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’



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


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]



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”


Recommended Links














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




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