NAPLAN – 9 May
IT’S ALL SYSTEMS GO!
The intensity of preparation for the tests is evident in the extreme measures that schools are taking to confront the evil in a few days. [See The Treehorn Express 19 April]. School administration teams will be busy arranging for the rooms, the invigilators aka security guards appointed, what to do with the rest of the school during the three days, sorting out those who have requested not to do the tests and the endless tasks that NAPLAN brings with it. The normal curriculum teaching will have been adjusted in classrooms some time ago and there will be heavy concentration on the examinable bits expected in the tests; plenty of test practice and homework. Teaching and learning will have been suspended until Friday, 12 May when celebrations for the conclusion of the sweat swot will be joyous.
Australian Schooling – the teaching and learning part – commences on Monday, 15 May.
The holistic curriculum that aims at high achievements in all learning matters will be commenced for the year on Monday, 15 May.
IN THE MEANTIME…..
Parents will be taking their children to tutoring shops, purchasing those “NAPLAN for Dummies” kind of books from the newsagents, supervising homework with serious concern, planning the rewards for ‘jobs well done’ and, maybe singing songs like “It’s Not on the Test”
to their own ‘little third graders’ The wise parents will be writing their notes to the teacher or the principal or the school indicating that they do not want their child to be subjected to the traumas of NAPLAN testing.
The teachers will be using up their supplies of vallium and tears and ‘kicking the cat’ that frustrations bring when they want their pupils to succeed in something that they did not ask for, can do without, doesn’t work, and is abusive to children’s mental health.
Principals will be doing as they are told as well as helping their teachers to ‘feel good’ under difficult circumstances
At the top tiers of government, Simon will have, by now consulted with his war cabinet [The Australian Government Primary Principals’ Association [ http://www.agppa.asn.au/ ], as they caste their ‘unified and authoritative’ eye over ACARA’s management of NAPLAN 2017, especially following the messages from the 2016 disappointment. This think-tank’s contribution to the maintenance of mediocre standards in our schools is pivitol. One cannot expect much higher than mediocre, of course. It’s in-built. It is, indeed crucial for 2017, since the most recent PISA results, where the effects of NAPLAN were evident, and Australian scores were worse than some third-world obscure authorities that Australia gets back to the middle or better in world terms. The very nature of NAPLAN assures the world that Australia is heading the wrong way in PISA terms. Our kids and their teachers do not seem to like doing NAPLAN nor PISA [for 15 year-olds]; that’s for sure. PISA is THE litmus test for how well NAPLAN works; and the evidence to date clearly shows that our kids are ‘turned off’ to learning maths, science and literature; and the stress and anxiety that they cause to individuals, parents and homes is much too high. This government think-tank, AGPPA, would have discussed, in some depth as to the 2016 calamity and whether it is worthwhile pursuing this kleinist mode of mass evaluation, called NAPLAN. We would expect no less, even though the discussions have not been made public.
Will NAPLAN be different this year and did AGPPA approve of the differences? Simon’s group will be au fait with the difficulties of the change-over to mechanised testing and satisfied itself that all is okay, except for the difficulties in Queensland, but ACARA will surely be required to assure the Government’s group that all is fair and square before it makes any public statements. How good are the keyboard skills of the victims? Anyone know?
The effects of this sort of testing program on the mental health of children must be of serious concern to AGPPA, if Simon’s loyal group cares for the government’s welfare. The governments drive for ‘Values’ seems to be a serious one, even though Australia does not have a serious stance in the way it treats its children. The tales of PTSD and versions of it, the suicide rate, the unhappiness in families at this time of the year must surely have been on the agenda of this government think-tank.
All will be well if sufficient parents are prepared to say ‘NO to NAPLAN’. It’s not too late.
By the way, does the government have its own Australian Government Council of State School Organisations that it has captured? If so, watch out kids. You’ve been well and truly treehorned.