The Treehorn Express
From Under the Bozone Layer
She, who continues to be obeyed, speaks. Self-appointed major testucator and proud purveyor of Kleinism into Australia, Julia Gillard says, “There should be no mystery about how our children are learning.” It is she who established the pre-historic notion that fear-driven testing is the key to the collection of better data aka ‘J.G. Learning’. Unfamiliar with classroom interactions that develop a love for holistic learning and for behavioural attitudes that sponsor unrivalled achievements, her kind of sick sophistry contends that all Australian children must contest her U.S. friends’ version of SBT tests….and that it promotes ‘better learning’. Fallacious as her canards are, she is sticking with them. She has a very different view of learning from those who work in the field. For six years, now, her kind of purulence has infected the learning emotions and attitudes of children at every Australian school. She had the power to emasculate learnacy. She did it well. Her successors have continued to mess it up on a massive scale. Her test data focus has moved school learning nowhere, but backwards; and thousands of children still vomit, lose sleep, get distressed and turned-off learning forever, because they have to do the kind of NAPLAN schooling that she desires.
Who causes all the stress and trauma of NAPLAN testing?
It is not the tests. She says, “This is a reflection of how adults conduct themselves. If parents and teachers maintain a sense of calm about testing, so will the children.”
Now there’s an expert talking. She deliberately arranged a system that forces schools to practice testing for weeks leading to mid-May, encouraged by their superiors, using sure-fire booklets, post-school tutors and pharmaceutical supplements, instituted rules that prevent parents from having their say…and she now tells them to calm down!!! That’s education Australia??
The lady also says that “…education will spiral down to being nothing more that ‘teaching to the test’. Once again the adults need to conduct themselves sensibly.”
You’re on the money, honey. We are spiralling down, thanks to your efforts. We do teach to the test. One must suspect that she firmly approves of this conduct as it might help the Australian school children of 2025 to be in the ‘top 5’ on those weird PISA tests conducted in peculiar ways in various countries for their 15 year olds every 3 years. She is fixated on PISA and uses an elastic band to measure a piece of broken string. A former colleague of hers would surely utter: “Please explain.”
And yes, she did say recently say that we should adjust NAPLAN tests to suit ‘slow learners’ [that’s the kids that tests destroy utterly]. ACARA has responded and will arrange it on-line. Aren’t these manipulations a picture of peculiar test patterns if one wants “….a measurement system that works. Our big picture has to be an accurate one, not an erratic jumble of superficial impressions.” Pardon ?
She suggests that Australian children are fortunate to have her as a senior fellow at the Brooking Institutions helping “…through the Learning Metrics Task Force to develop measures of quality education.” More of it kids!
From beneath the bozone layer, which, defined by the Washington Post Mensa Invitational as “The thickness that prevents wisdom from penetrating the intellect of those people who don’t know what they are talking about”, she speaks. NAPLANists! Jump! She’s been your ‘senior fellow’ since 2008.
Thanks to Allan Alach for forwarding the article with the comment: “This will curdle the milk in your coffee.”
Phil Cullen [….for school kids] 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486 07 5524 6443 firstname.lastname@example.org