The Vernacular of Naplan

The Australian public will find it easy 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 number of terms.

[1] Some general terms that aptly describe the current implications of the importation. Invented, these encapsulate what is happening to Aussie schools and pupils.

[2] Some terms  direct from up-over  because we copied its hard-data New York system of schooling; and the terms are in regular use up there; and

[3] A couple that indicate personal hope….hope for Aussie kids and Australia’s future.


 KLEINISM  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.
Bodybuilder c.t. fletcher shared secrets to building muscle at 62 warmup for chest workout an old tree doesn’t get taller, but bulks up like a bodybuilder
EICHMANNISM  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]


 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 ]

BOONDOGGLE   “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.

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


1.  Testing core subjects only

2.  Standardisation

3.  “Race to the Top”     [i.e. Competition between schools and states]

4.   Ranting Reform Ideas

Adopting educational reform ideas from corporate world & scientific movement. Hiring private sector experts as leaders.                                                                       


1.  Broad & Creative learning

2.  Customizing

3.   Slow Learning

4.   Owning a dream

Building a shared educational vision of what a good education system, schools and teachers look like Appointing educational professionals to leadership  positions.

[From Finnish Ministry presentation slide. See Bruce Hammonds’ blog-spot on:  www.leading-]

 COOKIE CUTTER  Something mass-produced, made to same size and low quality.  In schools, it suggests cutting all pupils’ potential to the same pattern.  Policies of fear-laden rigour and forced compliance inevitably deaden individuality, encourage mediocrity and conformity without personal distinction i.e. cookie cutting aka the ‘procrustean procedure’. [Google “cookie cutter schools”]

RUBBER ROOM   An ‘Assignment Centre” at a district office where teachers, whose pupils perform poorly or who try to beat the testers by so-called ‘cheating’ methods or are deemed to be incompetent, are sent – without mentoring. Usually bare they are often compared to large padded cells. New York City has 13. Some videos are available on line about rubber rooms. [Google “rubber room schools”]

WHITE FLIGHT  When parents from middle class suburbs drive their children to more affluent areas, because there are better facilities and are reputed to score better on the state blanket tests. [Helen Pitt : More to a school than good results SMH 17-12-10 P.17]


LEARNACY Teaching pupils how to learn; to develop their unique styles of learning; to help pupils to accept motivating  challenges and to do their best at school subject-interests….the opposite of preparing pupils to face the annual paper/pencil hard-data collection. Learnacy, once operating in many classrooms, will become rare in the Klein hard-data system recently introduced to Australian schools.

SHARED  EVALUATION  Teaching children to be conscious of self improvement; to share their learning progress with teachers and respected adults, especially parents; to learn the many ways of sharing personal school progress in particular; and to progress in achievements  beyond their own personal expectations. [At present, the concept is systemically  unknown, unused, and its development unencouraged]