This statement is taken from a larger piece on mental illness and the dehumanization of American society in Salon.
I couldn't help but think of the Common Core/Danielson juggernaut as I read this piece:
Underlying many of psychiatry’s nearly 400 diagnoses is the experience of helplessness, hopelessness, passivity, boredom, fear, isolation, and dehumanization—culminating in a loss of autonomy and community-connectedness. Do our societal institutions promote:
- Enthusiasm—or passivity?
- Respectful personal relationships—or manipulative impersonal ones?
- Community, trust, and confidence—or isolation, fear and paranoia?
- Empowerment—or helplessness?
- Autonomy (self-direction)—or heteronomy (institutional-direction)?
- Participatory democracy—or authoritarian hierarchies?
- Diversity and stimulation—or homogeneity and boredom?
Gee, a standardized curriculum tied to regular standardized tests all the year through tied to standardized evaluations of teachers so that nobody deviates from the status quo curricula - that should address all these problems people are facing that are making them feel helpless, hopeless, passive, bored, fearful, isolated, and dehumanized.
Yeah, not so much actually.
But of course the intent of the Common Core and Danielson and education reform and charter schools has always been about beating the humanity and individuality out of people, sterilizing the education experience even more than it already is, and churning out good little workers disciplined enough to follow orders and compliant consumers hungry to fill their starving souls with material goods.
But the more the powers that be try and control people, the worse things become:
The reality is that with enough helplessness, hopelessness, passivity, boredom, fear, isolation, and dehumanization, we rebel and refuse to comply. Some of us rebel by becoming inattentive. Others become aggressive. In large numbers we eat, drink and gamble too much. Still others become addicted to drugs, illicit and prescription. Millions work slavishly at dissatisfying jobs, become depressed and passive aggressive, while no small number of us can’t cut it and become homeless and appear crazy. Feeling misunderstood and uncared about, millions of us ultimately rebel against societal demands, however, given our wherewithal, our rebellions are often passive and disorganized, and routinely futile and self-destructive.
And so, they drug us - sometimes literally, with Big Pharma's "wonder drugs" that actually make many conditions worse in the long run, or sometimes figuratively, with the lies and half-truths they feed us in the media and in school.
How many more passive barbarians will be mass produced through President Obama's Race to the Top education reform system?
How many more children will grow up to lose their sense of wonder, their idealism, their creativity, their very souls to an education system that values only what can be "quantified."
The Salon article notes the following:
How engaged are we with our schooling? Another Gallup poll “The School Cliff: Student Engagement Drops With Each School Year” (released in January 2013), reported that the longer students stay in school, the less engaged they become. The poll surveyed nearly 500,000 students in 37 states in 2012, and found nearly 80% of elementary students reported being engaged with school, but by high school, only 40% reported being engaged. As the pollsters point out, “If we were doing right by our students and our future, these numbers would be the absolute opposite. For each year a student progresses in school, they should be more engaged, not less.”
Our education system should be helping to develop creative, idealistic, soulful people full of wonder, people full of empathy who can interact with others and feel a part of a larger community.
Instead we churn out fearful, selfish drones, isolated from community, stunted in creativity, bored beyond reason.
Clearly our education system is doing something wrong - unless those are the kinds of people you want to churn out.
And of course that is exactly the kind of people the people who own us want to churn out - good little workers disciplined enough to follow orders and compliant consumers hungry to fill their starving souls with material goods.
No wonder non-compliance scares our owners so much.
Remember how they handled Occupy?
Nothing scares the men who own us more then a bunch of people getting together to talk about how badly they're getting screwed by the system.
No wonder they're spying on us.
No wonder they're taking away the commons.
No wonder they're paramilitarizing the police forces in every city.
Anything to prop up the status quo and make sure people stay isolated and fearful.
And now Charlotte Danielson and the Common Core are two more "tools" in their control toolbox.
It's all about forcing compliance and maintaining control.
So glad my union leaders at the AFT, the UFT and the NYSUT are on board with the latest control mechanisms.
Anything to prop up the status quo.