This week the Texas Republican Party “accidentally” included opposition to critical thinking in its education platform that will be in effect until 2014. Under the topic of “Educating Our Children” is this plank:
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 undermining parental authority. (2012 Platform)
Then, after the platform was approved and released, the GOP spokesman clarified:
“[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification,’” (Texas Freedom Network)
Oh, that makes it so much better. Tossing out Bloom’s taxonomy and the basis for standards-based education and testing–that’s okay. The real demon that the GOP is trying to exorcise is “values clarification.” They’ve been chasing that monster for almost four decades.
Depending on your perspective, Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the “Obamacare” program was either a thumping victory for progressives everywhere or a clever corporatist / conservative flanking maneuver that makes it even less likely American citizens will ever enjoy the kind of basic access to healthcare that the rest of the developed world takes for granted.
I’ve been harshly critical of the president on the healthcare issue because I see it as something that helps a few people here and there, but that’s mainly designed as a gravy train for private health insurance interests. Many of Mr. Obama’s … I know I should say “supporters” here, but part of me is dying to use “apologists” instead … argue that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important foot in the door. In their view, this may be a small victory, but it paves the way for ever greater incremental reforms that lead us ultimately to a single-payor system (or at least a robust public option). Continue reading