The Treehorn Express
I have been concerned about the high compliancy level of Australian primary principals since the 2008 introduced political control of the school learnings through NAPLAN, a product of GERM; and their too-casual disregard for professional ethics as applied to their care and concern for the rights of children at school. Indeed, as a former primary school principal, I have been bitterly disappointed. They destroyed a large part of my vision for the future of schooling in Australia, There seemed to be a total desertion of children’s rights to enjoy learning in a scrambled anxiety to trade ethics for cash.
Back in 2008, I was more than a little confident…I was absolutely sure…. when the storm clouds were gathering….that they would tell the more powerful [in schooling terms] politicians of the day – Nelson, Rudd, Gillard – that a primary principal’s professional knowledge and ethics would not allow high-stakes, fear-driven, low-level, one-size, immoral testing anywhere near their schools. I knew Aussie principals pretty well. I thought.
I was more that a little disappointed as a primary school teacher and extremely angry as a grandparent when principals’ associations were so easily corralled and press-ganged into blind acceptance of the Klein system of schooling [See Treehorn tomorrow] and of zombie functionalism [D.Well] that silently approves of various forms of gimmickry like charter schools, shifting grades around, fiddling with school time, without a murmur. I still have trouble comprehending why and how organisations, allegedly representing aspects of the schooling professions, were so easily and so comprehensively manipulated by political guile; and it is no consolation to know that principals in USA, England and New Zealand also accepted GERM’s diabolical changes, so timidly.
I’ve started to sing that “Care for Kids’ song again.
Paul Drummond of the New Zealand Primary Principals’ Federation spoke out at the APPA-NZPF conference last month. Now, Stephen Breen of the West Australian Primary Principals Association has provided the general public with a run-down on the features of GERM. Listen to Stephen as he outlines them under the following headings….
FEATURES OF GERM
2. A focus on core subjects
3. The search for low risk ways to attain learning goals
4. The rise of corporate management models
5. Implementation of test based accountability policies
Phil Cullen AM,FACE,FACEL,FQIEL
[Gold Medal :ACEL]
41 Cominan Avenue
Banora Point 2486
07 5524 6443