How did we get into testucation?
Here’s the next couple of chapters of Fair-dinkum Pupilling – Girt by Naplan. They contain the story played by our testucation warriors in the introduction of kleinism into Australia. Imported direct from New York. It’s not a pretty story; especially when one considers preferred ways of introducing change to national systems of schooling. Why do Australians politicians believe that Coercion is the only way to initiate change? Didn’t our leaders trust local educators ? Why couldn’t a series of fora be held to discuss the issue? Where were our ‘learned societies’ such as ACEL and ACE ? Where were our subject and principals’ associations ? Where were our P&C Associations? Where were our Teacher Unions? [Early in the piece, I recall that an. AEU Conference in Sydney black-balled the use of NAPLAN, but the resolution was mysteriously withdrawn within a day or two at the conference itself. Strange!!!!] Where the hell was anybody who cared for kids?
What did Finland do, in similar circumstances, to have its entire population want to skite about what its does in its schools??? How did they arrange it ? Finnish folk abhor standardised blanket testing, yet it enters the international PISA contest just for a joke….and excels. [We used to do very well too, by the way, – top half-dozen – in these PISA comparisons before we started NAPLAN to teach the kids how to hate learning]. Formal compulsory schooling in Finland starts at seven years of age [the age that our kids are preparing the little ones for their second NAPLAN-generated test to make sure they can get used to anxiety; and learn to fear learning Maths etc., as early as possible]. Internal school evaluation programs are prized in Finland. Teaching experience is highly valued. A Masters degree is a requirement for entry to the profession. Teaching itself has top billing in any rating of professional status. Bit different from our kleinism style of testucation, ain’t it?
Have we ever investigated HOW Finland got to the top of the pole, demonstrating such stark differences from our own attitudes to schooling. We know what it does in its operations. It’s had millions of visitors to look at its schools. How did they manage to create such an atmosphere of dedicated school learning?
We know what we did to change the system. A very sad story. See below.
Fair-dinkum Pupilling – Girt by NAPLAN
GO FORTH JULIA
Julia wasn’t fussy about kids. They don’t vote. Lots of money was spent on school buildings as part of the early school Rudd reform, because she and Ruddy couldn’t think of anything else. That made the kids more comfortable…..physically…especially during the lengthy sit-stillery, itchy-bum swot episodes of test preparation.
Julia Gillard felt the yen for a world tour to find the kind of school system that she and Ruddy wanted…..something that took schools “…beyond the simplistic leagues tables” to use Kevie’s words. He should have washed his mouth out at that point in time, because that’s all that his deputy became interested in…(according to her mentor Joel Klein)….how to gather data for our long lists of scores that would prove that the Labor Party was right all the time. Labor members know the take-away tables better than the members of their fellow neo-con group, the Liberals; and they just wanted to prove that Kevie is always right.
Neither political group appreciates the value of non-testable subjects that help people to get real jobs and enjoy life. Not that pollies and their brown-nosed warriors don’t know how to be calculating, but not in a numerical sense. It is noticeable that few in that ant-hill in Canberra can talk about anything that provokes philosophical and/or ethical outcomes. I have yet to hear any pollie ever talk about the feelings of children in testing conditions. Have you? I mean…have you ever watched Question Time ?
Joel Klein, the great founder of our 2008 brand of Aussie-New York Schooling that is now called the Klein System of Australian Schooling reckons “…that’s all we [Julia and I] talked about …the collection of data…that was the focus of my discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister.” That’s what he said after the knees-up. DATAFICATION was, at that point, at that Big Apple cocktail party, destined to became a major Australian occupation and business operation that will last as long as Australian adults continue to ignore the plights and rights of kids; and ignore the meaning of fair dinkum school pupilling. Have you ever spoken to a schoolie about data-collection?
That moment in New York time set the seal on the future for millions of Australian kids…..and was the moment that Australia lost the meaning of FAIR DINKUMNESS.
NAPLAN was then introduced by stealth, corrupted the ethics and professionalism of the teaching force, halted efforts at sincere pupilling of children, and forced children to dislike the fundamentals of learning certain subjects, especially maths and science and to feel inadequate at any attempts at learning. The longer it has kept going, the more our learning outcomes across the curriculum landscape have slumped.
Public opinion seems to have altered dramatically, too. It now ranges from “That bloody thing” to “I hate it.” and “I’m pulling my child out of it.” It is universally unpopular.
