For Treehorn’s story, click attachment.
[Maintained by NZ Educator, Allan Alach]
Spreading School Progress/Regress
Part 4 : Fear-based Scato-meme is dying.
Too slowly, of course. There are positive signs, however, emanating from the great model for everything educational – the U.S.A. – especially New York. It will be good riddance to NCLB, RTTT, National Standards, NAPLAN and all other crazed forms of system-wide, standardised blanket-testing. They are on the way out. People of goodwill and teachers who care sincerely for kids, are waking up. If school principals would like to give the tests a final push, with the exertion of some professional ethics….they’re gone. We rely on these school leaders for so much; and they will surely renew their professional power during this awakening. Fear has to be removed from the classroom. As well, national blanket testing is so useless and destructive for Australia’s financial and social future, that NAPLAN can’t last too much longer.
Australian child-caring educators are ashamed that it has lasted as long as it has. We have kept things quiet for too long. Mary Murphy Paul of N.Y., who writes from the same page as Joel Klein, reports that a national resolution in the USA calls for the abolition of standardised testing because it is “…an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness,” and that it undermines “…educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools.” [ http://ideas.time.com/2012/06/06/in-defense-of-school-testing/ ] Tell us about it, Mary!
Believe it, the tyrannical U.S.founder of our present Australian fear-based system, test publisher and Gillard idol, Joel Klein, himself bemoans the continuing decline in scores and achievements of American schools. He thinks in numbers. [ http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/16/the-new-complacency-about-schools-is-ill-informed/ ] Lost his grip? Looks like blanket-testing is not all that it’s cracked up to be. His article is about test scores; nothing about schooling. He is not happy.
Even Barry McGaw, head of ACARA is clutching at straws. He says that the “…claim that NAPLAN is creating ‘test-driven schooling’ …is nonsense”… and that… “ Students take NAPLAN tests for a few hours over three days every second year fro years 3 to 9 – a very small amount of time.” OMG! Wash your mouth out, Barry.
Mind you, there will still be pressures. The publishing business is getting second wind in its drive for a testucating-techno-classroom mix. There is an enormous amount of money involved in publishing tests and in the future electronic-crowded classrooms. There is sufficient evidence in the following article to indicate that GERM is only about money, never about school renewal. The Pearson push in the UK certainly confirms this and laughs at our naivety…..but we can overcome. We are learning. Check the amounts of money. There is plenty available to keep ‘persuading’ the naive… and childless politicians. Sadly.
Only the really stupid and naive would believe that heavy pressure will not be exerted here in the South Pacific…..unless teachers and parents make their feelings known. Until now, we have all proved to be easy push-overs, because we have given insufficient thought about what happens to the germs when they infest the classroom. We give in too easily to authority figures as Milgram illustrates. The Murdochs and Pearsons of this world believe that we work for them, because their cronies, our ‘elected’ politicians and their eminence grise, have us under control on their behalf. We teachers are slowly but steadfastly waking up to the fact that we work for children…no other group of individuals. We parents and grandparents yearn for expressions of greater teacher concern and comment from the classrooms about what is being imposed on them and their pupils. We want true child-initiated learning with challenges and joy of achievement in every classroom in the country. We parents and grandparents want our teachers to tell the truth to testucator’s politicians and to the general public, soon….before the 2013 federal elections, we hope. Australia deserves fear-free high quality teaching and learning.
During the life of NAPLAN we have learned….
- School children are unfortunate victims of NAPLAN testing. Their ability to learn has been assaulted; some ruined.
- NAPLAN testing has degraded Australia’s schooling systems.
- The scaring-kids tests do nothing to improve learning in the classroom.
- Test publishers and on-line lesson producers have grown enormously rich.
- Professional teaching ethics have been devalued.
- It has cost the Australian taxpayer, billions of dollars – all wasted.
Let’s tell the world that this has happened, but, together we can fix things. NAPLAN testing has been a very sad patch in our history. Think of the kids.
Links: www.literacyeducators.com.au http://saveourschools.com.au www.networkonnet.co.nz http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz
http://primaryschooling.net http://www.marionbrady.com http://www.dianeravitch.com http://susanohanian.org
http://alfiekohn.org http://www.essential.org http://opttoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces
Phil Cullen AM,FACEL,FQIEA,FACE
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443