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Texas GOP Educational Platform Opposes Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.

Education 734

An anonymous reader writes "Texas Republican delegates met earlier this month to put together their 2012 platform. Much of this focused on the educational system. Alarmingly, they openly state that they oppose schools teaching critical thinking, on the grounds that it may challenge 'student's fixed beliefs' and undermine 'parental authority.' Page 12 of their official platform (PDF) discusses their thinking on teaching thinking."

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734 comments

Breathless summary by the clueless (1, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40486797)

This is a very old argument. The /. summary links to but doesn't actually quote the platform. Allow me:

"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."

Now go hit the 'ol Wikipedia on "Outcome Based Education".... I'll wait. For the impatient I'll summarize: This is just a re-run of the long running battles in the late '80s and early '90s over new age teaching methods/using our teachers and kids as lab animals to try radical 'progressive' new ideas in teaching how to be a good progressive doubleplus good thinker that knows everything about stopping mom from putting the trash in the wrong recycling bin but can't locate the US on a map or tell you who George Washington was.

Having read all that, if you still can't figure out why Republicans would be against it you are simply too closed minded since you shouldn't be ignorant anymore. You don't have to agree with their opposition but you should be able to understand they aren't totally off the rails either.

We have a crisis in K-12 education where most kids are graduating barely able to send a mangled SMS; 'progressive' experiments that require huge infusions of new money in a recession should be at the bottom of anyone's list in the current environment. We know how to teach Reading, Writing and Math. We have successfully done that in classroom environments most readers here would consider primitive. Get the basics right, then come talk to me about experimenting.

We KNOW what is going to happen if you let a bunch of lefty trolls loose indoctrinating K-12 kids on 'critical thinking' because we have seen it already in the colleges. Nowhere else do you find such an intolerant monoculture as the tenured elite in their ivory towers.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#40486849)

As usual Slashdot puts up any and all propaganda that makes anyone but radical leftists look like lunatics.

The liberals did take a good page out of 1984 by learning how to warp and manipulate language to fit their own agenda. For example, relabel the same old provably ineffective (or intentionally worse than ineffective) teaching techniques as "logic" or "critical thinking". Now all of the sudden anyone who opposes the twisted and mangled brainwashing that is labeled "logic" or "critical thinking" is instantly a right-wing extremist Nazi who needs to be "volunteered" for a good liberal "reeducation sensitivity training course".

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (3, Informative)

Galaga88 (148206) | about 2 years ago | (#40486919)

Propaganda? The summary comes straight from the policy guideline document.

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.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (-1, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#40487017)

READ MY FUCKING POST YOU BRAINWASHED MORON.

I just said that terms like "Higher order thinking skills" are a bunch of linguistic BULLSHIT attached to what is effectively a policy of teaching children to have a pavlovian "yessum massa!" response to politically correct buzzwords.

That is the anthithesis of logic and the antithesis of critical thinking. But, because a left-wing pseudo-intellectual slaps an intentionally inaccurate label like "higher order thinking skills" to a tax payer funded propaganda campaign, now anyone who dares voice dissent to what is literally institutionalized child abuse is some sort of marginal whackjob. My allusion to 1984 was dead on all the way down to the state's intentional undermining of the family by having kids spy on their parents for the fucking state.

I'm pretty much convinced that 99.9% of morons on this website who constantly cite 1984 simply assumed that the book just said "Republicans bad! Bush evil!" for 200 pages. If you had ever bothered to read the damn thing you'd see the twisiting of language to make it literally impossible to even express ideas that go against the ruling elite and the state taking over as God and Parent to a bunch of brainwashed zombies were central ideas too.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487043)

Only to a neanderthal are "higher order thinking skills" considered "bullshit"

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487171)

If by "neanderthal" you mean "genius on the level of Albert Einstein", then perhaps you'll begin to understand what he's saying.

What he's saying is that "Higher Order Thinking Skills" (note the capital letters and cute initialism) are not actually higher order thinking skills, much like the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is neither democratic nor a republic.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487265)

You missed his point, which is, what they LABEL as "Higher order thinking skills" may not actually MEAN "higher order thinking skills".

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (1, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40487211)

No, I used to believe like you still do, that they are just ignorant. I no longer do. I now believe many of them are truly evil. They read 1984 and saw an instruction manual for how to reorder a society instead of a warning.

