?

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NAPLAN NEWS

Ray Kelley wants us to shift from Bing baritone to Bobby falsetto. You would all remember Bobby Breen’s “MOTHER”, of course, the basis for this “NAPLAN”.

It’s still a telling poem, whether you remember the tune or not.

N is for the Nervousness it’s causing:

A is for the Angst it causes too;

P the Pointless Practice, Practice, Practice;

L the Loss of Learning that we rue;

A stands for the Axe with which to Axe it;

N this Needless Nuisance we deplore;

Put them all together, they spell NAPLAN

A thing to ban forevermore

No wonder Phillip Adams called him a ‘clever bugger’.

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David Hornsby who shared the definitive paper in ‘Say No to Naplan’ with Professor Margaret Wu called “Inappropriate Uses of NAPLAN Results” expresses, as a past principal, his extreme disappointment with “colleagues who are too scared to say anything, while knowing that they have a very powerful COLLECTIVE voice. Principals are incredibly pressured by those in the hierarchy above them and are clearly too frightened to speak out. A common message is: ‘It’s department policy so you will support it.’ In addition, information is being withheld from principals. Many of them don’t know, for example, that parents are allowed to withdraw their children from the NAPLAN tests. Most don’t understand statistics and don’t know that the weak NAPLAN data cannot be used to make judgments about individual students or schools.”

I certainly share with David this deep despair and disappointment. I am trying to imagine the collectivity of my buddies from a previous era tolerating this kind of assault on pupils. Yes, we prepared children at the end of primary school for state examinations that gave free passage to successful candidates to continue schooling free-of-charge. It certainly was a silly system, full of cruel malicious  old-fashioned teaching, full of wham-bam practices that tradition and history had instilled in us……  until teachers and parents finally felt so ashamed that this sort of thing existed in our society.

We then stood up for the kids and the state examinations disappeared from primary schools. NAPLAN has different origins and very different intentions.  It’s a deliberately perpetrated cruel and nasty attack on children’s schooling to line the pockets of the mega-rich and give substance to screw-ball political rah-rah, using the pale excuse that ‘everybody’ wants to know how schools are going.  NAPLAN is evil – part of  an entirely new ‘political’ ideology, controlled in practice by educratic domination and fear. As with David, I just cannot understand how any primary school principal can allow it in her or his school.

David goes on the say that he would like to see the “Say No to NAPLAN” document spread as widely as possible. Certainly every primary and secondary principal in Australia should read it, and, ideally, the small booklet will appear on every school website in the country. “We were careful,” says David “to make the papers accurate and truthful, so what reasons can principals have for not publishing them on their website and getting with their colleagues to discuss the issues?”

The papers “Say NO to NAPLAN” and the ‘Academics Support” are both available on www.literacyeducators.com.au

Yes. Where are our principals when the children need them?

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John Saint-Smith, in a comment on Treehorn’s website might have the answer.

“It seems to me that teachers who go along with this abominable and destructive scheme are somehow not aware of what it does to education, or if they are they have ceased to care for their students, and have decided that their best chance is to catch some drips from the gravy train express as it flashes by on the way to a town called Mediocrity. Perhaps they’re hoping that they can scam the performance bonuses as their colleagues in the US have done.

Just as the Finnish Education System attracts the best and most dedicated of teachers who have warned their minister that they will withdraw their services if he were foolish enough to become involved in this GERM epidemic, perhaps our system of threats, insult, and regimentation of the teaching profession has finally produced the predictable result. We may have already achieved a critical mass of the unprofessional teachers that Kleinism attracts.

When I think back to the early    days of my career, our union seemed to be in a constant philosophical as well as industrial battle with the then Bjelke-Petersen Government. We struggled to fight for the right to apply the education theory that we had learned at Uni into our classrooms. We maintained the highest professional standards, spending our money attending in-service training organized by professional discipline organizations like the Science Teachers Association in order to maximize the authenticity of our lessons. Now the deafening silence from union officials suggests that they are probably brown-nosing their Labor mates in the hope of getting a ticket to parliament like Mr. Craig Thompson.

Whatever the reason for their silence, it seems that teaching must be a pretty demoralizing ‘pseudo-profession’ these days. I must admit that it was getting more like that before I left.”

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Allan Alach, multi-contributor of multi-readings, maintainer of https://treehornexpress.wordpress.com ,comments in his letter in Bridging the Ditch :

“I hope readers have heard of the right wing, corporate controlled pressure group called ALEC, who have tentacles in the highest levels of USA politics. ALEC [which develops policy and legislation for states] have these tentacles in many pies, including education, and a read of their education policy makes it very obvious who is behind all this – the big corporates, such as the Murdoch empire [including that well known and highly regarded, very erudite educationalist Joel Klein] and the Pearson Group, along with other education companies like McGraw-Hill. It is indeed tragic to see Australia and New Zealand falling over themselves to toe the USA line…. not far removed from the 1960s when Australia went ‘all the way with LBJ’.”

