Texas Republicans call for an end to critical thinking in schools

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138 Responses to “Texas Republicans call for an end to critical thinking in schools”

  1. millie fink says:

    Horrific. 

    I know most Republicans are atavistic troglodytes, but their love of excessive simplicity is rarely this evident.

  2. Retraction says:

    They retracted this once they realized that they said what they actually meant.

  3. Apparently they didn’t understand Dead Poets Society

  4. DIL23 says:

    ah *that* explains George W Bush then!

  5. How do you not teach “higher order thinking skills”?  

    • saidas says:

      Easy. Watching Fox News.

    • Marja Erwin says:

      Combine rote memorization with regular beatings of any kids who ask too many questions, come up with too many original ideas, or differ from the socially-approved standard. [Rich, white, neurotypical, gender-conforming, able-bodied, cis, straight, and Fundamentalist.]

    • Logic. The Scientific method. Deduction. This is why fundamentalists fear education. When one relies on belief systems rather than critical thought, there’s always hell to pay.

    • Ian Wood says:

      Look at the platform text. It’s “Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS),” and it’s a government program, not a concept.

      I’m not a Republican–not even a bit–but I am amused by the fact that nearly everyone who’s upset by this hasn’t bothered to read the primary source (the Texas GOP platform statement), or to seek out any alternative explanation for that statement (there is one! go find it), or to do any of the things that are generally classified as “critical thinking skills.”

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        So how do you explain away the part about parental authority and fixed beliefs?

        • retchdog says:

          mere calculated pandering, to push their real and more subtle agenda? (there’s plenty of this elsewhere in the document as well.)

          i’m not saying you’re wrong, but i can explain it away in a consistent manner.

        • Ian Wood says:

          I don’t. That’s what the Texas GOP believes the outcome of the  Outcome-based Education (OBE) methodology is, and they believe that HOTS is just repackaged OBE. Phyllis Schlafly was loudly bothered by OBE in the 90s, so it’s a long-standing conservative issue. Opposition to it is part of their opposition to “cultural relativism” in general and what they perceive as the hijacking of the public education system by liberals.

          Looking at it without any particular ideological lens: OBE was the philosophy behind the educational reforms of the 80s and 90s. It is, in fact, the driving force behind the current reliance on standardized testing.

          • factbased says:

            If you read the original, you’d see they clearly opposed “critical thinking skills”. They seem to suggest that CTS is a relabeling of OBE, which is nonsense. Then, of course, is the outrageous suggestion that parental authority and fixed beliefs should not be challenged.

            If you want to be charitable, you can suggest that maybe it was one person who wrote those words and nobody proofread it and nobody read it very closely before voting on it.

      • Peg says:

        I read the platform several times, enough times to know that a list of items in a sentence separated by commas and with one of those things not being capitalized “Higher Order Thinking Skills, (COMMA)critical thinking skills” means just what it means. They consider the generic critical thinking skills to a) not be a government program and b) not be an actual title of anything and C) be synonymous WITH a pedagogy, when it is not and d) a threat to parental authority.
        Now, you can blame it on poor sentence structure, but read as is it means exactly what we think it means.

  6. oldtaku says:

    They said later that this was an accident (whoops, Freudian) – but a lack of critical thinking skills kept them from noticing it.

  7. Galen Schmidt says:

    As a Texan, I’d like to apologize whole-heartedly. I wasn’t old enough to vote when these people came into office, and you can bet I’ll be voting now to keep them out of office .

    • blueelm says:

      I was. I voted. Voted… voted. Lot of good it’s done. Get ready to get bitter, or move. I’m moving. Like, really far away. 

    • retepslluerb says:

      So they are not in office right now? @blueelm’s post suggests otherwise.

  8. Casey Ray says:

    Speaking as someone who was locked in a closet by his grade school principal as punishment (this happened a lot).

    FUCK YOU TEXAS!!!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      There are plenty of nice people in Texas.  We should have a bake sale or something to raise money to buy them lasers.

      • John Vance says:

        >We should have a bake sale or something to raise money to buy them lasers.

        We should have a bake sale to relocate them to Minnesota!

    • B E Pratt says:

       Hey, at least we DO have Austin, which is where I live. Cool city. And we did have Molly Ivins. Then again, we have John Cornyn and Rick Perry, so…..