Remember, Dr. Evil is funny because he admits being a villian, that almost never actually happens. No, people with totally fudged up inverted moral compasses convince themselves that the wicked things they desire are not wicked, nay they are good and desirable things. Do you wonder why they keep calling us evil for believing in the traditional values of Western Civ? Usually we shrug it off as hyperbole. I submit that it isn't. That their moral compasses are so twisted that when viewed from their p.o.v. we truly ARE evil. The converse of course is also true, as it by definition must be. Not pleasant thoughts, but there they are on an otherwise terrible day for liberty.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (5, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 years ago | (#40487449)

i'm a liberal and i agree with your point. it's just impossible to codify "critical thinking," even before you add the realities of education: overworked, underpaid and sub-meritorious teachers (btw, i think these problems are endemic to our society; privatization/voucherification will mostly just let parents choose among desired flavors of substandard nutjobbery) who will inevitably use a mix of personal biases and bureaucratic checklists to evaluate "criticalness."

unfortunately, the gop rejects science pretty much as an axiom (science != engineering, though they're both great), and this isn't new, see e.g. hayek's why i am not a conservative. i think that doing a good job of teaching science is the almost the only way to get to real critical thinking. it's not easy, and i don't think the Ds could manage it either, but from what i can see the gop just throws it out immediately.

i can't help thinking that we're just fucked.

and i recommend that everyone read the linked gop pamphlet. it's hilarious in its populist pandering; lines like ``We strongly oppose the listing of the dune sage brush lizard either as a threatened or an endangered species." are almost onion-like. yes, i'm sure that the dems' pamphlets are also full of silliness, but this is the exhibit of the day.

READ MY POST (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487479)

Someone disagrees or misunderstands you and your immediate reaction is to should obscenities and abuse. What sort of education did you get? You obviously weren't taught any manners.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487011)

You just can't make up this stuff, every paragraph in this PDF is Genius!!! Hilarious stuff in there...

"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."

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40486867)

Interesting rant.
So, one would rather have a mindless zombie with the old style "dont question authority and stay on that production line" from the 50s.
Pray tell.. where did all the thinkers come from then?
You know why China's kids want to be more innovative and inventive like American kids? It is because they teach like you are preaching.
You want innovation, critical thinking, you want drones to put tube in hole, you teach as proposed by Texas.

Danger - Thoughtcrime Scene (5, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 2 years ago | (#40487345)

No no no.

Don't you realize how dangerous it would be to have your fixed beliefs changed by:

a) A changing situation or

b) Your changing level of knowledge of the situation.

There is no telling where that could lead. It could lead to DANCING, for God's sake!

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (-1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 2 years ago | (#40486933)

How is this in any way trolling ?

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487033)

The only thing that should be labelled troll is the summary. The "troll" poster is spot on.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (-1, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40487067)

> How is this in any way trolling ?

I get this all the time. The definition of 'troll' seems to be 'anyone disagreeing with progressives' except it is also used on occasion to mod down the GNAA and other crap. Kinda like 'racist' now includes 'anyone winning an argument with a progressive' along with the traditional meaning of 'Democrat stalwarts like Exalted Cyclops and US Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Jim Crow, Googe Wallace, et al.'

I consider it an honor to be downmodded by the narrow minded intolerant twits.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487159)

In this case, it's not what you said, but how you said it. Most will not mod someone down for civil discourse, but many (myself included) will mod down posts riddled with inflammatory statements, regardless of the content.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40487207)

You get it all the time because your lack of actual logic and rational thinking makes it look like a troll.

I mean, you're argument almost always have come down to ad hom attacks.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (0, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40487391)

> I mean, you're argument almost always have come down to ad hom attacks.

I think you meant ad hominem but since it does not apply I'm not sure.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487255)

No, it's the inflammatory language in your post that makes you a troll. It's obviously going to invoke hostile responses, which was possibly your intention.

If you have a valid point learn to make it like a reasonable grown-up. Otherwise your point will be discarded. Ever wonder why nobody listens to you IRL except those in your echo chamber? Well now you know.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#40487323)

I get this all the time. The definition of 'troll' seems to be 'anyone disagreeing with progressives' except it is also used on occasion to mod down the GNAA and other crap.

