NAPLAN: Maintaining the Mediocre

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 – Make It a Great Year for Kids.

 

Vote for Kids. Opt out of NAPLAN

 A Country is Judged by the Way it Treats its Children.

 Think of that on July 2

 

NAPLAN: Maintaining the Mediocre

 Indifference to Facts…..non-interest in details of administration….. drowning-out of chaos and bewilderment….. use of ‘pick-up-sticks’ pedagogy….. demoralised teaching force….. hoodwinked parents….. media disinterest in detail of cause & effect….. sliding down the PISA pole….. political indifference to child abuse.

 If we were to write an Australian version of an article called “Joel Klein’s Snow Job” [Washington Post. 28/01/14] we would have to include the above leitmotifs of Kleinism, imported from New York in 2008 to establish a ‘revolutionary’ way of running schools.

Joel Klein was brought to Australia to sell his ‘pedagogical wizardry’ based on creating stress for pupils at test time; presented it to a gullible Australian Lib-Lab audience, all too comfortable with their neo-liberal prejudices;   and our school children have  suffered ever since.

 Klein boasted magical results from his New York  system which he sold, over a dry martini, to our revered Minister for Education at the time. Like many US citizens, she was sold on the idea of smartening-up the Australian teachers by using this new, ‘revolutionary’  fear-based testing regime. That was what Rupert and Kevin and Joel  wanted. She was sold a pup; no doubt about it. A mongrel.

 Now, millions of Australian children, stressed and bothered by the local version of testucation called NAPLAN, which rhymes with NAPALM, have suffered in emotional, intellectual and developmental health for over 8 years…..a complete  generation of primary school children have been sold out.  We just can’t produce the results we used to. If we have the courage to reinvent schooling, it will need to be soon.

 AND,  truth will out………Do we have the spunk to take notice and remedial action?

 You see. KLEIN WAS FOUND OUT.  Remember, dear reader, this is our system of schooling that we are talking about.

“ His score sheet for New York was recalibrated …and the results fell like a lead balloon.  Overnight, Klein’s claims of pedagogical wizardry evaporated, and with that admission, the New York City ‘Miracle’ went up in smoke”  just where our Rudd/Gillard  Revolution is going.

 “As a result of this legerdemain, a generation of school children will have passed through the system with marginal literacy skills, when the billions lavished on outside advice and malfunctioning computer system designed to track meaningless ‘progress’ were put in place.”  Gains have been illusory says author Marc Epstein,  and the ‘charter schools’ contribution to system change, has not made any difference in results. Australian results represent more than ‘marginal’ decline They are significant……and we don’t seem to care.

 Australian testucators continue to heap praise on the efforts of Klein by continuing with it;  and “In their complete indifference to facts, the media sound like a claque that talks only to one another.”

Many non-school educators who claim that NAPLAN is useful “know as much about the inner workings of a public school as they do the interior “of a French-made nuclear submarine. “They have unquestionably  bought Klein’s self-congratulatory narrative about public education as well as his narrow minded views about teachers and unions.” He would have championed the anti-Gonski political push and probably will if he ever gets the chance….but then he is wallowing in the profits of the Murdoch testing industry too comfortably at present to bother with any other new  ‘trick’..

 “The Klein ‘spin machine’  managed to convince [gullible others], along with other NY opinion makers that only he was capable of rescuing public education from the clutches of entrenched union and political  interests before it was too late.”  He accomplished this feat by appealing to liberal, conservative and libertarian interests that love the rhetoric for their own particular ideological reasons, and didn’t want to be bothered by the details.”

 Journalists didn’t ‘bother hunting down a story when you can ‘do lunch’ with Joel Klein at a restaurant that serves yogurt at $23 a cup and get the scoop from the Wizard himself.”   Ask Julia about that.

 “A good reporter should have been asking how did Klein manage to pull the wool over eyes of so many?  Was it his buddy the NY Mayor’s vast media machine or the power of his fortune shrewdly integrated with the power of his political office”, as did the fortune of Rupert Murdoch became integrated with the political power of Gillard for the Australian market at the time. For conservative/libertarians like Rupert Murdoch the lure of vouchers, charter’s, coupled with a strong attack on the hated teachers’ unions proved irresistible. For others the promise of a Peace Corp kind of reaction to the less-than-honourable tactics of the test industry was unrealised.  Australians are notably compliant when following any American request.  Any counter-testing opposition that popped up was airily dismissed while Klein’s agents in authority in Australia were fine-tuning the mechanism. All they had to say to stave off criticism from one organisation after another was that ACARA, the headquarters for Murdoch/Klein test factories “was that it was bringing accountability to a system that had been unaccountable for decades.” Editorial hosannas  usually follow, drowning out reports of school dysfunctions and bewilderment that are being reported from those working within the system.  Heard of Aurukun lately?

 Klein has left behind, both in Australia and in the USA “… a school system in which academic gains have been meagre.”  Parents have been shut out and basic standards have declined severely. “Low-scoring pupils are shuffled from school to school, discipline problems are hidden, teachers are demoralised and principals are scared of every twitch in the data, as incompetents rule the administrative roost.”  What is there to celebrate in Australian schooling while Australian political parties deliberately ignore the topic?”

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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 – Make It a Great Year for Kids.

 Vote for Kids. Opt out of NAPLAN

 Why do we tolerate it?

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