      • Nylund says:

        And soon we’ll also have Ted Cruz (maybe).  Uggh.  Never thought I’d miss Kay Bailey Hutchison…

      • NatWu says:

        Whoa, hey now. You know Dallas, San Antone and Houston are all blue. It aint all about Austin! Craig Watkins is a leader in exonerating wrongly convicted men using DNA evidence. Here in civilization we’re used to having good schools and technology, and we actually believe in using taxes for the public well-being!

    • malindrome says:

      Uh oh … he’s messing with Texas!

    •  Please tell us you’re joking. Please.

    • blueelm says:

      Can’t beat that good ol’ boy educational system, eh?

    • awjt says:

      Texas has Austin, which is no doubt one of the awesomest places EVER.

    • Thax says:

      It’s not as if Texas is the birthplace of the Republican party, or conservativism, for that matter.  Your ire is directed emphatically at an entire region (Texas is BIG, remember), and that’s just an ignorant way to approach an argument.  I’m sorry you were locked in a closet (did this happen in Texas?).  It seems to have greatly affected you. 
                                                                               Love,
                                                                                      a native Texan (from Austin)

  9. mike3k says:

    This makes me sick.

  10. Matt Popke says:

    Why doesn’t the Republican party just change their party slogan to, “Ignorance is Bliss,” and get it over with? They won’t lose any of their core constituents if they do. That’s exactly what they want.

  11. Teller says:

    I went to two schools that allowed corporal punishment and it’s no big deal. And anyone who thinks it is, I’ll kill.

    • zuben says:

      It must have taken *some* critical thought to have reasoned that paddles with holes drilled in them would encounter less air resistance, thus making their strikes more painful, and thus making the students more compliant before/during/after a thrashing.

      But critical thinking also led us kids to don multiple pairs of underwear to blunt the blows before we were bent over a chair.

      • Funk Daddy says:

        Less air resistance, yes. More painful, yes. 

        But while painful was a bonus, the technology was mostly intended to help prevent severe bruising or injury which could lead to trouble with even parents that approve of corporal punishment. 

        The faster swats using less force were more sting, less crush because children had been injured, a lot, by over zealous teachers and administrators.

      • Teller says:

        Scientifically speaking, of all the methods: belt, desk-back, holed paddle, drumstick (from the music teacher), by far the most effective was the coaches’ extracted Converse™ sole which grew in power as you walked back into line and left a fine impression of the shoemaker’s art.

  12. nickgb says:

    They did retract this part, but not the other stuff like removing Supreme Court jurisdiction from cases involving the Bill of Rights. Seriously. http://www.poisonyourmind.com/2012/06/shall-not-perish-from-the-earth/

  13. Wayne Dyer says:

    Not to defend these folks — but Higher Order Thinking Skills is indeed a pedagogical method – 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_order_thinking_skills  

    Basically though the Texas GOP is opposed to teaching anything that parents don’t want taught, Balkanizing the educational system.  

    • Marja Erwin says:

      Right now, Texas controls textbook contents for the other states. A little more Balkanization might be a good thing, if it means better textbooks, and better curricula, elsewhere.

      • L_Mariachi says:

        I’ve heard that the Texas-controls-textbooks-for-everyone thing is largely a myth.  Don’t know what the Texas Tribune is exactly or which way it leans but it’s been described as a “non-partisan public media organization.”

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          But Yee and his liberal-to-moderate contemporaries in other states need not fret, textbook industry experts say.

          Well, I’m convinced! Actually, it’s an interesting article in which publishers make clear that history textbooks have nothing to do with history or facts.

    • Deidzoeb says:

      It seemed clear that they were attacking some specific teaching methods that sounded almost like trademarked phrases, those bits that were capitalized. But when they went to lower case at the end: opposing “critical thinking skills . . .  which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” 

      Critical thinking is just a generic concept, not a catchphrase for some specific teaching method. There’s not a lot of learning going on if a student never has hir fixed beliefs challenged, no matter what the pedagogical method is.

      • Peg says:

         Exactly! Comma’s do actually have a purpose and this was in a list of things they did not like and thought they were all synonymous. They were not.

    • Jake0748 says:

       I actually lived in the Balkans for a while.  I prefer it over Texas. 

  14. teapot says:

    Texas + Republican.

    Nuff said.

  15. Stefan Jones says:

    The platform document is chock full of reactionary gems. Or turds.

  16. Frank Diekman says:

    Ever get the feeling we should just have 49 states?

    • Deidzoeb says:

      I used to say if an asteroid the size of Texas was going to hit the Earth, and it was going to land exactly *in* Texas, maybe not such a bad thing. But I ain’t like that anymore.