Except that you seem to seem to think that just because one stupid wave of "progressives" was wrong, no progressive approach is possible and teaching has to revert to the 19th century model of cramming bookfuls of facts mindlessly for the greater good of all. (If that's not what you have in mind, you failed to make it obvious, what with all those trolly references to "lefties" and "indoctrinating" etc.) You still haven't pointed out how having critical thinking skills is wrong for a student. Knowledge of informal logic, e.g, and proper reasoning skills to spot logical fallacies are immensely useful. The same goes for having an idea as to *how* science works, as opposed to just cramming the high-school digest of the results of past scientific works.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (3, Insightful)

Anaerin (905998) | about 2 years ago | (#40487299)

That's easy. jmorris42 is using the false correlation that students being taught to question everything is leading to students not learning to an adequate skill level, ignoring the huge lack of education spending and censored, jingoistic misinformation being taught. Thus he is proposing instead that students are taught to never question anything told to them, no matter what that might be, or how correct or not it may be, to accept at face value everything they see, and to never make up their own mind on anything.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40486959)

How dare you challenge the groupthink with your defining of terms! Your disregard of OBE shall be subsequently modded troll to make sure others can't see it.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (5, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 years ago | (#40486977)

an intolerant monoculture as the tenured elite in their ivory towers

Achievement unlocked: buzzword combo!

Has anyone ever actually seen a tower made of ivory? Where did that come from? The "tenured elite" at my small school with only 50,000 students worked in some pretty shitty offices. It would have been pretty sweet to go to class inside an ivory tower instead of the crappy linoleum-tiled brick cages we had the privilege of occupying. As long as they also had ivory elevators.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (5, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40487127)

Good question.
"In Judeo/Christian tradition, the term Ivory Tower is a symbol for noble purity. It originates with the Song of Solomon (7,4) ("Your neck is like an ivory tower") ....... From the 19th century it has been used to designate a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. As such, it usually carries pejorative connotations of a wilful disconnect from the everyday world; esoteric, over-specialized, or even useless research" - wikipedia

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40486987)

LIBERALS! History's greatest monsters. Hitler was a liberal. Satan, too, is a liberal. As we all know since Hussein Obama was elected, Liberals (or "progressives" as they like to be called) sacrifice babies and drink their blood during the weekly satanic rituals they hold in the new, official, Sovereign Kenyan room of the white house. And that, folks, is why critical thinking skills need to be eliminated. Anything less, and you will let the Kenyan baby eating liberal progressives rule over you forever more. LIBERALS!

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487047)

I'm sure you meant this as a jest. Quite funny.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (2, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40487375)

My problem is not liberal ideals (which are mostly good). It's the fact they don't live up to them. They claim "We are a pro-choice party," and then turn around and take away freedom of choice by banning sodas (New York), movie theater popcorn (effective 2013), and catastrophic insurance plans (under obamacare).

Hmmm. Or they say, "We oppose the killing of our fellow human beings in foreign wars," and then turn round and start new wars in Yemen, Libya, Syria. (I'm confused.)

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40487429)

LIBERALS! History's greatest monsters. Hitler was a liberal. Satan, too, is a liberal.

Nah, the greatest monsters are daycare workers. While she was a Florida prosecutor, Janet Reno was quite famous for running an inquisition looking for ritual satanic sex abuse. She actually locked people in cells, kept the cold, wet and shivering to coerce testimony from them... and those were *her* witnesses.

And Clinton made her AG, partly on the strength of that record. Yes, that same Clinton who was terribly offended at Starr's investigation of him had been perfectly happy to appoint an AG who ran an inquisition looking for Satanic sex cults against some day care workers.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (3, Insightful)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | about 2 years ago | (#40486993)

As a leftie, I still see some logic behind what the OP mentioned. Even though I do not agree with it (in fact, I find the last two paragraphs of attacks a bit offensive), I still find it odd that it was modded down as a troll.

Without context, it will sound like a red-team vs blue-team fight. I may need to read more to see where the specific contentious issues would be.

A bit OT, but some radical experiments in education are happening on the tech side -- udacity, coursera, etc. Not sure if they fall under 'progressive' (more like cool-techie-engineering solutions), and would be extremely disruptive to established interests both on the red and blue teams :)

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | about 2 years ago | (#40487015)

'...running battles in the late '80s and early '90s over new age teaching methods/using our teachers and kids as lab animals to try radical 'progressive' new ideas in teaching...

