Treehorn: Comments on Comments

COMMENTS ON COMMENTS

“NAPLAN is an optional extra – like Religious Instruction and School Excursions – which should require the approval of parents for children to participate. Its threatening impact on children’s mental health is too serious to slap on top of a regular learning curriculum just to provide data for a politically-inspired institution…..and then ‘allow’ parents to withdraw if they want!!”

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MUST READ : https://theconversation.com/parents-shouldnt-rely-on-my-school-data-when-choosing-a-school-for-their-child-74301?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20March%2014%202017%20-%2069605203&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20March%2014%202017%20-%2069605203+CID_e20578e1e46fd4f0c1cf16bb09133841&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Parents%20shouldnt%20rely%20on%20My%20School%20data%20when%20choosing%20a%20school%20for%20their%20child

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Ray Armstrong adds to the previous Treehorn Express. Please feel free to add your own.

“Serious consideration must be given to the abolition of the NOPLAN (literacy and numeracy) tests unless changes are made, mainly because  any “results” are invalid. If the tests are to be kept, then they must be administered in a scientific way, not the ad hoc system that now exists. 

For all intents and purposes, they are standardized tests which are unfortunately not administered in a standardized manner. Any Psychology 101 student could tell you this, yet the government persists with them. If you want reliable results, the way the tests are organized must be changed.

No valid conclusions can be from tests that ignore accepted procedure. 

The way the tests are administered leaves them open to manipulation and interference. When millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money is distributed on the basis of the test results, a more serious approach should be given to their implementation. 

For a start, the tests should not be given by the classroom teacher who has a vested interest in the results. A suitably trained anonymous person like a school counsellor should be engaged. With teachers increasingly ‘teaching to the tests’, settings ‘trial tests’ for weeks before, it is critical that these tests be administered by a person not known to the children and from outside the school

With this in mind, I was more than pleased to observe  that Angelo Gavrielatos of the Australian Education Union, has said teachers should boycott the tests. Many schools teachers “help” their children in order to boost their own standing, their school’s and any grant increases that may result as a spinoff from the tests. Only recently there were media reports of schools that had extraordinary improvements in their results over previous poor scores with no reasonable explanation. The answer is obvious to opponents of NOPLAN. Would you all like to see the HSC tests given out by the classroom teacher? I think not.

If you want to know how your child is progressing visit your school, talk with your child’s teacher, become engaged with your child’s school

The Naplan tests should be abolished. They are a waste of money. The money should be diverted to schools and their more immediate needs. The tests damage children and there is no research that demonstrates they do any good. In fact they do great harm. The time devoted to ‘teaching to the tests’ could be used in more creative educational pursuits.

Sadly, Governments will persist with NOPLAN until? Well I will tell you! Until a few of them have their seats threatened. As soon as politicians see there is even the slightest chance of losing their seats as a result of their obsession with NOPLAN only then will they act. This will mean groups like Treehorn will have to be more organized, address parental groups, communicate with other educational organizations (Principals’ Councils, P&C’s) and seek funding. ”

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Richard Flint, former army officer,  offered some advice to teachers….

“All who want to be better teachers. Never mind the wordy talk about NAPLAN. Teach better where ever you are..

No such a thing as bad students , only bad teachers.

To improve student performance ,increase teacher skill

Good teachers are expert in skills to impart knowledge to students. Student learn little if left to themselves.

Teachers can only teach approved doctrine. Most professions determine the minimum standard for licence or registration as a practitioner.

Education is too important to be left to teachers alone. The community determines what it wants its inhabitants to know.

There has always been examinations, usually annually, to allow to students to rise to the next age level. Didn’t have a fancy name in the past.

Difficulty is experienced creating a syllabus for Australia wide use.  For example, Darwin has difference to Melbourne for ethnic reasons. Rural is different to urban.

An examination can only be successful if it tests all the salient points of a subject.

Students tested a half an hour after the teaching session only remember some of the subject, results  are worse later. Revision is essential.

Last but not least. The only way to success in learning is to instil motivation. Students don’t learn if they don’t want to.”

R.S.Flint   AM, Brigadier (Ret) – Former Director General of Army Training and Education

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Stan Price, ex-teacher, differentiates between schools.

