Texas GOP platform on Critical Thinking

The Texas GOP has some curious things to say about education (via TPM):

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.

Early Childhood Development – We believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development and oppose mandatory pre-school and Kindergarten. We urge Congress to repeal government-sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development.

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.

On the one hand, evolution and global warming are to be critically assessed, on the other, they don't want to challenge the student's fixed beliefs.  Let's hope they don't believe in evolution or anthropogenic climate change.

A belief also not to be challenged, apparently:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

Ah, "objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories."

3 thoughts on “Texas GOP platform on Critical Thinking”

  1. I previously suggested that making fun of the Texas GOP's platform would constitute going after the low-hanging fruit, but from what you write I expect that terminology would confuse and offend them.
    "We believe rental of a woman’s womb makes child bearing a mere commodity to the highest bidder and petition the Legislature to rescind House Bill 724 of the 78th Legislature."

    Yes, repealing legislation "Relating to civil liability of alcoholic beverage providers for providing alcoholic beverages to certain individuals" will surely effect that end.
    "We call on the U.S. to cease strong arming Israel through prior agreements with the understanding of delivering Palestinians on the West Bank."
    Who argue could that with?

  2. I saw this last week and was blown away by it. Why would "behavior modification" in school be a problem? Haven't they read Aristotle? 

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