Radical new methods like teaching kids to read and be numerate, or did you mean the 1980s and 90s rather than the 1880s and 90s?

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (2)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 2 years ago | (#40487233)

I read the Wikipedia article you linked to and your depiction of it seems awfully far from what the article actually says. The tldr version of it is OBE=standardized testing. Where do you get the idea it is in any way related to kids not knowing where the US is on a map? Teachers could neglect to teach basic geography using traditional education systems just as easily.

Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#40487313)

Now go hit the 'ol Wikipedia on "Outcome Based Education".... I'll wait. For the impatient I'll summarize: This is just a re-run of the long running battles in the late '80s and early '90s over new age teaching methods/using our teachers and kids as lab animals to try radical 'progressive' new ideas in teaching how to be a good progressive doubleplus good thinker that knows everything about stopping mom from putting the trash in the wrong recycling bin but can't locate the US on a map or tell you who George Washington was.

Interesting summary. Funny, though, when I read the article it was mostly about people complaining about testing, testing, demanding students to "enjoy physical education", testing, teaching fuzzy untestable things, testing, testing. For instance, in the United States section:

The best-known and most far-reaching standards-based education law in the U.S. is the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated certain measurements as a condition of receiving federal education funds. States are free to set their own standards, but the federal law mandates public reporting of math and reading test scores for disadvantaged demographic subgroups, including racial minorities, low-income students, and special education students. Various consequences for schools that do not make "adequate yearly progress" are included in the law.

I guess it must have been vandalized sometime after you posted.

H.O.T.S.? (2)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#40487427)

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)

I think most Slashdotters would oppose this opinion. Most of us know that HOTS [imdb.com] is a very desirable way to get educated.

Old news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40486843)

That's so almost a month ago.

I know posting old news to /. is a bad thing because that's what people tell me to think.

Standing in the corner found effective. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40486877)

In the section titled "Educating Our Children," the document states that "corporal punishment is effective" and recommends teachers be given "more authority" to deal with disciplinary problems.

Time outs work much better.

Re:Standing in the corner found effective. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40487245)

In the section titled "Educating Our Children," the document states that "corporal punishment is effective" and recommends teachers be given "more authority" to deal with disciplinary problems.

Time outs work much better.

One on one session, discussing what was done, why it was wrong and how you'd feel if it were done to you is pretty effective, too. Punishing without any real exploration of the issue doens't accomplish much, but you just might find your kids becoming cagey and trying to get away with things rather than develop as good citizens.

Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40486881)

Enough said.

Beat them don't teach them! (5, Informative)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 2 years ago | (#40486895)

"We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas. "

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40487087)

"We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas. "

Why stop there? Let's roll out capital punishment. Build a few concentration camps and frog march those who dare to think or teach others to.

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (5, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 years ago | (#40487145)

How about letting teachers beat parents instead? It might actually be more effective.

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (5, Insightful)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 2 years ago | (#40487369)

Hmm you may be onto something. Funny, how doing so would be considered a violent crime while doing it to a developing child is a-ok.

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (1)

joebagodonuts (561066) | about 2 years ago | (#40487147)

Why would that be required? Aren't the good people of Texas able to discipline their children such that they don't disrupt schools? /snark

This comes across as a standard GOP platform-plank.

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487223)

It's Texas, so why not just shoot 'em! Stand yer ground baby!

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40487249)

Corpora punishment isn't effective any where.

Unless you goal is to create a fearful child who will be afraid to speak.

Texas keep threatening to leave, but fuck, there still part of the states.

Bunch of lying cowards.

Re:Beat them don't teach them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487433)

This is the best troll post ever. You sir, just made my day complete.

Gov't for you (3, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#40486979)

That's just one more reason (as if more were needed) that government shouldn't be allowed in business, education, health care, money, etc., oh well, eventually the society will be so dumb, it wouldn't care about anything but their daily bowl of cheese grits or whatever they eat and a 12 hours of American Football on all channels daily. Eventually... oh wait.

Re:Gov't for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487177)

Okay, think maybe next time you could come up with a rant without coming off as a whiny 12-year-old goth kid? Grrr do I hate sports! Hate hate hate football! RRRRRRRRRR I'm more intelligenter than those stupid football-lovers because I'm not a stupid football-lover!

