Michael Hynes: “The New Normal” Is Sick

By dianeravitch

Michael Hynes is superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford public schools on Long Island in NewNew York.

He writes:

“Is hypernormalisation even a word? I didn’t believe so until recently. According to Wikipedia, (insert sarcasm), “The term … is taken from Alexei Yurchak’s 2006 book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, about the paradoxes of life in the Soviet Union, where the author explains, “Everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretense of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the “fakeness” was accepted by everyone as real”, an effect that Yurchak dubbed hypernormalisation.

“British filmmaker Adam Curtis took the concept beyond the Soviet reference, in his award-nominated documentary, HyperNormalisation,, about how governments, financiers, and technological gurus have given up on the complex “real world” and built a “fake world,” run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

“Wow, sound familiar? This is precisely what is taking place in the United States at the present moment, most notably in my world of public education.

“The hypernormalisation of public education has been slowly creeping its way into our schools, becoming the official party line with the federal mandate of testing our children to death with No Child Left Behind in 2001. This legislation required that all grades 3-8 students are tested every year in English Language Arts and mathematics. The later incarnations of NCLB have only upped the testing ante, by making high test scores such a priority that a school’s very existence depends on making the mark.

“This means that what most of us consider “normal” is no longer normal. School days filled with reading, writing, math, science, social studies, playing outside, …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core