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Craig Copley writes:

“Being in the TAFE system I have limited understanding of NAPLAN. Are the schools funding models based on how well students perform, or is it just the prestige that principals get from saying that they outranked other schools, that makes them force kids into these exam situations. I have even heard of principals and teachers telling underperforming kids to stay home that day so as not to ruin the average.”

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The Academic Support Group for ‘Say No to Naplan’ now has almost 100 signatures and is sure to exceed the century. See the attachment for the latest names. This must be heartening for the authors. The comments made on this support paper is also worthy of inclusion on every school’s website. It is an honest appraisal of NAPLAN….and the good news is that all fair-dinkum Aussie educators are getting together

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Dr. Greg Thompson of Murdoch University is researching “The Effects of NAPLAN” in WA and SA schools. For more information and participation see http://effectsofnaplan.edu.au 

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Last Friday’s The West Australian contains the story of a highly respected principal of a WA private school, Jo Bednallwho indicated that NAPLAN was a costly waste of money. When you read this, please read the “Explore More” section.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/news/13667535/naplan-tests-a-costly-waste 

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Let’s do things on our terms and not be pushed around anymore.

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good really.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

o0o0o0o0o

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

GCB & NAPLAN

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’

Politicians : Please:  ‘Save us from the place where NAPLAN cul-de-sac’d us’

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                                                                                                                                          Gold Coast Bulletin Cares 

12-5-12

Leading journalist, Paul Weston, of GCB, introduces a telling two-page article called NAPLAN INC with “Initially designed as an additional tool to assess study areas, NAPLAN has become a monster that determines the reputations of schools. Worse still people are profiting from it.”  

The article points out that practising for tests is becoming more widespread. ‘Parents and schools can choose from up to 30 publications, the most expensive costing $40.”

Independent schools support the use of NAPLAN tests. Strange.  Executive Director of Independent Schools Queensland said, “It’s obviously a good thing for kids in Year 3 [to prepare]. It’s the first time they’ve had a formal test.” and he offered advice called:-  “Five Steps For Every Parent With A Child Sitting Naplan.” [e.g. No 4 “’Your child might think this is the worst thing that could happen. They may not do well, but assure them the sun will rise tomorrow.”]

The GCB image of a small boy getting ready to enter the pre-posh-school-contest seems to say it all.

On the same day, the Courier Mail listed some after-school tutoring businesses who are having a busy time with NAPLAN victims.. The Australian Tutoring Association president :”…said NAPLAN had become one of the drivers in the tutoring market.”

This article listed some tutoring businesses  such as NumberWorks’nWords which said “Some parents believed the exams were important because schools were asking for NAPLAN results as part of enrolment procedures.” Jump Ahead Learning had been approached because parents were concerned by the stress that NAPLAN placed on children.

SO MUCH FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE NAPLAN TESTS                                                                                                                   WHAT A MOCKERY OF LEARNING

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Ray Kelley sings this parody to the tune of Bing Crosby’s “Don’t fence me in.”

Oh teacher teach, teacher teach to our understanding’s reach,

Don’t waste our time.

Let us learn, let us learn – that should be your main concern,

Don’t waste our time.

Don’t spend hours every day on that testing practice,

For hocus-pocus focus lands us in the cactus;

Save us from the place where NAPLAN cul-de-sac’d us,

Don’t waste our time…

Oh no, teacher don’t you waste our time

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John Saint-Smith, recently commented for The Treehorn Express website….

“Came across this biting indictment of the teacher testing system today [6 March].

 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/nyregion/in-brooklyn-hard-working-teachers-sabotaged-when-student-test-scores-slip.html?src=rechp

The story of these wonderful teachers’ heroic achievements in their schools being denigrated with contempt because they fell between the cracks of the testing regime’s flawed ‘measurement’ criteria is the kind of horror story which should cause Australian education leaders to change their policy – immediately!

I would also remind you of the wonderful critique of ‘high stakes testing’ offered with such warmth and good humour by Pasi Sahlberg, the Finnish Education analyst who recently visited Australia.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-28/highly-educated-teachers-the-key-to-success/3858612

Thank you, John. Pasi Sahlberg is a very brave man. He is visiting Australia for the Australian Government’s Primary Principals Association conference on 18-21 September. He has been here twice before; and things were organised, it would seem, for him to be comprehensively ignored by the lamestream press.  He will share lead papers this time with other OS keynote speakers : Andy Hargreaves, Kishore Mahbubani and Yong Zhao [He’s good reading].

Let’s hope that they know what happens when NAPLAN hits Australian schools; that they are familiar with our crazy schooling landscape.  Ironically, the theme of the conference is “Our Primary Purpose : Leading Learning.”  [One wonders how the Australian Primary Principals Association feels about that!!]

How about a conference on “The Morality of NAPLAN”?

Isn’t it a shame that the Patron of NAPLAN and other GERM activities, Joel Klein, does not share his expertise with participants of such a conference? Why wasn’t he invited? His view of the topic would be enlightening. ‘Spose he’d need a few years to find out about learning.

