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The vernacular of NAPLAN

By Phil Cullen - posted Thursday, 6 January 2011

It is so easy for the Australian public to determine what will happen to schooling while the evil Naplan testing is in existence, because we dutifully copy American ideas more than any other; and we only need to check on things across the big pond. One of the predictable changes will be to our conversational content, with the introduction of new words and terms. Below is listed a couple of terms [1] that aptly describe the current implications of the importation; [2] some terms direct from up-over because we copied its hard-data New York system of schooling and the terms are in use up there; and [3] a couple that indicate hope....hope for Aussie kids.

General terms 


The belief that children and teachers work and learn best when they are frightened by more powerful people [Cullen, P.:OLO Oct.201]. Named after the New York lawyer [Joel Klein] who once ran schools that way, and now works for Murdoch’s test production unit. The NY/Australian hard-data system of schooling is undeniably based on this premise and no other. Kleinism is the music of Naplan.


The tendency for subordinate leaders at the work-face [e.g. school administrators and principals] to impose mental torture on others because they are told to do so. Professionalism ceases to exist; job conditions more important. [Ibid]


Existing US terms

The new stupid

A condition that occurs when “... good data, expensively gathered, is misused to draw inaccurate conclusions leading powerful people to poor decisions.” [Tucker, W: The New Stupid or ]


Doing useless, wasteful or trivial work” as a consequence of ‘The New Stupid’, like spending school time on practising and preparing pupils for threatening tests; and the misuse of the data in its recording/reporting procedures. The author, Bill Tucker, [Ibid] believes in the objectivity of data collection and its use for schools.


Global Educational Reform Movement. The Finland Ministry of education compares the basic policies of GERM countries [USA, UK, Australia] with its own....

GERM Finland

Testing core subjects only Broad & Creative learning

Standardisation Customizing


“Race to the Top” Slow Learning

Ranting Reform Ideas Owning a dream

Adopting educational reform ideas from corporate Building a shared educational vision of what a good

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About the Author

Phil Cullen is a teacher. His website is here: Primary Schooling.

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