How do we handle the shame?

The Treehorn Express

“The Treehorn Express” is a tribute to those children who are forced to encounter Standardised Blanket Testing, such as NAPLAN, in all GERM counties and are forced to suffer from the distress that it causes, the narrowed curriculum that it creates and the loss of cognitive development of their brainpower. Like little Treehorn himself, they are all wonderful young people, ignored by those who are expected to care and exploited by those who don’t.





Today’s Sydney Morning Herald [19/06/13] headlines “NAPLAN STRESS BLAMED ON TEACHERS” . The story is told that, in its submission [No. 58] to the Senate inquiry, ACARA, the Australian controller of NAPLAN tests and the National Curriculum, blamed teachers and principals – as well as the media – for the stress and anxiety that children suffer at school. Surely we must all share the blame for our wishy-washy attitude to this scourge on Australia’s schooling landscape.

 How do we handle the shame?

 FEAR – The Essential Element of NAPLAN

We Australian adults, to a person, have given our part-time politicians permission to exert their will on children for political purposes and for no other reason. We trusted the wrong people. Thank goodness they are temporary employees. We can clean out the barrel in September. Those who have kept silent or tend to describe schooling in numerical, NAPLAN-based, terms should not be in the job. Watch ANYONE who describes school progress or regress using test cores of any kind.

They have forced our normally child-caring and supportive teachers to promote a level of fear in classrooms that causes children to vomit, for many pupils to try to avoid attending school, to cry profusely when confronted by the tests, to be given medications that are supposed to energise their brain power and force parents to enrol their children in after-school NAPLAN specialists that increase the fear and diminish home-funds. It’s an undeniable part of Australia’s schooling landscape. What we do these days to our children is a disgrace.

 We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. We allow this sort of school activity.

We silently support a fear-based curriculum.

 All testucators should be charged with child abuse.

 There’s no doubt.

 \We all know that it is happening. We all know that it is a serious moral and ethical issue to allow others to treat our children in the way they have been treated for the past 5 years. We all know that it is an integrated part of the Klein-Murdoch package and we accept it because Nelson, Rudd, Gillard, Garrett, Pyne insist upon it. [[Okay. Some of us did conduct our schooling routines in a similar way in the middle of last century. The kids had to learn how to take it. Our own wizened, despicable sense of worth approved of this sort of schooling mentality, then. But -it didn’t work. It turned kids off. Most of us who taught primary school children are very sorry for what we did to the innocent children of the time. When, after serious teacher campaigns to get rid of the causes in our primary schools – those contemptible blanket public examinations – serious attention to learning and achievements sky-rocketed.]

Knowing what we all know now about classroom learning behaviour, and by allowing the testucating rednecks continue to exert their boot camp mentality to scare the daylights out of teachers and learners is certainly not to our credit. We cannot pretend not to know anything about its origins. We know only all too well. Its Kleinism, pure and simple. Our kids will pay dearly for our compliance. [Now, we’ll have to pay for his alimony.]

ACARA, which develops the NAPLAN tests has made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the effectiveness of NAPLAN. Its head testucator said: [Believe this. See Sydney Morning Herald 17 June 2013 ]

 “Practise tests can help students, particularly younger ones, to familiarise themselves with the test form, but too much preparation can be counterproductive.

It also needs to be acknowledged that students experience stress and pressure about any number of things, and learning to manage nerves is part of growing up. Reassurance by parents can calm lingering fears and help build resistance.”

OMG. Next step is to bring back the cane to help the kids handle stress and pressure better…… a really tough-love mentality. THIS ! From the leaders we are supposed to trust!

 Did you ever think that we would enter the 21st century with Fear as an essential curriculum device?



For some time now Principals who request The Treehorn Express in Queensland are not allowed to receive it through their school address. The same now applies to NSW schools.

 Long live democratic candour! Yeah.


 Phil Cullen,

41 Cominan Avenue,

Banora Point, 2486.

07 5524 6443


2 thoughts on “How do we handle the shame?

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