NAPLAN – The $540 Million Blunder

 The Treehorn Express

Treehorn’s story : Open attachment.

[Maintained by NZ educator Allan Alach]


NAPLAN – $540 Million Blunder

“An ambitious attempt to lift literacy and numeracy skills has failed, according to a report to Federal Parliament by the Australian National Audit Office.

The audit found a $540 million scheme introduced by the Rudd government made no discernible difference to the results of the schools taking  part. An analysis of test results found the National Partnership Agreement on Literacy and Literacy made little, if any difference.

Under the scheme, $322 million in rewards payments were made to the states. Yet analysis of the NAPLAN data from 2008 to 2011    indicates that the program is yet to make a statistically significant improvement, in any state.’”   [Courier Mail. 1 August 2012]

When this scandal was exposed by the Fairfax Press in June, not an eyebrow was raised by the education fraternity nor by the finance fraternity nor by the general public. Little has been said since. To his great credit, opposition education spokesman, Christopher Pyne said that continuing to fund a scheme that had failed was ‘a terrible indictment’ of the government’s credentials. Not only has NAPLAN failed, but there appears to be some sort of hank-panky with the transfer of the funding, as well.  Says Mr. Pyne : ”The process of ensuring the co-investment required from the states under the partnership is highly contentious with some states receiving payments, approved by the federal minister, without meeting their obligations.”

PM Julia who introduced this Klein fear-based scheme on behalf of Emperor Rupert as it turned out, while Minister, responded with another porky:  “ The aim of the program was always to help those kids who were falling behind their peers, falling behind our national standards, to get a lift up so that they were doing better.” You’re a very naughty girl, Julia. You know very well why you copy-catted the New York system.

How can you establish standards with unreliable, invalid blanket testing, in any case?

What did our heavily-cashed up know-it-all leaders do then in response to the thunderous silence from their colleagues – our representatives – on the hill ? They threw more cash at the scheme : They allocated another $243million in the 2012 budget to extend the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership [LNNP] by 18 months.

The Opera House only cost $102million in 1973 ….and it has firm foundations.

NAPLAN – that ugly, misshapen, grotesque excuse for debasing a potentially high-quality education system for Aussie children has failed, as predicted. We have the quality teachers to improve whatever needs improving without all these bang-crash-wallop techniques.

Do you, too, approve of doing nothing?  Why do we have to wait for Mr. Pyne to get rid of it?  School kids matter….now. How about a fair-dinkum Aussie ‘fair-go’ for them?


                                   [Watch the parents when they get agitated – Thanks Allan]


                                      [Watch for the O-rings in NAPLAN – Thanks Marion]



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Banora Point 2486


07 5524 6443

Weekend Readings August 3rd

The Treehorn  Express

[Maintained by NZ educator Allan Alach]

Weekend Readings

By Allan Alach

The ‘coincidences’ continue. Hot on the heels of the UK announcement that academy (aka charter schools) can hire unqualified teachers, the New Zealand Government have followed suit with the teaching staff at the proposed ‘partnership schools’ (aka charter schools).  On the other hand the government wants all teaching qualifications to be at post graduate level. Further, they have decided to review the Teachers’ Council that manages teacher registration, to ‘improve quality.’ Am I missing something here? Why is it that school ‘deform’ around the world sees untrained teachers as a solution?

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

Charter Schools – Another lie….

This article needs no introduction.


The American revolution in English schools

And Australian and New Zealand schools…..


UK Academies told they can hire unqualified teachers

Next step in the denigration of teaching as a profession – “anybody can be a teacher.”


In Support of the Whole Child

This is an excellent article – the title says it all.


Education’s biggest design flaw

Another punchy article by Marion Brady. Very relevant: “Traditional instruction is dumping poorly organized information on the young, and they can’t process it.”


Are Standardized Tests Worthless?

Apparently so, what a surprise!


What Economists Don’t Understand About Educators

Everything?  However, what do you think of ‘loss aversion’ instead of performance pay? Pay a bonus upfront at the start of the year, then remove some/all depending on test results at the end of the year. Will this make you work harder? A better teacher?


Education reform’s central myths

“The education debate rests on two faulty premises: that public schools are failures, and choice is the solution.” Written about the USA situation, and equally applicable wherever ‘deform’ is on the agenda.


Can a teacher “create” LEARNing THAT LASTS?

To end with something more positive, here’s an excellent blog post by Tony Gurr.


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