The Treehorn Express
Treehorn’s story : Open attachment.
[Maintained by NZ educator Allan Alach]
“The circle of children’s learning has been narrowed and impoverished all the year for the sake of a result at the end of it and the ‘end’ is an illusion.”
[Matthew Arnold 1867]
Welcome to Paul Thomson, the dynamic principal of Kimberly College, an outstanding private school at Carbrook,a south-side suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia,
A visit to the school’s website is well worthwhile, but http://kimberleycollege.org/?page_id=34 gives an idea of what goes on.
The parents at the school made national headlines when almost all of them refused to allow NAPLAN testing interfere with the climate of achievement and learning at the school.
They said collectively : ‘NO to NAPLAN’.
‘Enjoy’ this short quasi-allegory by Paul Thomson. It says so much
Some Thoughts on Coal-mining
The Golden Era of education is easily located by the formula x-y, x being the average age of those at the apex of power and y the number of years since they left school.
I suspect the Golden Age is also inspired by a more distant gilded epoch when our forebears knew exactly what to do with children of the working class. The blessing for the decision makers lay in the form of coal mines and chimneys.
William Blake wasn’t all that happy with the silence of ‘authorities’ on the plight of the chimney sweeps and there was some discomfort with the use of children as pit ponies. Of course, some of those children never saw daylight, but there were other sources of Vitamin D. For the brighter lads, there was always a career in the military as a drummer boy or naval cabin boy. The less said about the fate of those children, the better.
Dickens loathed the institutionalised abuse of children in factories, schools and child ‘care’ institutions.
In his novel ‘Hard Times’, Dickens slathers ‘educators’ who sought to ‘…..weigh every parcel of human nature to see what it exactly comes to’. He questioned subject-centred teaching, teacher-centred classrooms, the crushing of creativity and learning as definition .
For some reason lost in time it became illegal to use English children as slaves and I don’t think we’ve known what to do with the pesky children of the proletarians ever since. Despite exclusive schooling, various public examination trapdoors, reintroduced university fees and the constant denigration of public education, the working class and their offspring continue to make nuisances of themselves. Look at the NAPLAN results which have revealed that children from deprived background get lower results. My theory is that those bludging teacher providing breakfast to the offspring of the ‘lower’ class need some lessons in nutrition – healthy minds in healthy bodies. Once again, our teachers have let the nation down.
The solution is before our very eyes. King coal. Australia is rotten with the stuff as we all know and our continuing relationship with the French, British and the Americans depends on our continuing export of 83% of the profit from the black stuff to our corporate masters across the waves.
In Texas, high stake testing is referred to as “the heart of the vampire.”
Information Vampires are the private profiteers who “…suck the life blood from children in order to collect data…and money.” In order to acquire and control information, firms like “…Wireless Generation owned by Rupert Murdoch. king of the espionage and security breaches,” need an endless supply of blood.
Political Vampires suck the life “…out of workers, the environment, and social resources for their own profits. They force others into positions of servitude, as food or to be made into vampires, who like themselves will be ‘addicted’ to feed off the life of others. They are the same multinational corporations that are working behind the scene to privatize public education, turning public education into a for-profit private enterprise owned by corporations.”
In intellectual terms, the Billionaires’ Boy Club, through its ability to purchase superior intellects, “…has at its disposal, think-tanks which can manufacture ‘research’ and ‘findings’ which lead to policies which are of economic and political advantage to the corporations that funded them in the first place.” They use simple, underhand tactics:-
Step 1. Create a crisis: e.g. “Certainly student outcomes have gone backwards during the past ten years.” [C.Pyne] “There is nothing more important than literacy and numeracy. It needs to be done better.” [J.Gillard]
Step 2. Track and Detect Prey: “Through the use of common core standards and high-stakes testing, corporations can more easily prey on poor urban communities and convert their schools to McCharters.”
“The vampire feeds off the mesmerized victims who no longer realize that they are the prey. They are the food. The architects of educational reform (DE-form according to Alach) have mesmerized our communities. We no longer realize that our children, our tax dollars, and our right to a public education are the prey on which they feed. And it will mean the death of public education if we don’t stake their efforts in the heart. How? Refuse them that which they need to live. The data. It’ s the blood they need. [Say NO to NAPLAN!!] Drive a stake right through the heart of high stakes testing “ [aka NAPLAN].
And when they ask to come into your school – Refuse to invite them in.
‘……and the profit from the black stuff goes to our corporate masters across the waves.’
“The world can be a terrible place, not because of the bad things that happen. but because of the good people who stand by and let them happen.”