      • Did you learn that an asteroid the size of Texas landing in Texas would actually evaporate all of human civilization?

        • Deidzoeb says:

          Yeah yeah, whatever. 
          It’s a joke, son. I mean if our laws of physics were those of a Tex Avery cartoon, then an asteroid the size and shape of Texas would just land perfectly within the borders of Texas, cause no damage to Oklahoma or Mexico or anything else, and I wouldn’t have to explain the hell out of this. (Tex probably wouldn’t approve though.)

        • Douglass says:

           Yes, but at least Texas would die first so I would finally get a microsecond of happiness before the shock wave hit California.

  17. Staten Island Bob says:

    No matter what they do they are beating a dead horse. The internet generation will find out what they want to know, (if they have the curiosity). Teachers will someday be obsolete, (for the upper grades), and will only serve the function of “socializing” people for the work world, and as a guide to find sources of information. Most of what school is about anyway is showing your future boss that you could get out of the house and show up on time, the two biggest reasons for being hired. (After that most of what we get to do is repetitive anyway).  So be a good boy or girl and comb your hair and keep your fingernails clean, and if you live in Texas, don’t ask too many questions, (they may get suspicious).

  18. Well, I mean, we’ve always /suspected/ this, haven’t we? It’s nice to at least hear it confirmed.

  19. iCowboy says:

    Fear not, as well as making sure the children of Texas have an education system every bit as good as  that of England in the 14th Century, the Republicans will also be supporting the right of all straight, gun-toting, English-speaking, child-beating, World-Bank-fearing, Texans to own incandescent lightbulbs.

  20. Kibbee says:

    I definitely think that corporal punishment is not a good idea, and that critical thinking is of utmost importance.  But on the other hand I have no problem with  <>  I also don’t think that kindergarten should be mandatory.  Depending on the parents, children can often be better taught by parents, especially at such a young age. 

    Here in many parts of Canada, teachers aren’t even allowed to give zeroes anymore for assignments that aren’t handed in.  They simply aren’t counted towards the final grade, and only the assignments that are handed in are counted. The teachers have no authority to even grade students properly to prepare them for college, let alone deal with actual behaviour problems.

    They are also moving to full day kindergarten, starting from 4 years old.  Almost every parent that I know of with kids in full day kindergarten is complaining that their kids are simply exhausted after a full day of school.  7 hours a day with 20 other kids in the same room is just too much for them.  Even at 6, my oldest needs an hour or so of quiet time in the afternoon to just relax. 

  21. humanresource says:

    The Texas Republican leadership is subhuman, or simply lobotomised. This is not a matter of opinion; this is basic neuroscience.

    “Higher-order thinking skills distinguish humans from all other creatures. These skills include the capacity for comprehension and utilization of spoken and written language, as well as the executive functions. The executive functions encompass the ability to plan, formulate, organize, contemplate, monitor and adjust thoughts and behaviors …. The paired frontal lobes of the brain are the seat of these functions.”

  22. d3matt says:

    According to my Mom who was on the platform committee, this plank was added at the last minute without a lot of debate by one person with an agenda. Also, at one point instead of saying “we are opposed to human cloning” it said “we are opposed to humans”… I honestly wish that one made it as it would have made for better lulz…

  23. Mister44 says:

    re: “parents are “best suited to train their children in their early development.””

    I have to agree with this – or at least say that parents are *as* suited to train their young children. Unfortunately most probably aren’t inclined or simply unable to with the realities of work schedules.

    We were blessed that I could home school  our daughter for over 2 years. She will be reading at a third grade level as she enters 1st grade next year (yes, I’m bragging. Daddies get to do that once per day before getting annoying.)

    • danimagoo says:

      I would say “some parents” are as suited to educate their young children. Unfortunately, for the most part, the parents least suited to educate their young children are those of a lower socioeconomic status. In other words, policies like this tend to benefit the rich, and hurt the poor.

      • Stefan Jones says:

        Bingo! They’re setting up a system where folks aren’t troubled by Yankee notions of upward mobility, and know the place that God and the founding fathers intended for them.

        • danimagoo says:

          In my opinion, this tactic is not isolated to the South. Rich people in the North try to enact similar policies. (Disclaimer: I was born and raised in Texas, and in spite of the fact that I’m a transgendered liberal democrat, I am proud of my Texas heritage. Go figure.)

