The Texas Republican Party has published its 2012 platform online and scanning through it, it appears to be gleeful manifesto of pig ignorance and backwards, country bumpkin fear of progress in any form. Whatever it is, they’re agin it!
It contains the following sentence which is going to see them mocked mercilessly for the next week or so:
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.
Well, they’ve finally come right out and said it. In plain English. They want the population to STAY STUPID. That way they don’t question things like why poor people don’t have health insurance, why billionaires need to pay less in taxes and the middle class pay more, how fracking might poison the water table and you know, shit like that.
Wonkette’s Doctor Zoom encountered a fifth-grade Language Arts lesson on “Fact and Opinion” while doing graduate studies in the mid-80s. Zoom recalls from memory how the lesson explained the critical thinking task:
A fact is an observable reality, something that can be quantified or measured, or God’s Inerrant Truth as revealed through the Bible.
* The table is made of wood.
* Washington DC is the capital of the USA.
* Water freezes at 32 degrees F.
* Jesus died to take away all our sins.
* God created the world and all life in seven 24-hour days, less than 10 thousand years ago.
An opinion is a matter of taste, a view or judgement about which people might reasonably disagree, or a “scientific” claim that contradicts Biblical truth.
* Blue is prettier than yellow.
* My mom bakes the best chocolate chip cookies in town.
* Mr. Jones is a better candidate for Mayor than Mr. Smith.
* The Universe is several billion years old.
* Humans evolved from apes.
Red state public schools are teaching an organized system of ignorance, nothing more, and nothing less. How much longer can the center of this country hold when folks who believe that the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution hold sway over the education of so many of the nation’s children?
Doctor Zoom concludes by bringing up the very question that caused my wife to question what she was being taught in Sunday school as a young girl when she began to suspect that the whole Noah’s Ark thing was nothing more than mythological bullshit:
So, yes, think critically, kids, but don’t think so critically that you ask any inconvenient questions, like “wouldn’t two of every animal species on Earth produce so much shit that the Ark would be full to the top within a matter of days?” (Beyond the obvious Biblical nonsense, there’s also some empirical evidence that the particular methods in ACE’s curriculum leaves students less well prepared for college entrance exams than conventional high schools.)
Let us be clear about this: Texas is only against the wrong kind of critical thinking — the dirty librul kind, which isn’t even really thinking at all, but indoctrination, you see. As college-degree owner Rick Santorum knows, too much education will only turn you into a commie and an atheist. Texas Republicans promise they’ll nip that thinky-learny shit right in the bud.
Once those kids start pulling on the thread of KNOWLEDGE the whole sweater becomes unraveled. We can’t have this, can we?
And while we’re on the subject of Republicans being more, um, straightforward on things, did you catch the clip of this asshole from Pennsylvania stating the obvious about the state’s voter ID law?
Legal election fraud to prevent voter fraud. NICE WORK GOP!!
If you can’t get elected because of your ideas, it’s because your ideas SUCK.