What Naplan Does

Treehorn Express:

Shared opinions soaked in knowledge & experience – all well tested.



A briefing for concerned parents

NAPLANISM is based on a belief that learning is best in school classrooms where the following conditions prevail :-

  • Testing exercises control all Years 3,5,7,9 learning efforts.
  • Fear is regarded as the best motivator for improving achievements in basic learnings.
  • The school’s daily time table is manipulated to spend as much classroom time as possible on NAPLAN preparation.
  • No serious learning time is made available for children not taking the test
  • Cheating through constant test-taking practices is approved.
  • Slight adjustments to strict test routines or acts of human compassion by test supervisors towards stressed children at test-time is verboten and officially declared as ‘cheating’.
  • Children must be denied access to essential creative elements of their cognitive development during preparation period prior to May.
  • Established professional ethics of the teaching profession and of school leadership have to be suspended during the NAPLAN period.
  • Normal teacher compliance and willingness to obey authorities without question has to be exploited by line managers. Classroom teachers are nice people. Use them.
  • Teachers, principals, all school personnel and P&C members are forbidden to discuss any crippling effects of NAPLAN, anywhere, anytime.
  • Testimony from outstanding educators, statisticians, academics and practitioners must be hidden, silenced or ignored.
  • No choices are offered to parents for their children to participate in the tests or test preparation. No mention is allowed on enrolment forms or on websites or newsletters.
  • If scores aren’t high, teacher ability has to be denigrated in public. Some media representatives must suggest that certain teachers in certain schools can’t spell, numerate, ‘grammate’ or teach.
  • Pollie-speak using forked tongue, semantic manipulation and artful dodgery must pervade the electioneering landscape.


Listen carefully to the language of forthcoming elections…the semantic manipulations….

“OUTCOMES”: For politicians, some education journalists and testucators, this means ‘test results’. [e.g. C.Pyne (Alternative Federal Minister): “Certainly student outcomes have gone backwards during the past ten years .”] For teachers “outcomes” means ‘noticeable changes across the curriculum’; an inherent professional knowledge of how things are going. “Outcomes”, however, has become a pollie-talk colloquialism that is used when political candidates don’t know what they are talking about.

“REFORM”: The Gillard-view means ‘Forcing better test results on a testing program’ based on measureable bits of maths and grammar items; nothing to do with general school learnings’. The teacher-view reflects cheerful extra effort applied to positive innovations.

“PERFORMANCE”: Testucating politicians and their flunkies, call this: ‘Test results’; whereas teachers see performance as ‘a positive response to beneficial classroom activity’ ;

“IMPROVEMENT”: Some cretons use this word to describe ‘better results on SBTs’; whereas teachers and parents regard ‘improvement’ as ‘gains in general ability and cognitive growth’;

“FUNDING”: ‘We don’t know what we are doing, so we’ll bribe anybody to get on our side of politics.”

“TEACHER QUALITY”: Teachers who concentrate on test results are better than others who pupil the whole curriculum and strive for holistic improvement.

  • The list of the best and worst schools and school authorities must be printed and noted for derision and approbation.
  • No positive articles and news items regarding schools should be allowed in any branch of the media during the NAPLAN season….February to November.


“There are four main ‘wrong drivers’ of whole system reform that have effective matched alternatives. The pairs of alternaives are

  1. accountability: using test results and teacher appraisal to reward or punish teachers and schools vs capacity building;
  2. individual teacher and leadership quality; promoting individual vs group solutions;
  3. technology: investing in and assuming that the digital world will carry the day vs instruction; and
  4. fragmented strategies vs integrated or systemic strategies.

“Choosing the Wrong Drivers for Whole System Reforn.”



Paul Thomson, Principal of Kimberley College, Brisbane was interviewed on ABC Radio 612 this morning by Steve Austin. Listen to it if you can. It is highly recommended that you listen and add a comment.


New: http://richardgill.blogspot.com.au

Click: ‘Care for Kids’

Phil Cullen

February 5th  2013



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