Texas Republican Party Calls for Ban on Critical Thinking In Public Schools

Truth Out:

The Texas GOP’s declarative position against critical thinking in public schools, or any schools, for that matter, is now an official part of their political platform. It is public record in the Republican Party of Texas 2012 platform [PDF, p. 13]. With regard to critical thinking, the Republican Party of Texas document states:

“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.” [PDF, p. 20).

Yes, challenging beliefs or claims is considered insubordinate, immoral and could lead to rebellion, disobedience or perhaps worse: revolution. For the Republican Party and their followers, thinking is subversive, imagination is a sin and the Republican Party in Texas and elsewhere is working to codify this into public policy. The plutocrats can’t have a working-class citizenry that is asking questions of those in power, be they parents or bosses; instead, the people must be taught the ideology of what is morally acceptable, what rules and regulations to follow. and even more importantly, how to accept and internalize hierarchical authoritarianism. Critical thinking is a direct challenge to the “leaders” and their claims on authority, and any opposition to vertical arrangements is ethically unacceptable to those in power.

The Republican Party runs Texas with virtually no opposition, so what the state GOP demands in its platform, it will get.

The Job Nobody Wants


Number of applicants for Florida Education Commissioner. Eric J. Smith, a Jeb Bush ally, announced his resignation in March, after new Republican Tea Party Gov. Rick Scott failed to meet with him more than two months into office. Smith was instrumental in winning $700 million for Florida in the White House’s Race to the Top initiative. Scott has refused federal dollars for Florida, most notably turning down $2 billion to develop high-speed rail along the failing I-4 corridor.

Republicans Continue to Justify Cuts in Programs They Hate — By Lying

To justify ending Florida’s Prepaid College program — the largest in the country — Republican state Sen. Evelyn Lynn claimed the popular plan is, “a huge liability — far larger than pension, far larger than most anything we have.”

Nationwide, Republicans and tea party members echo the cry that because tax revenues are down, programs they have long targeted must be cut. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R/Tea) is using the message to cut education funding and gut environmental and consumer protection laws.

But in this case, and so many others, Republicans are simply making stuff up to bolster their flimsy logic.

  • The Florida Prepaid Tuition program has $10 billion in assets and $9.5 billion in liabilities
  • For those able to do math, this means the program is running with a $500 million surplus
  • Two years ago, Sen. Lynn herself floated the idea of raiding the Florida Prepaid plan to fund other initiatives