“We have a differentiated school system in Australia.
1. There are the NAPLAN-conditioned ones which care more about the test results than about the substance of school learning.
2. There are the learning focussed schools who teach children and tolerate the nuisance interruption of Naplan.
3. There are anti-NAPLAN schools which openly discuss the effects of Naplanning on their learning philosophy , and encourage dissent.

It’s too confusing.
I’d like to send my daughter to the third kind that openly discusses issues such as NAPLAN’S effects on learning, but there aren’t any handy.”

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Connie,Assistant Principal says.
“I don’t know what we will do this year during the change-over to computerised testing.  We don’t have enough computers now, so I guess special arrangements will be made.
Our suburb is not high on the socio-economic scale and our children are not used to computers.  Will the tests be modified to  cater for the confusion to come?  If so, what use will the test results then be?

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Treehorn’s 
article on ‘Attitude’in January 2017 applies:
Monopath, Julia Gillard, representing our entrenched screwball attitude to schooling when she chose the Klein system of fear-based learning in 2007, did so with confidence that Australia’s attitude to schooling and scoring is of the bang-crash-wallop-fear kind. Attitude! With her attitude embedded in looking for a malevolent solution rather than a tender, inclusive one for Australia to conduct an  evaluation of its schooling system, she only went for one extreme view. She only looked at one, using the Stuart Firestein technique of ‘farting around in the dark’, and she grabbed the kind her friend Kevin wanted. Since then, of course, it has been shown that she boo-booed,  that the use of NAPLAN testing to judge the standard of schooling is the work of fools, but we are stuck with it because she and her political and corporate friends said that we must do as we are told….despite our professional desires to exert true ethics and esoteric knowledge that will benefit children…..and avoiding the kind of  serious damage that NAPLAN inflicts.

It’s

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Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486   07 5524 6443  0407865999  cphilcullen@bigpond.com REFER :Who’s Who in Australia.

The Fallacy of NAPLAN’s Hegemonic Dominance

IT’S NAPLAN SEASON.  NORMAL SCHOOLING WILL RESUME ON MONDAY 15 MAY

 

THE FALLACY OF NAPLAN’S HEGEMONIC DOMINANCE

The manipulation by the ruling class of  developmental values that are

contrary to the authenticated needs of children (Maslow),

through the elite’s establishment

of a State Theory of Learning.

based on shaky quantitative measurement,

ensures a long-lasting  cultural hegemony

that seriously impedes wise and democratic decision-making procedures.

Maslow’s description of the motivational factors that spur people on to greater things, has been established, uncontested, for over half-a-century.  This five-stage model  of ‘growth needs’ arranged in hierarchical order which indicates that particular needs have to be satisfied before those higher in the pyramid of needs can be fulfilled.

NAPLAN applies  official indifference to the second rung of the ladder by attacking a child’s security and mental confidence with tests in the first year of schooling. Then, at about seven years of age, a crucial stage of a child’s development, it threatens, with totalitarian command, the warmth of friendly teaching/learning relationships with the rigours and anxiety of stern testing procedures.

It deliberately  establishes anxiety as a school requirement. A child’s Esteem needs are ignored so the chances of reaching their full potential are  seriously hindered. Most Australian children have Buckley’s chance of reaching their complete self-fulfilment while NAPLAN exists.

The lack of humanity shown by our political schadenfreudists borders on sadomachicism. They should know as well as any other sadist that the extremely  well researched dictum: ” The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distract and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” [Campbell] is real.    Last year’s PISA and TIMSS failures and NAPLAN’s flat-lining bear testimony to this.  As Goodhart’s Law also emphasises “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”….which gives credence to the prediction that NAPLAN will be dumbed down this year so that better scores can be obtained.

The use of NAPLAN as a cultural weapon of control over the democratic elements of schooling reveals a level of corruption and deceit that Australian schooling is unused to.

BEWARE

AUSTRALIA’S STATE LAWS OF SCHOOLING. [Developed and installed by Naplan experts]

Since life is linear, learning is linear. School subjects are linear, ordered and hierarchical within and between themselves.

