The Treehorn Express

Prepared and presented by Phil Cullen,

proud anti-NAPLAN geriactivist thinking of kids.


Treehorn story?

The Treehorn Express Theme song: ‘Care for Kids’

May 1


May Day!  May Day!

Only two weeks to go, kiddies. For the little Year 3s, this will be the first time that you will be obliged to reflect the worry and anguish and panic of your teacher. Gosh. You are really too young for all of this, aren’t you Year 3s?  Years ago we used to leave it for four or five more years before we wanted you to tremble and worry and cry; to repeat and repeat regimented parts of the curriculum and to practise as much as you can. That was at the end of primary schooling. But one Year 3 parent said, “They have moved the heat of Year 12 exams to Year 3.

The first test day will be a scary experience, especially at your age, but if you  practise how to handle it enough, it won’t be so bad. You could have been learning, learning, learning about more useful developmental things and enjoying it, but your teachers are under orders. We older teachers used to leave all this push, push, push until the end of your primary schooling.  Year 7, even Year 8 was still too young for this kind of trauma creation, but our Grammar Schools wanted to know about your potential for the market.

When we woke up to ourselves and spoke up for you, the stupid examinations ceased about 1962 and gave schools the opportunity for pupils to grow up with thorough learning challenges, to go to the moon, to invent computers and ipods and mystical things, to write and use literacy of amazing value, to turn art into an exciting and varied challenge, to sing and to dance, to compose great works of music, to understand and do things. The curriculum in schools expanded by extraordinary proportions, sometimes too much too fast, but it tried to cater for the differences between learners; and satisfy their needs.  The 1962-1990 school graduates performed more herculean and amazing feats than any previous generation.  That’s finished. Now you have tests every couple of years to worry about. You’d think that NAPLAN tests were designed specifically to limit your ability to learn.

They test only testable bits of the curriculum that can be measured; and then make  profound, ignorant pronouncements about the standard of pupil achievements, the quality of teaching and the administration of schools. That’s the new deal. Produce bigger and better scores for publication. But….

Learning preceded Testing by over one million years. 

Testing is a later day phenomenon introduced for selfish purposes

by the upper class to sort out the masses.

Why not help learners to evaluate their efforts properly instead of this upper-class/lower-class nonsense?

The Melbourne Launch

A great day for the future of children at school in Australia. The coming of the light for parents and sincere educators. The presentation of “Say NO to NAPLAN”  April 30 2012.

Twice as many people turned up than was expected. Well wishers from other countries [especially USA],  also assailed by standardized testing and child-fear, sent messages of congratulations and offers of support. The is hope for the future of Australian children.

See attachment.

Please send a copy to as many people as possible and encourage them to read every word. If, after reading it,  they feel that NAPLAN has something to offer schools in their academic progress of their learners, please take it easy on them. They are properly lost.

The booklet shows clearly that NAPLAN provides parents and the general public with ‘unreliable data, expensively gathered; and misused so as to draw inaccurate conclusions that lead powerful people to poor decisions.” [W.Tucker] The only way to prevent the measurers from making poor decisions is for parents to tell their school asap that they don’t want their children to contest the series of invalid tests. State departments, principals and teachers have been corralled. They are forbidden to exercise professional ethics.

Plainly, as the booklet reveals, the tests are CRUEL, IMMORAL [They invade children’s privacy and personal evaluation], UNNECESSARY, COSTLY [Billions for no return], DESTRUCTIVE [of curriculum spirit], INVALID and UNRELIABLE.  Yet, some people actually take notice of them!  Isn’t it amazing how compliant and gullible we can become?

The mainstream press has taken a keen interest and their journalists seem to have read the booklet carefully : The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, West Australian [2], Canberra Times, Courier Mail and TV’s Channel Nine. There’s a chance that politicians will read the articles and read the booklet and do something for our children. In the meantime……

“The floggings will continue until morale improves.”

or parents “Say NO to 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

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