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’


                                                                                                                                          Gold Coast Bulletin Cares 


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


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


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

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


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.”


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.




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.”


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”


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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