He is in fine form at present. After describing his powerful and monied charter school supporters as ‘overweight billionaires’, he ‘took on’ his critics Diane Ravitch and Dorothy Meiers describing them as ‘moronic’ and ‘idiotic’; then Prof. Ravitch and her colleague Jonathan Kozol as ‘deranged crackpots.”  Nice bloke, ‘expert’ teacher, and deservedly recognised as the founder and god-father of our system.

http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/joel-kleins-emails-going-after-the-union-ravitch-and-meier-courting-overweight-billionaires/  

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STOP PRESS

Save Our Schools , a parents’ organisation based in Canberra, released an informative article [See attached] yesterday [Sunday, 13 May] detailing experiences of some parents clearly demonstrating that NAPLAN tests have“…. pernicious effects on Australian education.”

Trevor Cobbold says :“NAPLAN is a cancer eating away at education. It is distorting teaching practice, reducing creativity and fun of learning, denying students in-depth learning experiences and sidelining other key subjects such as science, history, languages and the arts for much of first semester.”

saynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplansaynotonaplan

Parents !

Let’s do things on our terms and not be pushed around anymore.

It’s ‘Say NO to NAPLAN’ time.

Any time is good. Even in the middle of NAPLAN tests, it is not too late.

Just say “NO! Not to my child”

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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

Goodlad State School – Test Day

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’

Politicians :  How would you like to sit the NAPLAN tests?

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Goodlad State School

15 May, 2012

The school is getting ready for the NAPLAN tests.  The desks have been arranged in serried rows  so that no one can peek at another’s paper, in the most barren room available.. The walls are bare, for nothing of possible assistance to the contestants is allowed to be displayed. Whoever wrote the ACARA rules was good at this sort of thing.

The Principal, known for his curriculum expertise and leadership in teaching/learning activities, checks the names of those who will  be contesting NAPLAN.  Like the Year 9 co-ordinator at Beaudesert High in Queensland, he had earlier sent out a letter that said, “The test is designed for all Australian students in Year 3,5,7 and 9. You, as a parent, have a choice about your child sitting NAPLAN testing. Should you  wish your child NOT sit NAPLAN testing you are required to complete the forms on the reverse of this letter.” 

He was pleased with the response…about a quarter of each class pulled out, about one-half of the Year 3s. A few parents had sent a note along. That was okay by him. He openly opposed the NAPLAN fear ethos. He had made arrangements for the no-NAPLAN pupils to enjoy some learning activities for the day. He’d heard that one of his colleagues was going to arrange a 3-day camping experience for the Year 7 and 9 non-NAPLANers next year!  He intended to hold more public discussions with parents and teachers during the remainder of 2012 as to non-test activities; hoping for a greater NO response in 2013…. if NAPLAN lasted that long.  Since NAPLAN dominated school activities for so long, he had always encouraged parents to talk about the tests with their children.

Things were heating up with the voting public, he believed. He could be a little less cautious than he had been.  There was more and more dedicated open and public opposition to standardised blanket testing. His principal colleagues were being more forthright; and even one of his local members had  mentioned his personal concerns; the other was a pussy-cat.

He had prepared a statement that he and his teachers were to read to the Years 7 and 9 participants before each test. His words. The wording was careful in case reports seeped through to the authorities that he had tried to allay the fears of  the children. Investigators have been known to ‘speak’ with those who had not followed strict guidelines. The statement read, “You do not have to do this test. If you do not wish to do the test, write on your paper the following words : ‘I do not wish to do this test’  and write your name. You are warned that your parents have not given you permission to do this, but this school respects you all as responsible citizens.”

After that statement, all rules were to be strictly observed…. to the last detail.  He was mindful of the treatment of those softies anxious to lend a hand to  distressed contestants who erred and received ‘dishonourable’ mention. None of that caring-teacher stuff for a few days, apart from comforting the afflicted before the tests start. Everyone knows what happens to softies in the ACARA/NAPLAN cheating reports. They cop it from the state troopers. He remembers the fate of the Coorparoo School, Brisbane principal in 2010 – who allowed extra time for his contestants – banned to the rubber-room first, brought to public ridicule and removed from the school.  Storm troopers don’t muck around. The local press even went to his home and took his photo through the window, as they do with rapists and killers. He could do without that sort of notoriety for breaking NAPLAN guidelines.

The principal of Goodlad State School did not give two hoots about the publication of results. He knew that they carried no messages of use to anyone. His school administration and parent groups supported him because he carried the school’s reputation and he cared about children. He was proud of his school and sorry that it had to be used for a few days for nefarious political purposes.

The school will return to the full curriculum next week; trying to rescue the kids from the damage done to their learning habits. That’s the good news. It will be all over for this year.

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PARENTS

IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR CHILD’S WELFARE THAT YOU ‘SAY NO TO NAPLAN’

NOW

WHY ALLOW MISGUIDED NON-EDUCATORS IMPOSE THIS KIND OF FEAR

AND

RUIN A CHILD’S NATURAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING HABITS?

WHY?

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