Each subject is unique to itself and must be kept isolated from all others. Some are more important than others. The Vaccination Theory of Learning* applies.

Regular testing controls all school learnings. Tests do not need to be reliable nor valid.
Anxiety creation and the threat of fear of testing results are the essential elements of all learning processes.

All scores obtained by testing are to be officially regarded as reliable indicators of [a] a child’s potential for a happy and successful future, [b] growth in intellectual capacity, [c] creativity potential, [d] how well he or she learns,[e] how each pupil learns [f] how much is learned, [g] teacher ability.

Only a compulsory three-day rigorous workout once every two years can reveal how well each of these traits have been taught.

Humiliation of teachers and pupils is sanctioned as a motivational device.

Testing also shows how well children are taught, the organisational quality of school leadership, the curriculum leadership of the school authority; and the suitability of the curriculum content.

Standardised blanket testing such as NAPLAN has powers beyond the comprehension of the average human being. They should not enquire.

If learners are uncomfortable with this method of schooling, they must be taught to toughen up.

Views such as those expressed above by ‘The NAPLAN Law Of Dominance of Schooling’ will not be mentioned in any open company nor conveyed to parents of children who have allowed, either wittingly or unwittingly,  their children to sit the tests.

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VACCINATION THEORY OF LEARNING.   English is not History and History is not Maths and Maths is not Art and Art is not Science and Science is not Music and English and Maths and Science are major subjects and  History and Art and Music are minor.  Once you have been innoculated with these subjects you are protected and need not be vaccinated again.

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NOTE   Google ‘Hegemony” : The Marxist theory of cultural hegemony…is the idea that the ruling class can manipulate the value system and mores of a society, so that their view becomes the world view (Weltanschanung} ….In contrast to authoritative rule, cultural hegemony is “ is hegemonic only if those affected by it also consent to and struggle over its common sense”

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Heads Down: Abandon Naplan for the abandoned.

Heads Down

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NAPLAN For Abandoned* Kids

10 Weeks only to May 9

It’s swot time.

Scoreboard

Latest NAPLAN results :  Stagnation. Flat-lined.

                Latest PISA results:  Slipping back, relative to other countries

Relative to the promise of higher PISA results (‘top 5 by 25’), once NAPLAN has supposedly fixed the phantom Rudd/Gillard fantasies:  NAPLAN has failed miserably. See PISA results.

Cause : NAPLAN’s high success rate at ensuring that kids dislike Maths., Science, Reading as well as hate general learning and schooling.

‘Political’ cause: Poor teaching.

Political plans for the future : Get tougher. Create more anxiety. Keep blaming teachers. Keep parental choice secret.

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Statements concerning the NAPLAN era

At  a cost of billions of dollars over the past decade, NAPLAN has been a miserable failure.

It’s not about money or disadavantage. It’s about the way we treat our young.

Despite its failure and dire consequences, we continue with it. We used to be amongst very the top in PISA result before NAPLAN was introduced

Political and media spin try to maintain  the furphy that its diagnostic fantasies can point the way to improvement in test results.

Machiavellian cunning has corralled influential education associations and deleted their codes of professional conduct so that they now do as they are told, despite professional ethics.

SCHOOLING and LEARNING in our schools have never been regarded as decision-making imperatives by our politicians and their testucrats.They are consumed by an intense political predisposition towards testing only.

NAPLAN operations de-dignifies the humanity of the teaching-learning exchange.

Abuse of children’s mental health is part of the ethos of NAPLAN testing. The creation of fear and anxiety are essential elements of the entire process.  They will continue since both are part of the dna of the testing process. .

UNESCO’s Rights of the Child are being ignored. The dignity of the child is not respected under the required conditions.

Part of Australia’s penchant for the ancient British traditions of maintaining  a surfeit of public blanket tests and examinations, it is causing consternation in the medical and other caring professions by its close connection to serious social  and mental p and to the increases in teen suicide.

Parents can refuse to participate in the NAPLAN processes, but schools are not allowed to tell them that they can do this.

Conducted under the auspices  of the Murdoch press, the Institute of Public Affairs and the Australian Banking Association with their links to major political parties, there is little likelihood of any change for some time.

