Danny Weil on the Daily Censored in three paragraphs sums up the edu-speak of privatizers and so-called education reformers in his post Teachers Inactivist Man vs. Achievement Gap Woman: Double speak as idiot wind.
I love Weil’s term “philanthropirates”.
Teacher’s wages, student poverty, cuts in educational funds, leaving ‘children behind’, ‘failure to close the ‘achievement gap’ and more sophistry in education all combine to frame the Sophocles tragedy we call ‘educational theatre’. As you listen to the YouTube tragic-humor found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FOmnG721qo pay close to attention to the language employed, not to mention the dialogue. To take one example, the ‘achievement gap’ and its twin, Social Darwinism, is now conveyed in a language of ‘double speak’ – the language George Orwell warned us would come about in his epoch novel 1984. Inequality is now masked by those who wield power by the use of a language of power and dismemberment of thinking.
Formed in think tanks, by the likes of philanthropirates like Bill Gates, ‘double speak’ is a form of mental discipline whose goal, desirable and necessary to all of those in power, is to be able to believe in two contradictory truths at the same time. Also known as ‘cognitive dissonance’ double speak lies behind the ability of those in power to formulate and thus manage perceptions through the use of language. The ‘Injustice System’ in America is the ‘Justice System’; ‘inheritance tax (for the lucky 1%) is called the ‘death tax’; the Secretary of Defense is really the Secretary of War; the War on Drugs is actually the distribution of drugs; torture is enhanced interrogation while permanent war is clothed in the language of permanent peace.In education managerial double speak like ‘best practices’ are really ‘practices to enhance student and teacher servitude’; the ‘achievement gap’ is nothing more than ‘poverty and inequality’ in opportunity and ‘teaching’ itself is little more than ‘forced obedience training’. This use of language is all very helpful to those who are in power and wish to stay there. For as Francis Bacon the great philosopher and scientist noted and as the Sophists of Greece had established back in 750 B.C.E.: “Men think they control language when in fact language controls them”.