NAPLAN chaos week.




The Treehorn Express

A tribute to the poor unfortunate blanket testing victims everywhere.

‘Care for Kids’



naplan%20gargoyle%201[2]The NAPLAN idol went crazy this week.

 THE TESTS were held, accompanied by the usual array of impacts on children’s learnings: assault on the cognitive domain of learning, induced stress on children, endless weeks of heavy practice, 3 days sweating over statistically invalid tests, suspension of professional ethics, teaching to the test, side-lining of more important aspects of the curriculum, parental worry and concern, indulging in the blame game, reporting of cheating and of leaks of writing topics. The airways were full of advice to mums of little Year 3 kids on how to handle their stress. Nothing unusual. Situation normal. Unreliable twisted results in about five months!

Heaps of money is available for this form of schooling. NAPLAN WEEK was BUDGET WEEK as well. Who’s worried about costs? A small part of cost includes the printing of the test papers: $46 per paper x 1,030,00 victims = $47.5 million. Now starts the marking of the papers….$10 million. We’ll learn the entirely useless scores in five months. Great system of testucation, we have. Needs re-form or replacement with an education system, perhaps?



The presentation by Channel 7’s TODAY TONIGHT was exceptional. It featured Kimberley College on the outskirts of Brisbane. This is a world-renowned school that emphasises LEARNING through its curriculum patterns adapted from de Bono’s lateral thinking techniques. Its multi-age structure supports a cheerful approach to high-level cognitive development. It’s philosophy dismisses the threats to learning that NAPLAN embraces, but it makes arrangements for its 10 NAPLAN contestants whose parents want their children to contest. 140 parents, whose children were ‘expected’ by ACARA to be part of the test cohort, refused.

The TV program featured parents from other schools who are worried about the damage that the testing does, the distress that it causes to emotional develoment and the impact on enrolment possibilities if they wish to send their children to a high-fee private school. It also showed an ACARA officer defending NAPLAN against the growing criticisms of the tests, saying that the scores were useful. It also showed the founders and beneficiaries of the NAPLAN system – Joel Klein and Rupert Murdoch.

Rupert...’the man who has most shaped the world’ as Tony Abbott describes him. Heil.

It’s worth looking at, again. It’s a doozie.



What an amazing state of affairs. The principal of a school tells parents what authorities should be telling them….their children don’t have to sit NAPLAN. He shares his professional opinion with the parents of his school and it makes national headlines. Mentioned on the front page of Sydney’s finest. Extraordinary!!!!?????

What has Australian education come to? Have we sunk so low– that this sort of school business is even mentioned?

[I wonder what support he will get from his colleagues. Will they render support by following suit[e]….or will they sycophantically comply with the politically deliberate cover-up ?]

The issue at stake: The more parents pull out, the more useless the tests become, the quicker they are abandoned, the more the kids return to learning activities, the more money for the Treasurer to transfer to Gonski reforms. Bingo!



The Courier Mail reported on the number of NAPLAN cheating incidents during the 2012 tests. A principal was sacked.

Queensland had already won the award in the previous NAPLAN tests for the most cheating incidents in Australia. [GO QUEENSLAND!] There is no evidence as to who won the A Grade Award for cheating on the widest scale of all :using all sorts of non-learning test-prep devices as much as possible.

Make sure you read the comments.



Keith Williams of Bargara wrote this week about a book “ David Owen titled ‘None of the Above’. It exposes the SAT as a total sham and nothing’s changed. I’m surprised that Gillard hasn’t followed their lead and charged the kids to sit NAPLAN to help plug her party’s abyss.

I did a quick search to see if anyone has researched the multiple choice answers. From what I’ve seen whoever writes NAPLAN hasn’t got any much of an idea what wrong answer should be. Owen’s book covers this among a lot of other disturbing facts.”

Over to all the holy testucators. Agree? Right wrong answers can be a learning experience, but then… are measurers.



You might recall that a Senate Committee of Inquiry was established in September 2012, following a plea from The Greens, to deal with “Teaching and Learning – maximising our investment in Australian schools”. It was widely representative of states and political parties. Its establishment was not mentioned in public. Controlled Press Silence is still well organised down under. Some [chosen?] institutions and organisations knew of it’s existence, so almost all submissions came from individuals who claimed to represent esteemed groups. Very few submissions came from the chalk face where real teaching and learning operates.

The report was tabled this week in the Senate on 14 May, Not a mention in any form of media. What else?

Its 116 pages are very readable; a tribute to the seven-member secretariat. Don’t anticipate headlines in newspapers any time soon.



disturbed by the Fish Oil, Teddy Bear, Test-prep Booklets and Back-yard Test-prep lessons furore, called for a snap senate inquiry into NAPLAN and it was approved by the Senate. Apparently contributors are protected by parliamentary privilege from the kinds of harassment now being experienced, if they wish to speak their mind.

Check FaceBook:

Link One.

Link Two.



The question now arises : How will all schools be encouraged to tell teachers and parents that there no constraints on expressing their opinion? How will this be arranged? Will the Senate send a notice out to every school in time for the close of responses on 7 June?

In the meantime, please encourage everyone you know to send a comment to or direct to the senate officers. It will be an enormous shame if every teacher and parent is not informed of the rights and privileges extended to them …..under the present totalitarian regime, too.

If the Terms of Reference seem soft and aimed at maintaining the status quo, still send your own sincere comments. There is a need for a few million hard-hitting responses before the present lot of politicians from all parties will cancel standardised blanket testing. They just don’t understand the words of ‘Care for Kids’

A hint for contributors: Claim chairmanship of an organisation or group or anything e.g. GONSKI SOCIETY [Kumagutsa Branch] – (Guiding Our Nation’s School Kids Intelligently in Kumagutsa) – or something. It helps. A doctorate is also impressive. You could follow the lead of one of the authors of 1066 and All That who claimed to be a B.A.[Failed]……Try Dr.[Failed], UHK..not Hong Kong. More notice will be taken and you are likely to be quoted at length.

I’m being facetious…….


ALLAN ALACH of Treehorn Express will ensure complete anonymity if you should like to ‘sound off’ about any issue. In Educational Readings May 17 by Allan Alach, you will find that guarantee.

 PLEASE EVERY-BODY. EVERYBODY USE EITHER ALLAN or PENNY’s offers to help get rid of the NAPLAN scourge – completely.




The attached arrived on Friday from a Treehorn reader. I know nothing of its origin. It’s all part of this topsy-turvy NAPLAN week.



I received this distressing comment from a reputable consultancy firm that concentrates on helping kids in need.

 ‘Phil. I have spent the week talking to stressed-out kids and their parents. They are coming in pale and exhausted. I have children who are not sleeping. Some kids are having their results of preparatory tests rank ordered and written up in rank order on the whiteboard. One Year Five child told me she was really worried because if she did badly she would not get into a good high school. For the dyslexic and Irlen Syndrome children it is completely impossible to do well on the test.

Every year it gets worse as I see an increasing focus on the preparation for NAPLAN in Term One. The curriculum is tossed out.”



To complete a really stunning week, Allan Alach circulated a telling presentation by Sir Ken Robinson. Watch it again…



Julia and Peter, and your replacement Chris, are probably proud to continue doing this sort of treatment to young innocent children; and then have the temerity to pat yourselves on the back for the sake of ill-gained useless scores. It’s a political mess that no one dares to tidy up. Maybe Penny…if you write to her. Don’t forget : ‘Care for Kids’

Phil Cullen

Caring for Kids

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point 2486

07 552 6443


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