Re:Gov't for you (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#40487221)

Relax, I don't have anything specific against football or any other sport for that matter, it's not about football, it's about daily cheese and the sports arena intake that satisfies the primal instincts absent of capacity for higher mental faculties. I should have added porn to it, of-course, and there are different types of porn.

Re:Gov't for you (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40487283)

Only proper response:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso [youtube.com]

Re:Gov't for you (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#40487383)

The failure on your part to understand that the Romans only became as wealthy as they did because they allowed ... free trade. That's right, they had the most freedom in trade than anybody ever had before them, and that's what they derived all of their wealth from, which they stole from the private sector to grow an unsustainable government eventually. Does it remind you of anything?

Of-course a few thousand years from now, a similar clip will be made about USA.

What is it that USA ever did for us?

You know, except the production line used in car manufacturing, the airplane, the refrigerator, the sewing machine, the telegraph, the electrical grid.

Well, surely they'll include the Internet and the Bomb as fine examples of something that is a bit closer related to the research done by actual government, of-course all for war.

So no, it's not a response that is appropriate, it's a sad one, because it should point you at the exact problem and yet you think you have something that is helping your argument.

it's easier to think what someone telks you to ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40486991)

Sometimes when faced with problems that are confusing and troubling it is easier to think what someone tells you to think, particularly something that touches a deep and dark nerve in your nature, rather than carry the burden and ambiguity of struggling with the facts and thinking for yourself. Repeating a party line is a shorthand way of avoiding real thought. And the predators are always there to take advantage of it. They welcome trouble and often foment crisis in order to advance their agendas.”

“Anyone can be misled by a clever person, and no one likes to readily admit that they have been had. It is a sign of character and maturity to realize this, and admit you were deceived, and to demand change and reform. But some people cannot do this, even when the facts of the deception are revealed. It seems as though the more incorrect that the truth shows them to be, the louder and more strident they become in shouting down and denying the reality of the situation. And anyone who denies their perspective becomes 'the other,' someone to be feared and hated, shunned and eliminated, one way or the other.”

This was cited here http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article35340.html from another website...

Re:it's easier to think what someone telks you to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487483)

And anyone who denies their perspective becomes 'the other,' someone to be feared and hated, shunned and eliminated, one way or the other.

The Progressive. The Liberal. The Warmist. The Jew.

Totally understandable. (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40487001)

With republicans (and a number of conservatives).
War is Peace.
freedom is not liberty.
and most of all.
Ignorance is strength.

As it is, critical thinking skills is reserved for top party members or the executives that work in the companies that the party supports.

Re:Totally understandable. (0, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#40487201)

Fascinating that you distort 1984 there, but let me tell you what this is really about:
For liberals: "Higher Order Thinking Skills" is "Democrats Good! Republicans Bad! The Federal Government is our new God and our very survival depends solely on handouts we receive for being compliant tools! Independent thought is the racist war on women!"

Stupid Republicans Move to Lower Intelligence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487003)

I knew that Republicans were basically stupid but I didn't realize they bred themselves that way. How long has this been going on? How stupid do they want to become? It would seem that mindless automaton endlessly saying Jesus loves me is the goal.

Critical Thinking (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40487009)

It's that ability to look beyond dogma, hyperbole, straw-man arguments, etc. and make your own decisions. Small wonder anyone in political power would rigorously fight people learning to think for themselves, they may find their beliefs change over time and switch party affiliation or (horrors) become independents - evaluating candidates based upon their ability to get things done, rather than what they like to talk about at campaign events.

Re:Critical Thinking (5, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40487247)

It's that ability to look beyond dogma, hyperbole, straw-man arguments, etc. and make your own decisions.

And, you know, read a paragraph.

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.

You lose.

Someone needs to show them the /. article on China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487025)

The political/business elite in China are specifically sending their children to schools in the USA exactly BECAUSE we teach critical thinking skills. The Chinese education should not be a model for Texas, but they are sure taking the pages out of their book on education in this respect....

Meanwhile in California (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40487029)

The DNC educational platform is teaching that 2+2==3 is "not wrong" and the kid should be given praise because he tried hard. B for effort.

Both these parties suck hard.

Re:Meanwhile in California (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40487075)

Really? Where is that at? And please show us an example of that.

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 2 years ago | (#40487157)

Please don't feed the troll.

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40487185)

But, the troll is being modded up, with out sharing a shred of evidence. That is when it bothers me. Basically, many of our moderators seem to lack the same critical thinking skill (from texas?).

