The Treehorn Express

Treehorn’s story : Open attachment.

[Maintained by NZ educator Allan Alach]



The organ-grinder has spoken. ‘Schools must promise good results for cash’ said Page 8 of The Sun Herald [19 Aug.2012]repeating the front page instruction headlined ‘A HARD MARKER’.

With the usual irrefragable command and authority of Gillardism [Australia’s special brand of totalitarianism] she has spoken : “ The fact is right now Australia risks slipping behind. Four of the top five performing school systems in the world are in our region and they are getting better and better. Australia should be on that list.”

Pure bullshit, Julia. Unadulterated meadow mayonnaise. Wash your mouth out. Fancy using such crudities to describe schooling activities!

Was it a horse-race?

Performing what?

What list?

Surely you don’t mean the PISA list that mentions  Finland [that ‘scores’ well on it because it does not do any blanket testing] , Singapore, China, South Korea, Taiwan [the cram factories] who score high numbers on a few miserable/measurable school topics [that the gullible believe to be the only reasons for schools to exist], on OECD’s grossly uninformative test given every now and then to some 15 year olds in some randomly selected countries. Fair go. That’s a silly game, Dearie….nothing to do with schooling.


Surely you don’t mean  those meaningless $540m NAPLAN tests that Australian schools sweat over for a few months each year and cram possible answers to the detriment of each school’s curriculum and of children’s fondness for learning. Surely!


Of course Australia will ‘risk slipping behind” while you play the blame-game and encourage rote learning, test-passing techniques and applaud the practice-practice-practice games during February, March, April of each year in preparation for the invalid stifling tests in mid-May.  You can wager our $540m on our going back to drastics….it’s downhill.  You caused it.

You know that the lobbying of the test publishing corporations has gotcha, hasn’t it? They have done a first-rate job on you.

You know that you are now advocating the use of after-school cram academies of countries within our region who score better on PISA than we do. [Kip McGrath. How’s business?]

For the sake of transparency , will you please provide the following

  1. The in-school-time hours spent by each school on  specific practice for the NAPLAN tests?  It’s easy to compile and you can provide the information to us on the MySchool sites.
  2. The parts of the general school curriculum that you require schools to suspend during the preparation months –March to May – Social Studies [that’s the easy one to take time from], Art, LOTE, Music, Physical Education, Sport, Religious Instruction or some other of your ‘useless’ non-PISA based occupations that schools organise. [Ask a teacher if you do not know what happens in schools.]



Kelvin Smythe satirizes Peter Garrett’s quest for ‘improvement’.


This great U.S. educator has circulated the Treehorn Express recent article on ‘Scores. Scores. Scores.’ to her 35,000 readers.  Thank you, Diane Ravitch.


And Peter Garrett, please try harder to GONSKI “ Guide Our Nation’s School Kids Intelligently.





41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point 2486


07 5524 6443

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