Aussie Friends of Treehorn

People whom children trust to get rid of NAPLAN


Please read this extract from ACARA UPDATE. It has just been released for the beginning of the Australian school mid-summer vacation period, a time noted for the lack of interest in anything educational. You will note two key sections in bold type [by this author] for you and your organisations to consider now and when the NAPLAN season returns in February.



Please think seriously about these two official statements.

“STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IS STABLE” means that NAPLAN Testing has been a dismal failure. Stable !!!

The specific purpose of NAPLAN was to improve test scores. By learning how to improve NAPLAN test scores, we would improve PISA test scores and the world would believe that we have a wonderful schooling system. [The ‘top 5 by 25’ flibbertigibbet] We, the general public, were led to believe that there would be dramatic increases once NAPLAN was introduced.

This high-stakes testing notion was based on the procrustean ideology that “FEAR MOTIVATES LEARNING” and “ONE SIZE FITS ALL”….so…. the more that teachers and learners are threatened and stressed, and more often that ‘student’s’ practise tests, the better the results will be.

How can one comment on this sort of cock-eyed scato-memed constructivism without being rude and bovine?

Really…can our children’s learning abilities suffer for another year?…..all that pain…and cost……just to stay stable on NAPLAN scores and go backwards on PISA scores!


Then….The testucating ideologues have the temerity to make this statement [see above] without the slightest evidence. They say…

“NAPLAN assessments …are an important tool to help student learnng “

There is no known empirical nor anecdotal evidence for such an outrageous claim. On what sort of verifiable evidence can such a statement be made ? When did ACARA or any independent survey conduct any examination on the impact of blanket testing on teacher-pupil learning interactions in the classroom?

Yes. Temporary increases in test scores can be made by mentally assaulting vulnerable, frightened younger children. Yes. Fear can work on anyone, especially the young. Is this what is meant? What about the effects on love for a subject? After six years there are a thousand things we need to know about the NAPLAN impact on classroom activities, before another NAPLAN test is inflicted on kids who need to learn and want to learn properly. Why stabilise mediocrity?

LEARNING is identifiable, unrestrained, measureless, limitless. It’s individual. [“You can’t make me learn your stuff if I don’t want to. Your job, teacher, is to help me learn, but don’t force me.Don’t turn me off. ”] Evaluation of effort is a part of learning; on the spot; for the pupil’s benefit, not for a sciolist measurer’s separate demand for scores.

NAPLAN testing is as useful for schooling activities as a chocolate teapot.


The paper finishes with a description of Personalised Learning as if there was some sort of soft connection between serious learning and NAPLAN. What GROSS HYPOCRISY! Contamination of something that is learning useful, then boasting about it, then pretending that the results are connected to individual and personal learning, is chutzpah of the worst kind. This sort of activity oversteps the boundaries of acceptable behaviour and is an unmitigated effrontery to those teachers who try to maintain a learning climate in classrooms that features cognitive development of the most productive kind.


Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486 07 5524 6443


One thought on “ACARA UPDATE extra

  1. Pretty dismal outcome, even in their own terms. But suppose there actually was an ‘improvement’ in the scores. What would that prove? Only that we had coached, threatened, cajoled, distorted and distressed till our schools and their little inmates had performed better on an artificial test. Does that mean they have greater understanding, more flexibility, resilience, creativity and maturity of expression? Are they any more likely to want to continue their life-long adventure in learning?
    Oh, sorry, that wasn’t the aim of the program. The ultimate goal was to score in the top five in another irrelevant test, which has bragging rights and not much else.

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