Where Have All the Children Gone? Care for Kids.

Treehorn Express:

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


‘Care For Kids’

On Tuesday evening [12 February, 2013] I listened to the Federal Minister for Education and his successor being interviewed by a political interviewer, none of whom knew much about schooling or classrooms or kids. It was so obvious.

It was scary stuff. The future of the nation and the quality of the lives of our kids rely on the knowledge and school-insight of these two people. Children didn’t get much of a mention, nor did the way they are currently treated in schools, except perhaps in oblique reference as to what these folk want ‘done’ to schools.

Mr. Garrett tried to assure listeners that while we have an ‘educational decline’ at present, ‘we will arrest the decline’. [I wonder why, Peter. It’s the sixth year of magical NAPLAN. Cause or remedy?]

“Our EXPERTS tell us that things are working well”.

We have a National Plan For School Improvement.

The states must pay their way. Money fixes everything.

We need $6.5 billion to pay for GONSKI which we will introduce by 2020. [What if you used the money wasted on NAPLAN? Be or guest.]

Mr. Pyne used his broken-record statement of reforms [which he refuses to explain when requested].

  1. Teacher Quality. Teach them how to teach. Big tick to him for that, but this requirement has been obvious since he was in knickers, hasn’t it?
  2. Robust Curriculum. When asked what it means, he wont answer. More testable subjects?
  3. Outcomes are declining . He won’t explain what ‘outcomes’ he means. If he means general Literacy and Numeracy, he can be assured that those bits of the curriculum will decline as long as we have NAPLAN. That’s been proved.
  4. ‘There has to be a return to traditional teaching…. More phonics when we teach reading…. We will direct the kind of curriculum we want.”
  5. There will be more autonomy for schools. Charter Schools? NZ Model? [Schoolies! Is autonomy grasped or granted?]

The interviewer wanted Chris to assure him that there would be a return to a ‘more emphasis on Grammar than on Literacy’. You can bet on it, Professor.


It’s frightening

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NAPLAN, the GERM device that controls all schooling in Australia, was not mentioned.

Yet, it drives the office-based politically-controlled curriculum [whether it’s Garrett’s or Pyne’s].

It guides the kinds of teaching strategies that are required to pass tests.

Standards of any ‘outcome’ cannot be enhanced while NAPLAN exists.

The quality of teaching will deteriorate while NAPLAN exists.

The principles of the GONSKI report cannot be supported while NAPLAN exists.

There is not enough money available for any decent improvements to schooling while NAPLAN exists.

Being in ‘the top 5 by 25’ on PISA tests [of doubtful use to humankind] is an impossibility while NAPLAN exists.



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Click on the title ‘Care For Kids’ if you want to recharge your sanity button for a minute or two.

There is also a Senate Committee of Inquiry, not quite ‘in camera’, but close, working away at present. Whisper when you refer to it. The Press might learn about it.


Click: ‘Care for Kids’

Phil Cullen

February 13th  2013



One thought on “Where Have All the Children Gone? Care for Kids.

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