A Proposal – State Education

Phil on First Wednesday of the month. 

A tribute to those victims of NAPLAN tests who are ignored by those who should care for them.


For Principled Pupil People who sincerely like children and believe in PUPILLING – i.e.honouring the contract between a teacher and a learner.

PUPIL PEOPLE believe….

  • When the affective is secure, the cognitive is limitless – no fear tactics.
  • Schools are learning places – not warehouses for the wealthy.
  • Standardised Blanket Testing creates fear and discomfort in classroom; and creates a dislike of fundamentals.
  • The exercise of professional ethics in all school matters is paramount.

‘Care for Kids’ [Click]

‘Not on the Test’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dAujuqCo7s

‘Revolting Children ‘ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXUYW-2Jga4

A Proposal – State Education

Some Australian states must be wondering why they ever allowed the federal government take over critical elements of schooling. Things have become such a mess. Schools are ordered about by two authorities. Arthur? Martha? Federal control is test-crazy and each state has to do as it is told by federal controllers with regard to the use of high-stakes tests, whether it expresses concern or not. It is possible for a state to believe that its children learn best when they are not threatened by the beliefs of alien centralized forces, who borrowed the system from a test-crazed mini-thinking New York authority; and now has to do as it is told in almost every matter affecting the welfare of children at school. They left the gate open.

Why can’t states reclaim their schools? Each state if different. Each one has the structure to find widely-experienced schooling experts, unconfined to restrictive academic specialities [e.g. measurement, managerialism], who can advise their decision-making politicians on the manner in which real classrooms operate and how children learn and what it is like to live and teach in various parts of the state and what parents expect and what motivates pupils to do the best they can to achieve and to learn as much as they can. But NO. Bullying federal authorities claim a superior intelligence and they believe that are too important to take notice of inferior practitioners.

Heavily centralised control by sciolists in the present contemporary political climate is confining and restrictive. It even judges a school by one-hit useless tests every year. Its focus is squarely on mediocrity and it is succeeding, sadly enough for the present generation at school. Mediocrity is the main. Yet, the world knows that HIGH achievements are more likely without all this test-crazy stupidity.

Did you see Schools Spectacular 2012 re-presented on Sunday 31 March by ABCTV? You can still catch it. One of the best TV shows you will ever see – presented by 3,600 children from N.S.W. public schools of all sorts. It is an inspiring presentation of talent brought together by a number of amazing teachers, illustrating what can be done when individual abilities are encouraged by educators, not testucators, to develop personal talents as far as possible. As a young lass said to introduce the show, “We are under-estimated.”

Julia certainly does underestimate the abilities of school children, preferring to listen to the opinions of a New York lawyer and some myopic psychometrics. Chris wants things to be tougher…especially on teachers. They don’t seem to care about kids at school. Yik! Listen up, you two unfortunate nincompoops. Aussie kids are capable of anything. Just listen. Take notice! Think!


creative-edImagine if the developmental attitudes prevailing in these Spectacular circumstances were allowed to prevail in the teaching of literacy and numeracy – that children and teachers were allowed to express and develop their talents with unlimited encouragement….that they were trusted. Australia Central’s narrow-focussed measurers with their lust for testing don’t believe this can happen. Where do you stand? Let’s give all kids a go at learning for a change.

The tests must go asap.

Ironically, one of the segments portrayed some very young ‘revolting children’ from Mrs Trenchbull’s Grunchen Hall Elementary School where NAPLAN-active bullying forces prevail (‘Matilda’ –the musical). It’s a given that playground bullying becomes impacted in the hidden curriculum of any test-crazed school. Click above to see the words of the revolting children.


Read this from Bruce Hammonds. It fits here : http://leading-learning.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/creativity-its-place-in-education_2.html

Consider also:-

New Zealand will undoubtedly establish itself as the most outstanding authority in the world after it changes government at the next election. The alternative government there thinks. Amazing. It thinks! It thinks about about the dangerous outcomes of corporation-based guides to schooling. New Zealand’s population is about the same as Queensland’s [4.5 million], a size that seems so manageable in terms of learning enterprises and innovation. NZ cares for its kids differently and more positively than most other countries. Individual Australian states can, too. Just as each child is different, so are states. They should enjoy their uniqueness and ‘go for learning’ with individual gusto. They don’t. They’ve quit.

The new NZ rejects the notion that competition between schools produces better outcomes.

  1. It will get rid of ‘charter’ schools or whatever peculiar name is chosen, that indicate a ‘difference’ between ordinary children who usually attend a neighbourhood school. Every government school will be a great one.
  2. There will be no navvie-style ‘performance’ pay.
  3. It will get rid of National Standards [aka NAPLAN]. It appreciates the enormous waste of time spent on getting children “… over an arbitrary hurdle instead of supporting children to achieve at full potential.” [C.Hipkins, next Minister]
  4.  It will not “aggregate a bunch of inconsistent data” on any public publication [like ‘My School’].

Go N.Z.

Australian states have proved in the past that they are better at producing curriculum guidelines than the federal government. There was once hope for a state-based federally-linked ‘situational’ model [Malcolm Skilbeck] that had the substance of maintaining curriculum integrity, cooperative sharing and proud outcomes. No more. There are dangers in a national ‘one-size fits-all’ ritualistic time-forced set of instructions to teachers from those who do not appreciate what happens in classrooms. Ask teachers

Which State will stand up? Let’s presume that, during the post-Easter period in Australia, when the heat’s really turned up on the unfortunate pupils of Years 3,5,7,9., for about six weeks, that a number of parents concerned about the stress imposed on their little seven and eight-year olds in Year 3 decide that ‘enough is enough’; and persuade their State Minister to declare their state to be a Year 3 NAPLAN-free zone. It only takes a few determined Year 3 parents to do this. Banish Year 3 NAPLAN tests from their schools. The feds have no jurisdiction over the states in any case.

At present, schools and parents just do as they are told by couldn’t-care-less state governments under the control of ACARA. It’s a cruel system. Just listen to Dad sing ‘Not on the Test.’ Click above.

Parents aren’t told that they can withdraw their children from NAPLAN testing. It’s deliberately and disgracefully kept secret by the quantifying testucators running our schools. It’s a mean and despicable trick. Some wise parents have learned of their rights and there is a growing movement of parents who insist “No NAPLAN for my kids”. In Queensland, the number of pupils not assessed between 2010 and 2012 has doubled. Great news. Some schools now have one in five not involved. Hang in kids. The number of concerned ‘say NO to NAPLAN’ parents is growing. We’re here to help….Mum, Dad love you, and care. Let’s try, Mums and Dads, to persuade our state ministers to ban NAPLAN completely before May 14. We have six weeks to do it!

Go Queensland.

PARENTS. Let’s see if we can double the number…..closer to five out of five. Write a short note now and send it with your child to school. “I do not want my child[ren] to do NAPLAN.” That’s all. Don’t let your child feel under-estimated, un-appreciated and un-loved for too long. They’re cruelly over-tested. We all know that. Let’s think. Care for kids. Do it now.


Stop Press. Allan Alach has alerted me to a recently formed group in Melbourne called BOYCOTT NAPLAN COALITION. Interested organisations and individuals can register at info@boycottnaplan.net . It has a fascinating logo. NAPLAN on its way out?

Go Victoria


The ‘Save Our Schools’ rally in Washington last week saw thousands of teachers storm the precincts of the Whte House. Matt, son of teachers, took offence at puerile comments by an interviewer and cameraman.





Phil Cullen caring for kids.

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point 2486

07 5524 6443


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