According to the 2012 Texas Republican Platform- “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.” (truth-out)
Am I the only person that read that statement and said, “Wait, what?!”
While some would say that it has always been known that the Republican Party has been against teaching critical thinking in public schools, it is now laid out in black in white in their Republican platform. No arguments there, it’s out and it’s causing plenty of uproar recently in Texas.
The Republican Party doesn’t promote the use of critical thinking in public schools because they don’t want to challenge the rooted beliefs of the students or undermine the parent’s that taught it to them. While this is all fine and dandy, we can’t realistically think that students are going to be able to learn and flourish as INDIVISUALS if we don’t teach them to think for themselves and challenge things they are told in life.
And in a country that’s already falling behind in public education, this pretty much guarantees the loss of any chance we have to compete in a constantly growing complex and technology-driven world. Texas alone doesn’t have a stellar education system as it is.
In an attempt to defend their stance, the Texas GOP says that their platform was not worded accurately and the language used should have been different. Spokesman Chris Elam claims it "was an oversight on the subcommittee's part."
How do you overlook something so outrageous? Was it actually just worded incorrectly and of bad language? Or is this just an excuse they’re pulling to save their own?
Either way, there’s no denying that the Texas Education system already needs help, and this is certainly not the help it needs.