Change can only be enacted by large numbers of parents refusing to have their children ‘treated’ by NAPLAN; or by principals’ associations refusing to participate in such unethical political activities; or a push by a political party – for votes or for altruistic reasons which will earn it votes.

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To be noted

If NAPLAN continues this year, betcha there’s a panic about which schools have sufficient computers to cope with the tests and the level of proficiency of the various Year levels for  those who use them.  

During this test-prep period, official notices from various authorities to their schools will emphasise the importance of better NAPLAN results this year, with little mention of other more important curriculum issues.

If our NAPLAN and PISA reults continue of the present downward paths, what does our government do?

The kids are rejecting the modus operandi and they will reveal this in the results, despite the testucating ‘Tactics’ that are being planned. The pupils prefer to enjoy learning and to learn as much as they can about the whole curriculum…. in which  they are supposed to be properly pupilled during school hours.

There is now panic amongst the unclean testucators :“We need to focus on evidence based measures that will get results for our students because  results once again show that, despite significant funding growth, we are not getting sufficient improvements in student outcomes,” said Minister Simon Birmingham.  Whatever that means. It’s obviously a childish crack at funding by someone who knows little about schooling, of course. Someone should tell him that love for learning particular subjects ensures significant increased outcomes for any school subject….and that the banning of NAPLAN will bring great joy to his colleague Scott Morrison.  Billions ! [now being wasted on a once-per-year unreliable test] saved. Wow. Win-Win. More in success terms for kids; more in dollar terms for Scotty.

AND…Simon, you have sufficient evidence, young chap.  If you don’t know what causes test results to fall and how to make them rise, you’re in the wrong job. NAPLAN stinks and causes terrible outcomes in test results, disenchanment with learning, mental health, teacher unhappiness and parental concern, friend Morrison’s budget and general professional wreckage,  Haven’t you noticed? 

Get rid of it. Our kids’ schooling welfare has been abandoned for too long, now.

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*Abandone”:  Those left to contest  NAPLAN after all others have been pulled out.by concerned parents.

Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486  07 5524 6443  0407865999  cphilcullen@bigpond.com  REFER: Who’s Who in Australia.

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What If?

Treehorn recently speculated as to what would happen if Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party included the banning of NAPLAN as part of its policy.


If it did, it would be ‘London to a brick’ that she would become Prime Minister, the  Honourable Pauline Hanson at the next election. Wouldn’t it? There are a few million teachers and parents and others who just don’t like what NAPLAN does to our kids, how it contributes to our lowering of status and ‘standards’ on international tests, what it does to the mental health of our young and the blatant waste of  billions of dollars  through ACARA’s  assault on our schools each year.

Pauline has a leadership style that is different.  While neo-con business corporations and bankers will try to ‘persuade’ her to join their other units – Liberal and Labor – she seems most likely to resist.

No.  She’s not my cup of tea; but dissatisfaction with major parties seems to be increasing.  If she was able to get rid of NAPLAN, one of the greatest threats to our nation’s progress ever, she’s worth considering….just because of that.

It’s a very real possibility, don’t you think?

As our squirming, nervous  kids get closer to the May NAPLAN testocaust, things should get interesting.

In the meantime……

A thought.

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Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point 2486  07 5524 6443  0407865999  cphilcullen@bigpond.com    Refer: Who’s Who in Australia


Skinning Cats Alive.

I had convinced myself during the 1980s that, within twenty years, Australia would have a schooling system that was like no other…..built purely on love for learning and a zest for achievement in all things. At the time, things were on the up-and-up and school leadership was more ethical and professional and thoughtful than it had ever been. Teachers were proving their academic and professional worth in the big arena. Bureaucrats were learning to pull their heads in and were releasing the power of a truly caring profession. There was ‘Pride in Primary’ – real fair-dinkum pride in being a primary teacher -a catch-phrase that the good guys used at the time during their professional and personal activities. Classrooms looked like exciting learning places…‘Living, Learning Laboratories’ as Bob Pashen called them – inviting children to come in and join in the joy of learning. Things felt good. We had a lot of wrinkles to iron out that would take some doing and a lot more independence to be grasped … but we knew we could do it. We felt so tall and so proud of being primary.