          Edit: Also, both of my parents were public school educators in Texas … and would be horrified by this part of the Republican platform.

    • dragonfrog says:

      I fully agree – public kindergarten is basically free daycare.

      I think free daycare is an excellent idea, immensely beneficial to the economy, allowing many parents who can’t afford commercial childcare to earn a living – I just think it should be acknowledged as such, its schedules arranged to be actually helpful to working parents, and the pretence of an academic curriculum dropped.  It also shouldn’t be mandatory – there’s no point forcing free childcare on those for whom it’s just a nuisance.

  24. Palomino says:

    My head is spinning, sometimes BB articles produce flashbacks of terrible times for me, when my father converted to a crazed Jehovah Witness. When he found out I was taking a “Self Assertiveness” class in high school, he tried to withdraw me. The administrator reminded him I was 18 and could take any class I wanted. He and I’ve never had a decent conversation after that, no matter what it was, he only thought I was trying to be “assertive” which meant “aggressive” to him, even if I used his own information. As far as he’s concerned, I’m an apostate. 

    Knowledge is power, especially if you know what they know, that’s the framework of critical thinking. Nothing is more distressing to your opponent if you know more about their subject than they do, and the myriad of language tricks they employ to TRY and fool you. 

    Read this wonderful full screen edition of “Don’t You Believe It!” 

    “Without the principle of contradiction you couldn’t detect a lie, because a lie is simply a contradiction between a person’s statement and the actual state of affairs.”

    http://members.core.com/~tony233/Dont_You_Believe_It!.htm

    • asterios9 says:

      Yeah, it’s funny how, at first, it seems like nothing else out there is like the Watchtower Society’s intense little cult.  But then it turns out there are lots of institutions that run on ideology and absolute obedience.

    • Efemmeral says:

      Excellent link; Dr. Hoover’s book looks like a fun critical-thinking refresher.  Oh, look here . . . Dr. Hoover got his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Texas.   ;)

      • Rod Sullivan says:

        Even more surprising? Dr. Hoover’s book was published by the Moody Bible Institute, a staunchly fundamentalist Christian college based in  Chicago.

        • Efemmeral says:

          You win, it IS more surprising. Don’t you wonder how that happened? Did it slip through unseen? Did heads rolls after it was published? Did a sensible fundamentalist see its value and slide it on through?

          In any case, it’s a nice little book and I’m glad to have the link. I’ll never understand why a semester of of Critical Thinking isn’t required at both the high school and college levels.

  25. llazy8 says:

    I thought they were going to get themselves in trouble for this whole no-learning-at-school shawammy, but then I read that they also oppose the ratification of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, so they did in fact think through this.

  26. Navin_Johnson says:

    Texas/Florida/Arizona

    • papiermeister says:

      And I would add North Carolina with much of their recent legislation, in alternating order, depending on the level of crazy or topic of crazy in each state.
      Disclosure: AZ resident with family in TX and FL…

      ETA: I grew up in TX

      • Palomino says:

        AZ here too. I wear a large brimmed hat and giant sunglasses and stick to the side-streets…I’m THAT embarrassed. 

  27. chgoliz says:

    You know, I disagree with the notion that parents should be assumed to be better than trained teachers with regard to early childhood development.

    Better than $3/hour untrained daycare workers with a poor adult:child ratio, OK yeah, probably in most cases.

    But better than actual nursery and kindergarten teachers?

    I live in an area that has better-than-average public schools surrounded by some of the worst schools in the city.  Magically, about 8 families live at our address.  Most of my neighbors have the same problem.  Any parent with the gumption to get their kid the best education they can will figure out ways to work the system.  These are not the parents whose children most NEED qualified early childhood education; these are the kids who already have a chance because their parents realize they need the leg-up of going to a decent school.

    Reversing the same logic, the parents in Texas who believe they are best able to “train” their young children, as opposed to professionals with quantifiable work experience?  Yeah, those are the kids who need to spend as much time as possible in a real school, and as soon as possible.

  28. StCredZero says:

    Things like this make me start thinking about how defensible Canada would be from a dystopian US taken over by religious fundamentalists. 

    The only reason why the most atavistic of US fundamentalists aren’t using suicide bombs, is that they’re living in the superpower exploiting other countries for resources, as opposed to living in an exploited country. If the US ever becomes exploited by a foreign power, fringe fanatic Christians will be martyring themselves in violent explosions with as much enthusiasm as any violent Islamist. (As well as throwing some North American marksmanship into the mix though terrorist sniping.) 

