The Treehorn Express
…..trying to protect kids from the oligarchs
Our Oligarchy is Better than Your Oligarchy
It is clear that Australia’s schooling system is under the control of the most effective oligarchy in the world. It’s a fact of life; and the managerialists’ coup of educational administration circa 1990 when learning in schools was out-sourced to management by lawyer smart-alecks and sycophantic politicians has made it so easy. The non-school big boys took over. Politicians of all colours and directions started marching to the beat of the big-business drum and continue to goose-step to its beat. We now live with it. Control of the school curriculum has moved almost completely to the rich and powerful corporations and their school-inexperienced operatives. The USA can challenge us as it has, but Australian adults are better at compliant subjugation to oligarchical control than anyone else on the planet, especially when it comes to matters of schooling.
It might be alright for Australian adults to be so toady, but it shouldn’t happen when it effects the intellectual future of children and our country’s development. Australian citizens need to think more seriously about what they are doing, don’t they?
A Princeton Study has put some science “behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more.’ The researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin J. Page have found that ‘…in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.’ The US oligarchy taught our Aussie big boys well, although the greatest mega-mogul of all, a former Australian, is well involved in the U.S, and quietly controls the oligarchies themselves in both countries.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well place individuals in institutions like banking or finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United States’ public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.”
“It’s beyond alarming” as Gilens and Page write. “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy. In other words, their statistics say ‘your opinion does not matter.’” summarises Tom Fry.
While Australia has no replica study, our position at the front of the world queue of oligarchic political control, is unquestioned. Our history of the introduction of Klein Schooling makes this clear.
- Julia Gillard met with Rupert Murdoch and his fellow business moguls at a Carnegie Foundation cocktail party in New York on June 28, 2008. She was introduced to Joel Klein, a sweet-talking lawyer who controlled a school district that based its operations on almost-pure fear. [If the children did not pass the tests produced by Murdoch’s publishing company, Amplify, the teacher is sacked; then the principal; then the school is closed in disgrace.] She fell for his sweet-talk. Subsequently, with such influential decision makers in the right place, Rupert Murdoch’s control, supported by financial contributions, news biases and editorial opinions in Australia and in the U.S., was complete. He ensured that both countries followed the Klein line. Today, the opinion-making, lobbying and donating to political causes continues at full pace and its power is extensive .
- Rupert Murdoch employed Joel Klein in 2010 as executive director of News Corp to run his AMPLIFY company, a script and on-line testing business that had started as ARIS Data Management, then morphed into Wireless Generation, then Amplify. It’s worth billions per annum and Klein is paid in millions. He gets his way in all respects.
- Suitably conned, Julia Gillard invited Klein to come down under to help her to introduce his system. She arranged for him to meet with the leaders of our largest corporations and banks; and to speak at them during dinners held only in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. He’s an entertaining, convincing speaker. They, the Australian business leaders, paid the fare and expenses for Mr. & Mrs Klein; and his reception was vigorously applauded by the big-end of town. At the time, our present-day head-servant of the oligarchs, Christopher Pyne, insisted that Julia Gillard should resign for bringing such a person down under…but now endorses the Klein tradition of schooling with added venom. He’s added Charter IPSs for easier oligarchical control; and deliberately interferes with the professional curriculum operations as well as basic teaching techniques.
- So powerful was the influence of the big end of town on the introduction of Kleinism, that it was not seen necessary for Gillard to seek advice from educators. She consulted with some of them and told them what to do. Non-school-oriented academic testucators were preferred to run the system. Support from the various timid and compliant ‘professional’ associations was then easily arranged; and such is the level of power of the corporations that state and federal legislatures continue to ignore any advice that predominant representative groups have to offer. The dysfunctional NAPLAN scheme has been imposed on suffering children for six years now. A full primary school generation’s future has been tampered with.
Meanwhile, Australia retains the title – the greatest oligarchical political control system the world has ever seen – and it shows. Capitulating to these forces too easily during the 2008-09s, we reversed the Anzac Spirit, that we honour this week.
Control by a beneficent oligarchy would not be too destructive for children’s learning emotions, if basic democratic principles applied; and if they cared about kids or worried about Australia’s future. None of these three conditions apply, unfortunately. Our Klein system is based on pure greed and emotional force. There is no professionally ethical reason for NAPLAN’s existence and its modus operandi follows a more totalitarian fascist base than an open democratic one. In every schooling sense, it is a hideous item.
Its domineering insistence on clandestine modes of administration reveals its evil intent more than anything else. Why hide the truth from parents?
Not only that, but its bullying fascist-like lower-level modes of totalitarian control – blame, threats, bribery, fear, general coercion – only elicit the lower levels of acceptance by operatives in the field. The wholesome teaching-learning spirit declines. The magic of enthusiastic learning is taken out of the classroom. Standards decline. The system’s quality fades and, if it remains unchanged, becomes a laughing stock.
THIS IS NAPLAN TIME.
IT IS TIME FOR PARENTS, PRINCIPALS OF ALL SORTS OF SCHOOLS
CLASSROOM TEACHERS TO INDICATE THAT THEY WANT NAPLAN BANNED COMPLETELY.
Let’s test that Princeton statistic that ‘our opinion can be easily ignored.’.
It’s the elephant in the classroom which can’t be ignored any longer and our children suffer for the next few weeks because of its presence.
Phil Cullen […trying to protect kids] 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486 07 55246443 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: You can see some of the negative impact of all this high pressure/high stakes testing over at www.challengesuccess.org. I’m still unable to share any research showing a positive impact on children…although the folks who write/publish/sell textbooks/curriculums/tests probably benefit.