Have you met any parent or teacher who thinks that NAPLAN is a useful device, working the wonders for the improvement of school learning in Australia that were promised by J&J ? They now know that it is completely UNNECESSARY.
In this 2007-17 decade, the opinion of parents and teachers and the achievements of children and their attention to learning has not mattered two hoots to our testucating monsters. In fine Titanic style, NAPLAN has now bumped into reality and has started sinking. It truly IS a gigantic, titanic waste. Billions down the gurgler.
How much proof does a mature adult need to express disapproval on the ballot paper?
The next trick is [if we continue] to make the tests easier, in true Klein big apple fashion.
DATA DATA DATA – totally unnecessary – but the mere collection of data, the capturing of professional attention from those who once loved kids, the trickery required to hide ethical principles from parents of kids, must send the measurers into seizures of supreme joy as they spend their time through to May, organising things for the annual NAPLAN WEEK, even though the results will, as usual, tell us nothing. There must be some pay-out of some macabre kind for them; maybe like an Addams Family B.B.Q.; a kind of activity that finds schadenfreude joy in others’ suffering or perhaps, NAPLAN , for its proponents, is like playing trains. It’s entertaining and being the Fat Controller is a real blast for ACARiANS to play, keeping Thomas the Tank Educator and his toys on the rails. No truly humane teacher-person would do things to kids or to steam engines what the likes of NAPLAN does to teachers and kids. Control, once based on paradigms of educational truisms [e.g.French & Raven ‘Bases of Power’], becomes a mechanical thing and will, one day, run off the rail with a big bang. Soon, we hope.
As far as useful jobs are concerned, are you old enough to remember the dunny-man?
I was always intrigued by the peaked cap formed by the sugar-bag that he wore over one shoulder. It made him look like a brown-coloured KKK member, didn’t it? Oi!
Fair Dinkum Pupilling – Girt by NAPLAN
GO FORTH JOEL
[No. I’m not suggesting that Joel was a kind of dunny-man….but…if the sugar-bag fits….]
It was that kind of junk anyhow. Julia met her ‘pin-up boy’ during her first night on the town of New York….and things have not been the same down-under since. Yes, she actually described him as her ‘pin-up boy’. That’s “across the crowded room” stuff. Right? She had dutifully called on Rupert as all Australian leaders are expected to do when they go through the Big Apple, to get their riding instructions. He arranged for her to attend a Rockafeller cocktail party where mind-altering martinis were being served. She was NOT on her way to Finland or any other country noted for its schooling achievements. She just took a trip to New York and nowhere else, where she was introduced to this slick, sweet-talking lawyer who was running one of New York’s better-known school districts…in much the same manner that a plumber runs a motor garage. It was famous for its peculiar operations. It’s achievements have never been anywhere near the top 200 districts in the States national testing program. The world knew that his tough-guy experiment was failing, but no one at the party seemed to. She must have swooned at his sweet-talk. There is no data available about the number of martinis that have to be consumed before the stage is set for a decision to be made suddenly; about an efficient and effective schooling system, as Australia had, to be changed to one of rapidly declining mediocrity in a few minutes. How big and how loud can ‘WOW!’ get?
It is reported that Joel Klein improved the results of the New York pupils by making the tests easier. It didn’t work. It is monstrous that he established FEAR at an all time level within a schooling system…..sacking principals and closing schools where, according to his statistics, children were not performing. He also had mass resignations of teachers who could not tolerate the system. None of these antics, as appealing as they were to our reforming Minster, worked. She just wanted to copy them. Hail to our founder, our ‘pin-up boy’ , according to Ms. Gillard.
The actual date is of historical consequence, but it seems to be lost. Pity. I’ve written to her office. I’m sure they’ll remember. It’s an important date for the annals of the Education History of Australia. It should be a postage stamp classic. The death of pupilling in Australian schools. It was in September, 2007…..a long long time ago for a suffering system….and a generation or two of learners lost.
It doesn’t matter now, our yawning adults reckon. Although it was an auspicious moment [that word!], it happened and she was able to free-load Joel and Mrs, Klein on a flight down under at the expense of Australia’s banking fraternity, which has always been implicated in the testing felony. He spoke to important people in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra who knew as much about schooling as Radar Riley, school janitor at Bulamakanka knew about investment banking. Never mind. Joel-boy was IN…..the icon of a banker’s view of schooling…..the Knight of Wall Street…..and so…schooling based on fear and distaste for learning was established in Australia…and remains. RIP fair-dinkum pupilling.
Fair-dinkum Pupilling – Girt by NAPLAN