Bugger! We couldn’t. A special form of heavy-handed totalitarian political control grew alien antennae that made some powerful politico-weirdos believe they knew everything about everything.,..and they took over the activities of governments.

A toxic form of managerialism hit the fan in the mid-80s; and we lost sight of the kids. These aliens organised and started running testing factories replacing real people who’d been-there-done-that ,organising schools of learning and mentoring others on the way. These good guys were cunningly dominated by absurdists who forced fear-laden testing on kids and have now done more damage to Australia than the Japanese could ever have done. Fear-laden swotting of a kind never known before has replaced decent teaching. The load on small pupils during normal learning time, the likes of which no previous generation has had to tolerate. is enormous. Kids are still our future, but you wouldn’t think so. 

Now we have a take-over of schooling by the most ruthless gang of kid-bashing monsters ever. Schools, intended to be the centres of schooling excellence that our children deserve, were set up on Day 1 of schooling … ,last Monday…. to be an examination centre for happy, anxious young kids who’d been dreaming of something else on their first day. 

What an introduction to a lifetime of learning!

The little ones were kept quiet and submissive, we’ve been told, waiting for a teacher to give them a series of literacy and mathematical encounters, the results of which were scored and recorded and forwarded to an all-powerful pooh-bah who will keep the data for statistical purposes. The school will be expected to keep the results until the poor little folk contest the really earnest NAPLAN test in Year 3, when they are about 7 years of age. The branding done and intellectual expectations set in place in the minds of those adults whom the child respects at this point, will mark their progress for many years, Day 2 marked the beginning of ‘getting to know you’ activities, starting to ‘down play’ the implications of the day before, and to start the pupilling….fair-dinkum schooling. No one will have time to try to see what effect the testing had on the pupil, how the pupil felt, The effects could be profound, but we big people will pretend that negativity can be patted away and all will be okay. We will also pretend on behalf of those who did not do well, that it doesn’t matter. The kids are so young. They’ll get over it. We’ve sorted them out early, as far as NAPLAN goes, anyhow. 

Remember that page in one of the most wonderful books on education :ThGeranium on the Window Sill Just Died but Teacher you went right on” by Albert Cullum : 

Where is my place in your puzzle, teach?

Do I fit?

Or am I one piece too many?

Tell me for real, teach!

I know there’s no room for me on the bulletin board,

but do I have a place in your puzzle?

When the advisers and special helpers move in to remind the slow or poor-scoring child of his or her inadequacies, we will be sure to get an increase in scores, by Year 3, because that’s what this kind of schooling is all about. By test time in Year 3 0r 5, many pupils will be saying, in Albert Cullum talk :

was good at everything

– honest, everything –

until I started being here with you.

I was good at laughing, 

playing dead, being king.

Yeah, I was good at everything!

But now I’m only good at everything

on Saturdays and Sundays…

It’s certainly useful to know how your pupil stacks up against others and against certain criteria. …and against their own views of themselves. It’s also critical , however, that the information is obtained as part of the learning operation. Those who would kill a cat by skinning it alive, would approve of the way that some schools conducted the operation last Monday. “Hello Sam. Here’s a little fun thing I’d like you to do. Bye Sam”

The media will pile on the plaudits for the kids and the teachers for the first day. It makes good copy. Parents will scurry home to learn how to do it better with the next child. After all, kids talk. The disgrace of having to seek remediation for what I did to my kid! OMG.

I should like to make one point. The way that this operation was carried out, the organisational mode was a disgrace. Only cold and calculating beasts , excuses for humanity, would dream this sort of thing

Teachers will learn more about each child during the first week or two of schooling and use it for each child’s welfare; in the way things ought to operateand;, hopefully, repair some of the damage done by mean-spirited adults who enjoy skinning cats alive,

Phil Culllen, Emeritus Director of Primary Education, Q’ld.., 41 Cominan Avenue, Banora Point. Australia 2486. 07 5524 6443 0407865999 cphilcullen@bigpond.com

Datafication

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS TOPIC.  IGNORE ITS INTENTIONS AT OUR NATION’S PERIL; AND THEN PRAY FOR ITS KIDS.

