My brain has essentially exploded. Lots of liberal commentary about GOP policies has discussed the party’s hostility towards expertise (famously lampooned by Stephen Colbert’s “I looked it up in my gut” piece at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner with G.W. Bush), their emphasis on obedience to authority, and the many ways in which their claims about our country fail to be supported by empirical reality (that was a very GOP phrasing – liberals actually say “they’re lying”).
Well, the Texas GOP’s Platform statement basically comes out and says “We don’t want to teach people to think because they won’t believe what people tell them to believe anymore.” I’m serious!
Under the section “EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN,” right under statements encouraging corporal punishment, the authors write:
“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.”
How could anyone interpret this as other than: we know our values are crap, so we can’t teach people to question them!” Any values that can’t withstand a little critical inquiry are not values worth having! If you’re so terrified that teaching your kids to THINK will make them reject everything you have taught them, you should seriously question the value of things you have taught them, okay?
WOW. Just…wow! Texas GOP is saying “We want our kids to know stuff, but not to think about it. Thinking is definitely out!”