Friends of Treehorn: Bigotry-Free Zone

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

…..for those who believe that learning matters in every kind of political climate..

A Short Story of Bigotry & Totalitarian Control

kimberleyKimberley College [http://kimberleycollege.org/ ] is an Independent Schools on the outskirts of Brisbane, Australia; established by a group of parents who firmly believed in the power of school based professionally ethical teaching/learning arrangements to develop their children’s potential and life chances to the highest degree. Since the original cohort of children enjoyed the multi-aged principles, together with de Bono-based principles of lateral learning while at nearby Kimberley Park State Primary School…. they lobbied unsuccessfully to have a state secondary school established in their own suburb that followed the positive attitudes to learning that their state primary school had confirmed. Failing in their efforts to persuade their state department to attempt an innovative approach to secondary schooling, especially the multi-aged component, the parents decided to establish a school of their own that respected children’s learning.

Despite considerable harassment and negative official comment from some sections of the managerialist-based school authority of the time, it opened.

Thus, Kimberley College, undoubtedly one of Australia’s most outstanding learning institutions, was established in 2000. Its enrolment has rapidly increased and it has enjoyed a respected reputation for its learning programs and for the parental opposition to learning-destructive standardised blanket testing techniques such as NAPLAN. Fewer than 10% of the pupils contest NAPLAN tests. Its prospectus states : ‘We strongly believe that Naplan testing and its ‘necessary’ adjunct, a National Curriculum, are an unnecessary and negative influence on the stated philosophy of Kimberley College.’

Most Kimberley College parents, alive to the degrading influence that standardised blanket testing has on a healthy learnacy curriculum and of its source in the purses of ‘the big end of NY town’, refuse to allow their children to participate – fewer than 10 pupils are expected to sit the tests this year. This educated attitude to high stakes corporate control was featured in a “Four Corners” program http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/extraminutes/8726844/testing-times-kimberly-college

This exceptional campus of learning is a reflection of the philosophy of its Principal educator, Paul Thomson …..as all schools reflect the attitudes to learning of their leader, whether educator or testucator.

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A STORY FROM THIS SBT-FREE SCHOOL When the annual NAPLAN-crazed preparation with its practice, practice, practice, curriculum-restricted, disrespectful, useless, immoral, child-stressing, Murdoch-purse-enhancing tests was under way in late-February of this year, a proud Mr. Thomson wanted his immediate community [Carbrook] to know that its nearest private school was a learning school, and not a willing contributor to the pockets of those who prefer to use children for data-collection only. Kimberley College wanted its public to know that its pupil clients would become high personal achievers without the curse of debilitating fear-driven tests

Also a general social justice proponent, he had, during this NAPLAN test crazed period, cause to telephone a Courier Mail journalist to suggest that his 22 March article “Why does the Left support this Avalanche of Paedophilic filth?” was excessive in his use of language in the below-the-belt reference to those not of the author’s own political persuasion. The reporter hung-up on Mr.Thomson.

The Courier Mail belongs to Mr. Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch owns lots of things and people.

Unrelated to this incident, but about the same time, Kimberley College proudly displayed on its notice-board that it was a “Murdoch-free zone”. Thomson decided, having second thoughts, to alter the reference and changed the notice to a more inclusive “Bigot-free Zone”. The original lasted only one day. The change to “Bigot-free Zone” encompassed more of those people who have fixed prejudices, are utterly intolerant of those with contrary views and prefer social institutions to be run with an iron fist.

In came the heavies, with the wrath of Rupert.

Believe it ! The Queensland Minister for Education telephoned the school and ordered Mr.Thomson to remove the reference to our lord and master.

Mr. Thomson agreed [he had already removed Rupert’s name] that the notice could be improved.

“Yes.” said Mr.Langbroek, “State Schools are not allowed to put up signs like that!”

“We are not a state school, Mr. Langbroek. We are a private school.”

“Well. You will need to think seriously about how you are funded!”

Believe it!

Then….

The Courier Mail’s ‘Andrew Bolt’ , whose Twitter motto is “Whatever it is, I don’t like it”, believes that everyone to his left is a Leftist [and there’s no one to his right], so he found a chance to square the ledger:- “Kimberley College, an independent school in Logan, has done an embarrassing backflip and removed a pompous commentary from its website. The statement, which began, “The wrong people are now in charge of the education future of our children,” was mysteriously taken down yesterday. And signs at the school attacking – horror of horrors – the Murdoch press, also came down. Could it be the college recoiled after being warned it may lose its funding for exposing children to overtly political rhetoric.”

??? Hello?? Where did that come from? ????

What was the name of that planet, again?

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A COMMENT:

A recent Treehorn Express :- ‘”Our Oligarchy is Better than Your Oligarchy” opens with the comment “”It is clear that Australia’s schooling system is under the control of the most effective oligarchy in the world.”

Where else in the world would you find a Minister of Education run defence for a pupil-frozen, money-focussed, test publisher, while a high stakes testing program, of which the publisher is the originator and controller, pollutes the curriculum and inhibits cognitive development within the Minister’s own schools?

QED – quod erat demonstrandum.

_______________________________________________________________________________________
Phil Cullen [……for kids who shouldn’t be doing the stress-ridden Murdoch tests] 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486 075524 6443 cphilcullen@bigpond.com
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