Saturday, August 2, 2014

Education Reforms and Sociopathy- Guest Post By Wilma DeSoto

It is no secret that American Society has recently suffered from a spate of Anti-Social Corporate Reforms which have contributed to the wide-spread suffering of the American people at large. Sociopathy is becoming more common than ever with one out of every seven people exhibiting some sort of sociopathic behaviors.
Individuals with anti-social tendencies have infiltrated every segment of American Society including Corporations whose practices affect millions of unsuspecting Americans in ways not thought possible before.
In this article I would like to examine a few of the characteristics of Sociopathy as I feel it relates to Corporate Education Reform Policies. Since I am a teacher these reforms hit me “where I live” the most, so let me voice my opinion as to how I see these manifestations.
Glibness and Superficial Charm
Sociopaths appear to be charming, but what lies beneath is often covert hostility and the desire to domineer. People are to be used to achieve their purposes. They can be either confederates or accomplices or victims. Confederates and accomplices will also later become victims.
Remember the phrase “School Choice” and “Every Child is Entitled to a Good Education with Qualified Teachers?” That was the mantra to lure parents into abandoning Public Education in lieu of Charter Schools and other Privatization Initiatives.Of course parents were never told this was the ultimate goal in order to entice them into the Corporate Web. Slick Marketing, Glossy Brochures, Condemnation of the Public System and its Teachers and what the system “has done” to their children served to create a climate of doubt, confusion and fear in parents who with all due respect, only want the best for their children. It also appealed heavily to parental vanity that the system was the enemy and Charter Schools were there to save them.
However once the Trojan Horse was in and people began to see the flaws in the facade as Charters proliferated, parental concerns were marginalized and or ignored thereby giving them NO choice.
Grandiose Sense of Self
Sociopaths have a sense of entitlement to things as “their right.”
The sheer arrogance and contempt by Corporate Reformers to belittle and downright ignore any evidence concerning their reforms presented by parents, teachers and communities protects them and their goals of getting they want. They feel is their right to use public monies for their own private gain without any accountability or transparency as to how said funds are used, how much their people are paid, who are their business donors and partners and what happened to things they promised that did not materialize.
Pathological Lying
Sociopaths are cool liars and often change their stories in order to justify their beliefs about their omnipotent powers and abilities.
People who have absolutely no educational background or classroom experience are convinced they know about teaching and how to improve it. They appear on television and other media touting non-existent expertise in such areas. When pinned down by questions that might challenge them on the value of high-stakes testing, testing scandals that happened under their watch, etc., they are not forthcoming and quickly re-invent the situation in order to retain dominant mantra that they know best. They victimize those under their thumbs to take the rap for their misguided autocratic directives when things go wrong, while denying such episodes have happened as a result of their polices
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
Sociopaths often have deep-seated and covert rage is often at the center of their actions. They repress it while seeing people as targets or opportunities in order to get across their personal agendas. They let nothing stand in their way.
I truly believe besides the profit motive, hatred for teachers is the impetus behind many of reformist actions. On the surface they exclaim how much they respect teachers, but then do everything to demoralize, destroy, and de-professionalize teachers. Still that is not enough. Now they are going after teacher tenure. The children are being used as an opportunity for them to justify their hateful agenda and they have the effrontery to claim the people who have dedicated their lives to trying to help children succeed are actually harming children, by being a consistent presence in these children’s lives. They stop at nothing to get their way.
Shallow Emotions
Sociopaths feign concern, warmth and compassion, but only because they have ulterior motives.
How many times have parents and communities expressed outrage and school closings, teacher firings etc, only to be given shallow promises that their concerns were heard and something will be done about them. Ingenuous people cannot honor genuine promises.
Callousness and Lack of Empathy
Sociopaths are not able to empathize with the pain of those they victimize. They have contempt for others in distress and take advantage of said distress.
Countless pleas at school board meetings nationwide, protest marches, rallies by parents, students and teachers have largely fallen on deaf ears. The pain of the people is routinely ignored by the callous contempt clearly evident in the faces of these board members as people pour their hearts to them in an effort to get them to listen to their concerns. The most emotional of us are often removed from these meetings, sometimes in a violent manner. Those who remain in the audience are often crestfallen as the various boards cavalierly vote on measure the people do not want as if they were never there in the first place.
In conclusion, I reiterate this is my opinion expressed here. I am in no way suggesting that all Education Reformers are Sociopaths, but I do feel the manner in which they have implemented many of their Education Reforms have many of the characteristics of Sociopathy or Anti-Social Personality Disorder. After all, the attacks on so many areas of society designed to create Democratic opportunities in which we all of us should play a part and are affected by for the worse is indeed anti-social.


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