The future of our nation depends on our attitude towards children and their schooling

DATAFICATION

It’s here. It’s the end of schooling as an interpersonal teacher-pupil interactive learning enterprise.
During this century there has been a distinct movement in schooling from Education to Testucation to Datafication.

To the everlasting credit of a remarkable work force, Australiam teachers have maintained an amazing standard of pupilling excellence, of which, despite the debilitating interruptions by blanket testing, Australians can be proud. The future of schooling will be much tougher for pupils, teachers and parents, however, if we continue on our present course.

DATAFICATION

IT’S SERIOUS. “What it simply means is this: from our actions to our thoughts, everything is getting transformed into a numerically transformed format or ‘Data’….from sports to finance and from entertainment to healthcare, everything around us is converting into data.” [Sawinder Kaur]. Get used to it.

“Datafication refers to the collective tools, technologies and processes used to transfer an organisation to a data-driven enterprise. This buzzword describes an organisational trend of defining the key to core business operations through a reliance on data and its related infrastructure.”[Technopedia]

“Datafication is the method behind the madness of Big Data.”  [Mark Sylvestor]

It’s a later day technological trend that involves the collection of data and transforming the information into new forms of value. It’s the sort of thing that Rupert has dreamed of for years.  Seen to be of benefit for core business operations, it has invaded schooling systems to destroy the vigorous spirit of established institutionalised learning and to turn its citadels into business operations and testing factories in which a gullible public will spend big money to enrol their children. The recent rise in the standard of marketing and lobbying  skills will ensure this.   Datification has been able to take over from the testucation processes attached to NAPLAN because our testing industry had difficulty in understanding the consequences of certain unwelcome schooling behaviours that were introduced rudely into Australia in 2008; and this makes things easier for schools to become digitised and datafied testing factories.  It’s more than just using laptops at school for learning purposes. It’s a debauched use of technology merely to supply data to measurers for judgmental causes and maladjusted, political control.

Data collection is driving our schools….now….and the intensity is about to increase.  The shape and infrastructure of schooling and our attitude to it have changed. We need to stop the nonsense and talk. Testucation and datafication are draining the humanity of learning from our schools.

If we want this trend to continue, we should do nothing.  We are used to doing nothing. Ignoring the plight of school children is a major Australian cultural meme.  “She’ll be right, Jack.”  We allowed managerialism to take over from experienced-based organisational designs in the 1980s, then ignored the change to testucation in 2008, now to datafication.  Are you happy with the trend? Within the school setting, it meant changing from challenging styles of maieutic pupilling to didactic chalk-talk test practice, practice, practice that pupils usually detest. It has produced mediocre results in national and international tests as expected and should continue to do so.  It’s the pupils who decide how well they will do on tests, for goodness sake. How do we treat them in a productive, learning sense?

This may not have been  the Gillard-Klein intention when they introduced fear and obsession with test scores to supplant pupilled love of learning in 2008, but it happened.  They certainly set out to be data-centric, nasty and tough, but I should think that they did not intend things to go so far. They thought that they were just testing what had been taught, as we all used to do in our schools. It all went pear-shaped and the kids are now doing worse than ever before  at basic operations, because of the tests themselves…. but the modus operandi of using NAPLAN to gather data has been maintained!  […and it’s the bogey that contains the seeds of lowering standards! It actually causes the slump!] This has suited the datafying hawks, however,  who are presently taking over  from both kleinish testucators and former educators, ‘…using rapid speed and amazing tools to store, manipulate and analyse  information”,  for other-than-schooling purposes. Almost the whole population will, in the future,  be data-nailed as soon as they enter school and be branded through  datafying routines now being used by industry.  Schooling is not what it used to be; and we should fear for the kids at the chalk-face of the 21st century.   With creativity, problem solving, thinking, decision making, zest, acceptance  of challenges and pupilling,  all removed from the school scene, the kids don’t have much chance to enjoy a happy, challenging, creative, healthy life full of satisfying achievements as they could have expected from basic pupilling conditions at a humanity-based learning school.