Re:Meanwhile in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487205)

It's your faulty education that makes you want to see proof. cpu6502 is correct for making shit up about the Democrats in order to demonstrate that they're terrible.

Re:Meanwhile in California (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40487215)

I was being sarcastic. Or ironic. One of those. Everyone knows kids don't get failed anymore because we've adopted the Liberal method of not hurting anyone's feelings..... and thus the kids move grade-to-grade-to-grade having learn nothing. --- The libs also oppose testing kids to see if the teachers did their jobs (nearly-all the kids pass) or if the teacher sucks (kids fail).

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 2 years ago | (#40487387)

What's actually ironic is that you are giving the Republican's stance on education the same grade as the Democrat's to protect your own feelings from being hurt by the Republican's failure. How "liberal" of you.

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | about 2 years ago | (#40487397)

A reason for opposing testing as the sole metric is that no one yet has found a completely fair and practical way to do it. Additionally, statewide testing usually means that all but the brightest students have to spend the majority of their schooling being taught how to take the test, rather than actually learning anything.

Re:Meanwhile in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487401)

Nice back peddling.

Re:Meanwhile in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487273)

Give him a break, he probably was educated in Texas - facts and proof aren't used there.

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487105)

The DNC educational platform is teaching that 2+2==3 is "not wrong" and the kid should be given praise because he tried hard. B for effort.

Where? [cadem.org] The word "wrong" and "praise" aren't in there and I can't find anything close to what you are claiming.

Re:Meanwhile in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487251)

The DNC educational platform is teaching that 2+2==3 is "not wrong" and the kid should be given praise because he tried hard. B for effort.

Both these parties suck hard.

Citation please.

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40487285)

And of course Obamacare shows that the Democrats are just puppets of the insurance corporations:
"We need 50 million new customers."
"No problem; we'll just mandate that everyone MUST buy your product." - Pelosi, Reid, Obama, etc.
"Exxxxxcellent." - corporate CEOs after they gain 50 million new customers.

Re:Meanwhile in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487361)

What's that smell? Oh it's your breath. You seem to be talking out of your ass!

Re:Meanwhile in California (1)

jweller13 (1148823) | about 2 years ago | (#40487497)

From what I understand teachers are reluctant to give deserved low grades. There is so much competition to get into college that parents gasp in terror at even any bad grade. Parents apply intense pressure on teachers to elevate what should be a low or failing grade.

Lacking faith in their faith? (5, Interesting)

high_rolla (1068540) | about 2 years ago | (#40487039)

They clearly don't have much faith in their faith if they fear that something as simple as thinking would put it in danger.

Religious fundamentalism (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487055)

The Texas GOP is just an American taliban in my opinion.

Re:Religious fundamentalism (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40487107)

No, it is not. It is NOT the GOP. It is the neo-cons and teapartiers within the GOP that correspond to Taliban.
The truth is, that many of the pre-reagan GOPers are disgusted by where their party is today.

Re:Religious fundamentalism (4, Insightful)

hondo77 (324058) | about 2 years ago | (#40487213)

The truth is, many in the GOP say they are disgusted by the neocons but they don't do anything to discourage or oppose them. Talk is cheap.

Re:Religious fundamentalism (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40487331)

Then they should change parties and say why.

That is THE ONLY way they will change. Considering the Democrats are more pre-republican then the current crop of republicans iot's not the much of a leap.

Re:Religious fundamentalism (0)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#40487399)

What are they going to do about it?

The national party /is/ the teabaggers and neocons right now, with a dash of Paultards for nutty pseudo-libertarian states-rightsism. Perhaps these putative pre-St. Reagan GOPers should start calling themselves something else, or vote Dem because that party is probably the closest thing to their ideal.

oppose...critical thinking, undermine...authority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487057)

Why not? It works for North Korea!

Re:oppose...critical thinking, undermine...authori (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40487173)

Why not? It works for North Korea!

Works for totalitarian regimes everywhere. Two world wars were waged, largely manned by people who stopped thinking and did what they were told.

LOL! (4, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#40487059)

I guess the GOP is afraid of people able to critically think! They are afraid it would be detrimental to their mission! Heaven forefend should someone be able to use rational thinking to defeat idiocy.

Misleading Summary (4, Insightful)

myrdos2 (989497) | about 2 years ago | (#40487125)

The actual quote is:

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.

