Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Saturday, June 30, 2012

They Don't Need No Education

The Republican Party in Texas has adopted as its platform for the next two years an education plan including the following:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

So teaching children how to go about telling truth from lies (giving them a "crap detector", if you like) is bad. Because basing your life on facts rather than "fixed beliefs" and "parental authority" is just plain wicked. Oh,

I know the Republicans are saying that it was a mistake that that paragraph appeared in the final version of the platform, but it did, so it's a mistake they will have to live with. And if this revealing "mistake" costs them the votes of Texans and others who don't believe the promotion of ignorance and prejudice should even be on the education agenda, let alone written into party policy: then three cheers for that.

P.S. do read the whole Texas Republican platform. It's a belter. As a great example of the kind of policies that would be threatened by critical thinking, how about this:

Judeo-Christian Nation – As America is a nation under God founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship in the religion of their choice.

Or how about the combination of this

Foreign Aid – We oppose foreign aid except in cases of national defense or catastrophic disasters, with Congressional approval.

followed almost at once by this

Israel – We believe that the United States and Israel share a special long-standing relationship..... Our foreign policy with Israel should reflect the special nature of this relationship through continued military and economic assistance....

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