Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Texas GOP platform opposes teaching "Critical Thinking Skills" in schools

I realize that this story is a few weeks out of date, but I had to comment on it.  At first, it seemed too crazy to be true.  A fake news story from The Onion, perhaps?  Sadly, no.  My confusion continued until I saw the this chart of High School graduation rates (yellow being high and red being low).  There appears to be a segment of the population that actually believes that "book learnin" (misspelling is intentional) is harmful to their spiritual health and want to maintain their willful ignorance at all costs.

From the Texas GOP party platform:
Knowledge-Based Education – 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.
I have heard sentiments like this expressed before, but never so brazenly.  Even in Utah, I think such a platform would be laughed out of the convention (Utah maintains control over the minds of its youth in more complex ways, the Mormon "mission" and seminary programs being a key component).

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