Wendy Lecker extends her analysis of reformer actions and policies and how they purposely do the opposite of what they say.

In part 1, she quoted Orwell’s definition of doublethink:

“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality.”

— George Orwell, 1984

Orwell’s definition of “doublethink” explains Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s education reform strategy. His playbook consists of starving our neediest children of educational basics, while claiming he is “helping” them prepare for the 21st century.

In part 2, she quotes Orwell: “”War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Ignorance is strength.”

What reformers say and do are opposites:

Reformers say they want creativity and critical thinking as they impose more standardization and punish nonconformity. They say they don’t want teachers to teach to the test, but make the tests more consequential than ever.

Lecker writes:

“The Common Core’s roll-out intensifies the homogenized, test-focused approach to instruction. In one needy Connecticut district, children were handed identical “contracts” with the following expectations: “all children will grow by at least one level on the Common-Core aligned rubric each trimester;” and “all students will improve their reading levels by at least two years by the end of the school year.” The Common Core rubric and tests define learning.

“Regimentation is the reformers’ ideal of a teacher-student relationship. In his campaign to expand the charter school empire in Connecticut, Commissioner Pryor handed two public schools over to Jumoke/FUSE charter chain. The teacher attitude there is exemplified by this fifth grade teacher at Bridgeport’s Jumoke-controlled Dunbar school. Her opening line to her 10-year-old students was: “While I am teaching, I want to see you in ready position … feet flat on the floor, hands folded on the desk and eyes on me.” In the normal world, rapt attention is the result of engaging teaching. This teacher foists that responsibility on the child. The lesson here is: compliance above all. You need not be actually engaged — just act the part.

“Even superintendents are being whipped into compliance. Pryor handed down a ready-made Powerpoint with Common Core “talking points” that principals and teachers are to present at all school open houses.

“In a recent Orwellian twist, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has issued “guidance” mandating that states cease the use of modified assessments. Thus, students with disabilities must now take the exact same tests as everyone else.

“Identical tests, identical goals, identical results and identical behavior may work with automatons. However, as Steve Nelson, director of New York’s Calhoun School, recently observed, real children are not standard. They develop at different rates and learn in different ways. If we seek to develop creative innovative thinkers who can thrive in the real world, we cannot park them in front of a computer to learn and practice disembodied skills, nor have them taught by automatons parroting scripted lessons.

“To suggest that these reforms are “good for our children” is the most Orwellian claim of all.”

The first part of her two-part series is here.