Texas Republican Party Platform calls for "No More Teaching of Critical Thinking" in Public Schools
Republicans in Texas do not want young people there to be educated. They want them to be indoctrinated, and they make no bones about it.
Kids, don't you dare think
I know. You think I'm putting you on. But I'm not. It's really true. The Republican Party of Texas has issued its 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform. The document states that when it comes to critical thinking: "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 re-labeling 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." (Italics mine)
Apparently, Texas Republicans are worried that students might think for themselves, might question authority, might rebel, might disobey, might even foment a revolution!
Other interesting positions of the party
The platform of course calls for teaching creationism (the belief that God created the world 6000 years ago) on a par with evolution, and presenting evolution as theory. And it doesn't stop there. What follows is a partial list of the document's content:
For - Abstinence-only sex education
For - Trying all juveniles as adults
For - An emphasis on faith-based drug rehabilitation
For - A flat-rate income tax
For - Repeal of the minimum wage
For - No questions asked support of Israel. Quoting the document verbatim: "Our policy is based on God's promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel..."
Opposed - to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Opposed - to homosexuals and homosexuality in the military
Opposed - to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because employers should be able to fire people for what they consider "sinful or homosexual behavior."
Opposed - to ACORN (Acorn has not existed since 2010)
Danny Weil, writing about this subject in Truthout.org, says that "Reactionaries have long known that enshrining ignorance and hierarchy in both thought and practice within the school curriculum is essential if the control of young minds is to be accomplished....In the quarters of obedience training, 'education' has nothing to do with 'schooling'..." Weil further asserts that "This is not only a telling moment for a complex empire in spiraling decline, but also a frightening moment, for we can see evolution transformed into devolution and schools converted into the supernatural rabbit holes that lead to Alice-in-Wonderland gated communities of ignorance governed by a chilling hierarchy of totalitarianism and fear."
George Carlin left us too soon
Comedian and social critic George Carlin died at the age of seventy-one two years ago. I for one miss him very much, because he had a way of putting his finger on the pulse of truth every time he stood up to speak. In regard to educating children, Carlin was poles away from the Texas Republican party.
Carlin on education: "Don't just teach your children to read...teach them to question what they read, teach them to question everything."
Misbehave in a Texas Public School and You May End Up in Jail
Perry and Carlin photos from wikimedia commons
Texas Textbook photo from truthout.org