gaslighting meme

Stories from all around the country are popping up about schools sponsoring meetings to teach parents how to do math with their children.  If you’ve been invited to learn how to calculate elementary math at your school, we’d like to know if you attended, what was discussed and if this was sponsored by an ed reform group.  These meetings have been necessary with the negative press about Common Core math problems requiring children to write sentences in early grades (2nd grade)  explaining how they arrived at the answer and aligned to the Common Core Math standards.


A parent can only hope their child is English proficient and has no language delays:


muffin math problem


Math problems now require extra steps and rounding at a very early age:


third grade math problem


How would your kindergartner grasp the necessary skills to successfully answer this problem?



Now the Common Core proponents will chime in!  It’s only ‘just’ standards and it’s that the implementation and curriculum used is faulty.  It has NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Common Core States Standards Initiative.  Move along, nothing to see here.

I know parents hear this every day and you can visit various hashtags (such as #commoncore) on Twitter and see this over and over again.  Here’s how the proponents try to discredit parental concern and marginalize those asking questions by tweeting:

  • Show me a standard you don’t like
  • We can change the standards any time we want
  • We are the educators (we know better)
  • So how many years have you taught math?
  • You hate Obama
  • You’re fringe

Basically these arguments are trying to make you feel inept and marginalized.  They want you silenced while they don’t answer parental questions on the appropriateness of the standards and curriculum and assessments.  They are trying to make you feel crazy for questioning why your child is imploding while doing homework and getting partial credit for the right answer.  They are gaslighting you:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting[1] is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.[2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

The 1938 stage play Gas Light, known as Angel Street in the United States, and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944 motivated the origin of the term because of the systematic psychological manipulation used by the main character on a victim. The plot concerns a husband who attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment, and subsequently, insisting that she is mistaken or remembering things incorrectly when she points out these changes. The original title stems from the dimming of the gas lights in the house that happened when the husband was using the gas lights in the attic while searching for hidden treasure. The wife accurately notices the dimming lights and discusses the phenomenon, but the husband insists she is imagining a change in the level of illumination.

The term “gaslighting” has been used colloquially since the 1970s to describe efforts to manipulate someone’s sense of reality. In a 1980 book on child sex abuse, Florence Rush summarized George Cukor‘s 1944 film version of Gas Light, and writes, “even today the word [gaslighting] is used to describe an attempt to destroy another’s perception of reality.”[5] The term was further popularized in Victor Santoro’s 1994 book Gaslighting: How to Drive Your Enemies Crazy, which ostensibly outlines legal tactics the reader might use to annoy others.


Parents: when you go into your school conferences and questions about Common Core arise, understand the ‘gaslighting’ technique your administrators will try to use on you to deny that Common Core is higher, rigorous and will allow your child to think ‘critically’.  Reality about the standards and the lofty claims?  It’s just a theory and fluffy words are supposed to make you feel crazy for doubting your parental instinct that something is terribly wrong with what your child is learning and how this information is being presented.

Take heart parents, it’s not only your group being marginalized, ridiculed and silenced.  Teachers face the same gaslighting treatment:


Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal blasted reports Tuesday that teachers are being reprimanded for speaking out against Common Core standards on social media.

A teacher in Rapides Parish, in Alexandria, La., was “written up” for writing a negative post on Facebook about the controversial standards, according to Town Talk.

“This is a hot national debate,” the teacher told the paper. “Why can’t I comment? I did not say a word about anything locally.”

Jindal, who is suing the Obama administration for coercing states into adopting the standards, said silencing teachers is not helpful to the debate.

“This is outrageous. Teachers are now being chastised for speaking out against Common Core,” he said. “Teachers have problems with Common Core, and we should be listening to them.”

Carol Burris asks the $64,000 question to the gaslighters and shines a light on their hypocrisy:


carol burris

And why are parents marginalized for their concerns?


Published on October 9, 2014


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