It sounds like "Outcome-Based Education" is that you aren't graded by how many hours you spend learning or working, but by the output you can produce. So they're saying you could use this to brainwash students based on the teacher's political agenda? IE, at the end of the class you will show you understand his views, and why everyone else is wrong. When you put it like that, it doesn't seem so bad...

Of course, what they're really saying is don't challenge our creationist views with your fancy logic. And that's sad.

Re:Misleading Summary (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40487311)

Real learning begins when the children leave off what they are fed and begin research of their own, "Why does this work/not work? Where do I find the information." Critical Thinking opens that door.

Teachable Moment (1)

casca69 (795069) | about 2 years ago | (#40487151)

Ok, so Texans are proud of the fact that they can legally Succeed from the union.
Can we encourage that?????

"Today boys and girls, we learn about Texas, and why being independent, belligerent, and unarmed is bad... Who here remembers the coast before China proved the Chicxulub impact to their senate?"

Texas wants to be more like China?? (1)

Nathgar (995959) | about 2 years ago | (#40487179)

So, correct me if I am wrong, but independence as an individual requires thinking as an individual, and learning how to do that. It's not something you just grow into by rejecting all of that education provided to you that came before it. The teenage rebellious period of life is completely different then critical thinking. Is Texas trying to emulate China? Maybe the color of China's flag is confusing them? Anyway I guess food preperation specialists, household organizational contractors, and discarded material removal technician's don't actually need critical thinking skills so... WIN?!

wow. (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#40487197)

I barely made it through the first page of that thing. If I didn't know better, I would call it a poe's law prank.

Seriously, how does insanity like that shit (really "sanctity of life crom fertilization to grave"? The authority of the family "defined as a man and a woman", and all that rhetoric? Wow. Heil hitler fuckers. Oh wait, this is the us. "Praise jesus!". My bad.) Manage to get taken seriously in a country *FOUNDED* on independent thought and the outright refusal of state sponsored religion?

Holy fuck batman, joker's got a jackhammer jesus dildo!

Seriously. What. The. Fuck.

Seriously? (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40487229)

Alarmingly, they openly state that they oppose schools teaching critical thinking...

So, from the platform, page 12:

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.

My boldface. What they're opposing are a specific series of programs that they claim don't teach real critical thinking. It's pathetic.

Sure, you can argue the merits of OBE and such, but recent experience is that Texas's education system has been very successful compared to other states, when you normalize for social background. Texas has a hell of a lot more poor minorities than Vermont or Wisconsin, and the real measure of a public school system is how the poor kids do, not the rich white kids.

Trollish summary (4, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | about 2 years ago | (#40487291)

If you actually look at the platform, the Texas Republicans' opposition is to the Outcome Based Education [wikipedia.org] philosophy. Proponents of this methodology sometimes label it "critical thinking skills" since after all, who doesn't favor that? The summary submitter (and about half of the comments at this point) fall into the same logical fallacy as "If you oppose the PATRIOT Act, you must oppose patriotism!", ironically due to a lack of critical thinking skills...

Baffling (1)

jweller13 (1148823) | about 2 years ago | (#40487373)

I read thru the referenced platform document and I find it baffling how any reasonable person could be against teaching critical thinking skills to kids.

Ignorant and illiterate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487381)

The US is fast becoming the land of the ignorant and illiterate with weapons of mass destruction. Just look at Bush to see the best that comes of Texas education - he can barely put together a sentence, much less a cogent or even coherent analysis or explanation of anything. His foreign policy amounts to: I don't like it/them/something - blow it/them up, blow them up good, blow it up real good.

What's the difference between the US and Iraq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487411)

The US actually has weapons of mass destruction, and uses them.

Trolling? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487403)

Are the summary and the title trolling? Or in other words RTFA. While the Texas Republican party isn't exactly an example of honesty and intelligence, in this case they are taking a stand against a particular unproven set of educational reforms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcome-based_education The buzz-words they are objecting to are so ill-defined, and in practice so slippery, that I would instead read this article as an attempt to claim the middle ground and portray the Democrats as out of touch with reality.
  If you want to object to their platform I would suggest looking two items up on the same page, and then bring up the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

texas is stupid as shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40487471)

weren't they going to leave the united states and become mexico junior or whatever? get on with it fags, you're not needed or wanted here.

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