  29. mothernatureseven says:

    texass is in a race with arizona to see which can be the most stupid state of the 50.
    little known texass fact ~ 60% of the texass fighters at the Alamo were Hispanic.

    • Rod Sullivan says:

      It may be a race, but there is plenty of competition from east of the Mississippi, and I can’t imagine TX and AZ are leading at the moment.

  30. papiermeister says:

    isn’t education *supposed* to  challenge fixed beliefs?

  31. picaflor says:

    The entire platform of their positions is utterly atrocious. From repealing the Voting Rights Act to not allowing unsupervised visits for a gay parent, it’s downright cruel and fucking scary.

    I feel so bad for progressives in that state. And school kids. They are the ones losing out on opportunities to compete nationally and globally (yes, yes  – most of our system is whack, but Texas’  is in dire straits if you have a 1,000+ senior class with a valedictorian whose transcript is peppered with Bs).

  32. Arys says:

    As far as the notion of parents being a better choice to educate their yippers of pre-school / Kindergarten age I have to say, I know some fairly stupid people that have managed to reproduce. Stupid like, I’d question their ability to pass a simple test… Simple – like, can you reliably not set your house on fire most of the time.

    Having babies doesn’t really make you good at parenting. It’s kind of one of the prime directives of the species… most of us could manage it.

  33. michaelgillman says:

    We will always need more unskilled laborers. Nevermind.

  34. dylan-m says:

    I find this document as amazingly horrible as everyone else here, but I have to point out you misquoted it about higher-order thinking skills. It’s still pretty horrific — not to mention a terribly long and complicated sentence —but there is a big specifier at the end:

    They’re against the use of higher-order thinking and critical thinking for the purpose of challenging students’ “fixed beliefs” (whatever those are) or modifying behaviour. It’s strange to me an individual thinking critically about a fixed belief would make it change (it’s fixed, right?), and I wonder why that should be considered a problem (hey, can a parent tell his kid that drugs are totally not bad?). But it always bothers me when I see the source kind of twisted to look ridiculous when its ridiculousness already stands on its own :)

    Much worse, in my opinion, but perhaps also more predictable, is where they oppose sex education except for abstinence until marriage. (Whatever that is. Separation of church and state, anyone?). How anyone can get a month into high school without realizing that’s a terrible idea is just baffling to me.

    • Tynam says:

      Well, they’re also against the separation of church and state, so that’s actually kind of consistent.

  35. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Is it too late to give Texas its independence?

  36. Jon Ptolemy says:

    Of course they don’t want to teach critical thinking. That is how their kind is able to multiply.

  37. bzishi says:

    It seems to me that a Catholic school would have less religious interference in science and more focus on critical thinking challenging beliefs than a Texas public school.

    Eventually it is going to come down to economics. The value of your workers is a major economic driver. If your workers are uneducated louts, then the economy of your state is going to suffer and people are going to flee to places with a better educational system. Sadly, this is probably going to take about 30 years.

  38. abstract_reg says:

    Why did you annex them again?

    • Douglass says:

       It happened because the president of the US at the time was pro-slavery and the people who ran Texas at the time were also pro-slavery, while Mexico had banned slavery. Texas allowed itself to be annexed in order to allow another slave state into the country, and Mexico went to war in order to prevent this.

  39. Guido says:

    So, they want smaller government while wanting more govt authority to hit children. Yeah, that makes sense

  40. Winski says:

    Your wait for the next Kool-Aide installment from Jonestown was just written by the rethuglicon party of Texas…VERY scary.

  41. G says:

    Plenty of silly claptrap in that document but a couple things that I didn’t mind include…

    Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – We call for the disbanding of the TSA and place airport security into the more accountable and capable hands of the state and local law enforcement.

    Internet Access – We support a free and open internet — free from intrusion, censorship, or control by government or private entities. Due to the inherent benefit of anonymity, the anonymity of users is not to be compromised for any reason, unless consented by the user; or by court order.  We also oppose any mandates by the government to collect and retain records of our internet activity. 

  42. schadenfreudisch says:

    the more you tighten your grip, lord vader, the more systems will slip through your fingers.

  43. hanoverfiste says:

    As a Texan (I live 15 miles from Fort Worth).   I am surprised to see a desire to eliminate Pre-K and K.
    The students are doing so poorly on these Standardized Tests that I would think they should start teaching the test at age 4.  Here’s your coloring sheets, make sure to only fill in one circle.

