More of his story

Aussie Friends of Treehorn

encouraging adults to think sensitively, to care for kids, to make wise choices….with their hearts in gear, their pens active and their votes available.

NAPLAN has nothing to do with learning. It has nothing to do with teaching. It has nothing to do with real schooling. It has to do with finding fault and making money. It’s an ineffective, unreliable and invalid device that makes the most of young children’s vulnerability and it deliberately threatens their cognitive development and emotional stability.

2016 – The Year to get Rid of NAPLAN – The Great Year for Kids. A Great year for Australia

Vote for Kids. Opt out of NAPLAN


In 2008, Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard dumped an enormous extra, not-needed, bogan-class, unasked-for load on the Australian  school curriculum  in contempt for the views of state ministers for education, who capitulated easily. It was called NAPLAN rhyming with NALPALM, but more destructive. It can ruin nations. There were no suggestions from the federal bullies as to what NAPLAN  might replace in the day-by-day operations of a  school.  It was, unceremoniously dumped on schools as an extra load….as if the curriculum was not over-loaded at the time.  ACARA, Julia’s monument to herself, grossly lacking in classroom knowledge, had no idea of the effect on classrooms, thought it knew how to produce little child robots; and invented a test that they thought would do the trick i.e. scare kids into reaching the same mediocre standards at the same time;  and pretend that NAPLAN would just become a matter of school routine. This unit had the hide to say that the test was not compulsory, but it ‘expected’ schools to do the tests. Ever heard of hierarchical confusion?

State educrats denied this right of refusal to schools in each state; and disallowed the right of principals to be curriculum leaders and head teachers to use NAPLAN however it fitted their own evaluation program or not use it at all. Pompous educrats, hierarchical hitlers, they seemed to enjoy the pain of pulling rank and denying schools the right to use innovative and successful processes of learning. What does ‘totalitarian’ mean ?    again?

One stroke of her pen cost Australia billions of wasted dollars, millions of kids’ intellectual cognition twisted and turned-off, teacher-ethics denied…..just because nobody bothered to check out what happens to schools when corporate education of this kind takes over.  SO … we now have an almighty and unholy mess and nobody seems to be able to get rid of the nuisance. And….too many adults just don’t care….even state Ministers for Education.

Present federal minister Simon Birmingham could make a worthy contribution to our nation’s progress. One stroke of his pen would do it. Does he realise the import of his legacy? Does he realises how many votes might be in it? Does he even want to talk about it and allow others to do the same?  Any one state minister could, also. Stopping the nonsense in one state will start the trend. But….none will. Ever asked yourself, “Why?” 

Anti-naplanners, pro-learning folk now have to spend 2016 trying to convince political parties through the rituals of submissions, forming anti-NAPLAN groups, writing and reading endless tomes about the nature of learning, contacting politicial candidates, trying to find one who might be serious, maybe marching on parliament house; and trying to prove to non-caring adults that NAPLAN is dangerous to our children’s health…such a waste of time……..when one word from those who must think that God-almighty is, like Julia, Peter, Chris and Simon seem to do,  their co-pilot, would do the trick.  Those who care about kids will seek justice and progress, despite the wall of resistance from corporation–hugging officials and languid pollies and candidates who just want a good high-paying job. That’s the big task for Australian educators and parents for 2016… agitate, to yell “HELP !”  “Save Our Kids” although it must seem  such a waste of everybody’s time and the skulbuggery naplan-huggers know it.


If NAPLAN continues, we will have watched in silence over extreme cognitive damage to a second generation of school kids. We will have been witness to Australia’s movement towards third-world status. The dirty deed has been done. SO ! Maybe we could think seriously about our grand-kids, if it continues. It will be too late for the present  pupil cohort if NAPLAN doesn’t go this year.  Genuinely, my heart bleeds for them. They had no control over the holocaust.  One would never have thought that ordinary, every-day folk – voters – could or would ignore the damage that is being done.

Besides, I join two fat ladies this year, the twilight is darkening and I’d really like NAPLAN to go before I  do. In the meantime we can just hope that the present school kids, being treated as Treehorn was,  will recover somewhat from the experiences imposed on them. Looks like we should pray for them, seriously, and the previous generation of school attenders; and start to think very seriously about our grand and g-grand children. Bit too late for those about to undergo NAPLAN-prep until May this year. As a highly respected and outstanding educator wrote encouragingly to me this week : “I’m sure that Treehorn is gaining traction. On behalf of my grand-children, can I thank you for your passion in trying to restore true and real meaning to personalized learning.”   Thanks, Good Buddy.   “Trying” sums it up.  { “Very” says Simon the Superior. }

So, fellow lovers of learning, let’s go through it again.  Let’s….

  1. Talk about learning as being the proper purpose of schooling.
  2. Talk about testing and the real effects that it has on attitudes to learning and on learning emotions..
  3. If you are a member of a group or association that might influence the political decision to drop NAPLAN, talk about testing and learning at every meeting.
  4. If you are not a member of such a group [parents’, teachers’ or community association or political party], start an anti-naplan campaign or form a serious child welfare group with your colleagues and friends.
  5. Start a network of your own on mail or compose a blog that will spread the call for “Care for Kids” or to “Stop NAPLAN Child Abuse.
  6. Encourage every parent that you know to ‘opt out”.


Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486  07 5524 6443              
07 5524 6443          0407865999

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