Eagerly supported by the big corporate boys, the testucrats have set no limits to the expenditure of tax-payers’ money on new organisational arrangements.  If someone had said to you, some years ago, that education departments in Australia would, one day, spend $A24.7million dollars for computerised tablets, just to do a few tests of basic standards over a one-hit three-day period, because it’s quicker than using paper and pencil…..what would the electorate have said?   OUT!

Just to score tests faster !!!!   You can also be sure that much more than that will be spent over the next few years on increasing ‘how’ and ‘what’ we collect in our next lot of data-drives.

If you approve of totalitarian tactics, creation of fear, sleepnessness, depression and arrogant child abuse to obtain better scores on unreliable tests, that those such as NAPLAN now provide, with the expectation of more datafication procedures,   you must belong to some kind of moronic religion or terror group that ignores humanity and children and fair-play and equality.  Get outa here. Go back home to dataland.

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Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue  Banora Point  Australia 2486  07 5524 6443 407865999 cphilcullen@bigpond.com  REFER :”Who’s Who in Australia.”

NAPLAN for Mummies. What is the purpose of NAPLAN?

The future of our nation depends on our attitude towards children and their schooling

NAPLAN

FOR MUMMIES

What is the purpose of NAPLAN?

A cynic would respond, “To line the pockets of Rupert Murdoch, Joel Klein and other captains of the Testing Industry.”

There is some truth in this. It appears that, some years ago,  Rupert Murdoch saw the future of schooling  [and other education enterprises] to be almost totally digital. Digital education was the future! Any need for schools? In 2012, through his News Corp. organisation, he purchased, for $US371 million, Wireless Generation, a company producing digitised curriculum and assessment material. He enlarged the enterprise , employed over 1200 writers, called it Amplify and appointed Joel Klein, the founder of Australia’s schooling system in 2008, to direct the business of digitising education products and services.  News Corp’s foray into the digitised education business is notable.  We aren’t allowed to talk about it much in Australia, even though we are a critical part of the empire .  It is prudent of News Corp. representatives down-under, to play-down the human stuff-ups of schooling caused by testing regimes; and not to make too much mention of NAPLAN’s failures and peculiarities. Media silence on important issues is part of the scenery down under. This has given NAPLAN and kleinism aka fear-based schooling a pretty free run since 2008. Since News Corp controls most of Australia’s media outlets and, it could be said, has a close linkage with our test-based schooling system, the cynic must have a point.  NAPLAN testing in Australia is  completely digitised this year and we are on the way to fulfilling Rupert’s business vision.  The cost of a tablet for each child completing the test has not been publicised. Financial matters are cunningly operated  by the states using federal taxpayers’ grant money conditionally tied for their diligence to NAPLAN.   It’s very tricky.

There are numerous doctoral theses that can be undertaken: : unravelling the payments made for NAPLAN, by whom to whom, how much, how planned, how organised; the whole scandal of its establishment and who wins. If students and universities are brave enough to examine the various exigencies of NAPLAN testing and they are able to obtain the information,  each thesis should provide interesting reading.

Australian measurers are about to enjoy the use of computer tablets and the purring of the CAT phase of naplanning – Computer Adaptive Testing;   and its UCD – User Centred Design from the field of datafication.  In classroom-speak, that means  the intense  gathering of a variety of data from as many pupils as possible to add it all to a pile of measurement algorithms for deep measurement seances at high levels, holding hands with the high priests of measurement who once gave statisticians their great glory.  Improvement in classroom activities and particularly in pupil attitudes towards learning is purely speculative….and unlikely.  The use of educational technology can be of enormous assistance to classroom learning, but the use of technology merely to streamline the gathering of data is a prostitution of its potential.  Why is it so?

Schooling in Australia is now big business, Mum. Schooling ain’t the well-meaning public service it once was andought to beTesting and datafication are major growth industries.  Schooling ceased being an altruistic, public spirited, humane, community welfare service when NAPLAN hit the fan and spread its testing muck in 2008.  A change of public attitude could bring testing to an end tomorrow, but we do not have the political spunk to challenge those who now tell us what to do and how to think. They are very good at controlling political attitudes. The indoctrination of a disinterested public has been very successful….until now. 

