Cheerio Treehorn

Apologies – A delayed posting due to vanishing emails. Sad news, I’m afraid.

 Treehorn Express:

A tribute to every NAPLAN victim who is ignored by those who are expected to care.


Cheerio – I’ll miss you,Treehorn

I am finished with trying to bring some discussion about teaching and learning in classrooms into the Australian debate about NAPLAN. Sorry Treehorn. I haven’t done too well. I am quitting. I have been chasing my tail for too many years to little avail. The education debate continues about NAPLAN test scores and how to improve the scores, not the learning. We no longer think of children as children. They’re innate little instruments that are used mercilessly by hypocritical orthodoxy to demonstrate to a gullible public how good our politicians are at pushing professional people around.

The power of political, totalitarian control over what happens in classrooms, aided by Klein-inspired reptilian testucators is quite profound. Their knowledge of what happens in a classroom setting can be written on the back of a postage-stamp in large font. NAPLAN will disappear eventually, but it now looks too likely that more than one generation of school kids will not be given any serious opportunity to develop healthy learning habits, nor will they be encouraged to achieve to the limit of their abilities. The waste is abominable and a serious threat to the future of this beautiful country.

It will impact on our children’s future more that the Japanese would have achieved when they first tried on 19 February, 1942. The new-look invasion – of our children’s cognitive development and our place in world affairs – started in 2008, welcomed by schadenfreude apostles; and is now showing its destructive power. We give in easily these days.

I am disappointed, disillusioned and sometimes disgusted with the way that Teachers Unions, Principals Associations and Professional Associations ignore the realities. Their willing compliance , sometimes giving an occasional little slap on the wrist to the political dictators is too rich, too compliant, too pitiful. I am truly surprised that APPA, AEU, ACE or ACEL has not stood up for basic professional ethics and told our Prime Minister, who introduced the devastating cock-eyed notion in 2008, that they will have no further part of her FEAR-based curriculum. They should have done this in 2008. It’s lasted too long. They don’t seem to care.

As more than an ordinary participant in the activities of each of these groups for a number of years, I’m extremely disappointed.

I’ll still supervise Treehorn’s Distinguished Guest Writers and write an occasional paper. I know that I’ll miss my young pal Treehorn, the universal school child, whose prediction – “If I don’t tell anyone, they won’t notice” – is now a reality. He and his school pals have no serious advocacy and unlikely to have one. Our Press doesn’t even bother to tell the public about significant happenings in the world of teaching and learning and of the attempts to improve it. They don’t have much of a chance.

I’ve claimed next Sunday’s ‘Guest Writers’ section, to be called “Extinguished Guest Writer’ for the day, to explain my reasons further.

After Tuesday 19 February, The Treehorn Express is in the hands of Allan Alach, that remarkable Kiwi educator who has shared so much with Treehorn and me, who believes in children and their native ability to learn, who hates the New Zealand GERM virus infecting National Standards, who has stood up for kids despite authority’s efforts to knock him about. Check him out…here..

I’ll still be involved and would like to thank all those true-blue child-concerned educators who have read The Treehorn Express carefully and have discussed its topics with friends and colleagues. If our representative teacher groups continue to let kids down, each of us will have to make sure that we tell the world that we will not to vote for any candidate in the September elections who does not promise to try to have NAPLAN banned. I’ll be asking each candidate in the Richmond Electorate how he or she feels about NAPLAN and tell as many folk as I can how they reacted.


 The Treehorn Express was simply called Care for Kids once. An early quotable quote was….

The bein-pensant of efficacy hawks is that children must suffer mental agony to learn properly.

Phil Cullen

February16th  2013

One thought on “Cheerio Treehorn

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