    Seriously…

    My experience is not with Fort Worth schools, but we hae seen plenty of problems with the schools in our city.  My wife taught second grade and has subbed some since then.  We also know may elementary school teachers. 

    There are may discipline issues in the schools and the teachers hands are pretty much tied in what they can and can’t do to control their classrooms.  Something needs to be done, I am not sure that corporal punishment is the answer. 

    When I was in 5th grade I go paddled on the time, including the 3rd day by my science teacher.  After the first month, I was going to the principal once to twice a week.  This did not change my behavior (I liked to talk to my friends) but I did get used to taking the paddle.

    Another problem I see is very little parental involvement.  Because of this, I believe more students would get less of a foundation if pre-K and K were eliminated.

    We have had better success with my oldest son when we moved him to a charter school.  In some ways I feel bad that we are giving up on the traditional public school, but we had to do something that would make my son successful.

  44. timsbb says:

    “Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.”

    And this was two points above in the original.   Totally contradictory.  boneheads

    • redesigned says:

      and by all sides of scientific theories, they mean myths with no scientific basis whatsoever get equal time to true scientific theories, but only if they are the myths they personally believe in.

  45. Albie Farinas says:

    I mean really….!  What have we come to expect from conservative Christian Republicans….?  This is actually good, it’s contrast, the same as say, the contrast between day and night, the dark and the light, fear and courage, ignorance and enlightenment….  This stuff is really good news for civilization…  I’m sure it’s going to work for them….

  46. greenberger says:

    I know it’s easy to ridicule Texas for statements like that, and who doesn’t like a good target to feel good about… on the other hand, what I find interesting is how it’s another example of the mainstream not serving the needs of a wider and wider group of people. Like so many other things in this country, I find myself in agreement with the crazy right-wingers in the sense of their targets- Obama’s administration, public education, the health system, you name it- I totally agree. It’s a mess. We just happen to have ridiculously diverging ideas as to why that is. I would say the biggest problem with school is that it DOES NOT teach critical thinking- how can we have such opposing views on so many things? Clearly,our social system isn’t working for anyone but a dormant “majority” which is quickly becoming a minority. 

    I absolutely agree with making kindergarten optional. I have the highest respect for the profession of a teacher- it’s one of the most important jobs out there. Which is why it’s so tragic that most of our teachers are mediocre. Well-meaning, perhaps, but incredibly mediocre. If a parent has a better method, they should have every right to take it. No one should be penalized because we want some kind of blanket catch-all policy that protects kids from “bad parents”. I know how backwards and inefficient our current school system is- I’m not sure I have the ability to implement a better option, but if I come up with one, I’m not interested in big brother telling me I need to fall in line.

  47. TheOmbudsman says:

    As others have stated, yes that committee did later say “oops” as far as the critical-thinking bit.

    The hilarious part is, apparently due to rules, that platform is now set in stone for the next couple of years. They can’t make any changes to it.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/texas_gops_2012_platform_accidentally_opposes_teaching_of_critical_thinking_skills.php

    Contacted by TPM on Thursday, Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Communications Director Chris Elam said the “critical thinking skills” language made it into the platform by mistake.

    “[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification,’” Elam said. “And it was not the intent of the subcommittee to present a plank that would have indicated that the RPT in any way opposed the development of critical thinking skills.”

    Elam said the members of the subcommittee “regret” the oversight, but because the mistake was part of the platform approved by the convention, “it cannot be corrected until the next state convention in 2014.”

  48. Gyrofrog says:

    Speaking of recent threads at BB, did anyone else notice “prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis” on P-8?

  49. Clementine says:

    I’m a liberal atheist, but I absolutely agree that Kindergarten and pre-school should not be mandatory. I do not believe that young humans are best served by being forcibly removed from their families and put into institutionalized settings for 1000 hours per year. To be honest, I’m against compulsory attendance, period. Birds fly, fish swim, people think. 

  50. Cowicide says:

    demand that schools end the practice of teaching “higher order thinking skills” because these challenge “student’s fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.”

    For the love of gawd, we have got to get these republican idiots out of office before they do any more damage to our society.  The democrats are far, far from perfect, but at least we got something to work with there.

    Just, wow…

    I’m just happy that they’re so incredibly dense that they show their hand like this on occasion.

  51. tenjen says:

    Link doesn’t work–is that because it was retracted?

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