Meanwhile, back at the school gate, parents are unsure.  They wonder what it would be like if schools concentrated on the usual operations  of teaching and learning and not bother with all this super-imposed bally-hoo, Those who care seriously about the full future of their child, must wonder about the effects of testing and the other extra-curricular compulsions, on their child’s overall development. They wonder what kind of person their child will become, what kind of job they will have,  how  their child will cope with doing  jobs that don’t exist yet.   What sort of schooling should they require?  Should they  only need to pass tests of basic standards and little else,  or  should they learn how to evaluate their own progress in whatever they do and be able to make serious decisions; undertake challenges with zest, achieve as high as possible; and partake of art and music and play and sport in a really enjoyable and productive way; and enjoy life,  Gaining high marks in the kind of topics that NAPLAN targets is a piece of cake, if one develops an interest in the subject…the opposite of the naplanning kind of motivation; but the use of fear and despair now built into the testing procedures as part of it, is preferred by our obedient politicians.  We can get PISA scores much higher than we ever have, if we are only able to understand what we are doing and helping schools to develop positive attitudes to learning, instead of wasting time on all this testing. muck.

ACARA describes NAPLAN as follows…

“The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It has been an everyday part of the school calendar since 2008.

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, 
writing, spelling and numeracy. The assessments are undertaken nationwide, every year, in the second full week in May.

NAPLAN is made up http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/naplan-is-driving-our-students-backwards-20130514-2jk5p.html of tests in the four areas (or ‘domains’) of reading etc.”

This  pronouncement that schools teach NAPLAN every day of the school year is a worry….but…that’s it.  It’s been a take-over of the system, without a doubt.  Has it done any good?

Sorry, Mums.  NAPLAN testing results have been flat-lining or heading down hill.  Quality teachers attribute this to the kleinist philosophy of fear and punishment pervading the intense test preparation that NAPLAN requires.  It certainly ‘turns kids off’ learning. It certainly teaches them to ‘hate’ some subjects and/or to ‘hate’ school. If you allow your child to take part in the rigours of NAPLAN test preparation, you do take a risk, Mum. Ask Lucy Clark. Children always do better at doing something that they like to do…and NAPLAN certainly discourages teaching children from appreciating the beauty of Maths., the magic of Science, the joy of enticing literature. NAPLAN is causing declining, mediocre results in its own tests and in the international PISA tests and in TIMMS!The slides are getting slipperer!

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/naplan-is-driving-our-students-backwards-20130514-2jk5p.html

There is a field of thought that believes that children should be taught to evaluate things themselves using themselves as the rating unit….anything but a silly numeral!  It is immoral, surely,  to impose damaging  high stakes tests on individuals without their permission.  Self-evaluation is an outcome of shared evaluation and is based on the belief that anything we expect others to do requires a close, critical, encouraging audience, and the only one we should share it with is someone whom the learner respects…..teacher, mum, dad, big brother, sister, aunt…. or all of them.

The concept of pupilling is one that testucators have a problem with. They don’t seem to know what it means. They use the word ‘student’ to cover up their inexperience.   Hey, testucator!  It is the reason we send our kids to school! It is a contract between a learner….”I will learn. You will teach. We will both do our best.” and a teacher ….”I will teach. You will learn. We will both do our best.”  No need for any interference, unless requested.  We didn’t ask you to poke your noses into our decent, effective, professional, ethical learning efforts, Mr. Testucator. You weren’t invited to our daily learning fests. We evaluate as we learn. Get outa here!

Might I earnestly suggest, Mums,  that you talk seriously about such issues with a thinking  teacher, other mums and dads about NAPLAN before you make up your mind.  You have until early May, but the best advice is to remove the burden from your child’s shoulders asap.  Let him or her enjoy the good parts of schooling. Your school cannot offer you the choice. It isn’t allowed for obvious totalitarian, testucating reasons.

Please telephone or talk with your local members to determine their attitude to our kleinist form of schooling…….and they will ban it if they are fair dinkum…..and Australia will be better off

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Phil Cullen  41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486 07 5524 443           0407865999   cphilcullen@bigpond.com

Refer: “Who’s Who in Australia’