On Education: Texas GOP Style

Sometime one stumbles across a treasure trove of information in one link – and that recently happened to me as I found the Texas Republican Party platform. Below are a few excerpts from this document regarding education. (My italicized comments follow in parentheses.)

Keep in mind that future governors, Congressional representatives and senators, and maybe even a presidential candidates may be on the committee. Hmmmmm … Enjoy and be enlightened.

Basic Standards – We favor improving the quality of education for all students, including those with special needs. We support a return to the traditional basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and citizenship with sufficient discipline to ensure learning and quality educational assessment. (In other words, the hell with science.)

Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind. (Not only the hell with science, we only care what the Supreme Court says when they agree with us.)

Classroom Discipline –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. (We can beat kids that deserve it.)

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. (Duh! Critical-thinking skills are not required to think like a Texan because Texans from Texas blood are genetically given that gift. Besides, we are the higher order.)

Textbook Review – Until such time as all texts are required to be approved by the SBOE, each ISD that uses non-SBOE approved instructional materials must verify them as factually and historically correct. Also the ISD board must hold a public hearing on such materials, protect citizen’s right of petition and require compliance with TEC and legislative intent. Local ISD boards must maintain the same standards as the SBOE. (Attention textbook companies – adjust accuracy for the Texas viewpoint.)

Traditional Principles in Education – We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings. (Yep, the Founding Fathers were very clear and in agreement – and if you don’t believe we know what they meant, just ask us.)

Meanwhile, about that border fence, I do have a good idea.

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48 thoughts on “On Education: Texas GOP Style

  1. Frank, this whole post is so well put together. The willful ignorance of these folks harkens back to the Dark Ages. What on Earth (which of course is the center of the Universe) are we coming to?

    • Elyse,
      Believe it or not, I thought about you more than once when getting this together. I’m sure you will find something amusing in the entire platform, but I don’t recommend reading it before going to bed because it may keep you up! Thanks for commenting.

      • Actually, I don’t find anything amusing in promoting ignorance, which is what is happening here. In fact, it makes me crazy. Crazier.

        I think that critical reading of the US Constitution should be mandatory. Taxpayer funding of dark ages education? NO. A thousand times no.

      • Hey! I live in Texas. I am a third generation Texan! We aren’t all bad really we aren’t.

        I am a true blue progressive liberal Texan in the style of Molly Ivins, Anne Richards (our late great Governor) and yes even LBJ.

        We only went really crazy when those carpetbaggers from Connecticut moved here and tried to pretend they were Texans and then that ijit stole the Governors mansion.

        • I’m a huge fan of Molly and Anne and LBJ. But what has happened in Texas — when did the brains and heart get hijacked? You guys elected Dubya and Perry.

          And as someone from Connecticut AND who is personally responsible for George W. Bush’s election (I’m so sorry — I was abroad and my absentee ballot didn’t show up. I’m so sorry, even thought hey wouldn’t have counted my absent absentee ballot) I’d like to also apologize for the fact that Dubya was born in my home state. If only we didn’t have such damn good healthcare there, history might have been different ;)

        • I don’t know what happened. It is really strange, you ask people if they voted for Perry, even ask Republicans and they say emphatically ‘no’. Everyone knows he is stupid, not just dumber than a rock but truly stupid. Yet there he is and our Constitution has been changed giving the Governor far greater authority than ever before.

          It makes no sense. It is as if he and Bush before him established their own little fiefdom and now there is nothing we can do. It started when Anne lost, has gone downhill ever since. Cornyn is a great example of just how criminal some of our representatives are, do some research on Tuila.

        • Interestingly, I did a quick search about his current approval rating in the state … but I didn’t find any recent results. Then again, I didn’t spend that much time.

        • Actually, Val, I think that you go a long way to help dispel the notion that all Texans fit that stereotype. I know I don’t have to say this but: Keep it up!

  2. That sounds like common sense to me. I certainly support a return of discipline to schools with those deserving the cane, getting it. And I support a return to the principles our nations were founded on, those of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Great post Frank xx

    • Spiced,
      They make it seem so simple, but there is something about Texans that makes them Texans … and probably most non-Americans don’t know … and that’s ok. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Those of us who do live here hang our heads in shame. That we continue to see criminals and idiots elected to high office both at the state and federal level from Texas is also a matter of great humiliation for those of us in Texas who actually have a lick of sense.

    Karl Rove stole the Governors mansion for Bush and then usurped our Constitution, paving the way for Perry to steal greater power for himself. We are lost as a state until we run these miscreants out of office and return our state government to its previous structure.

    We are also lost until we stop sending criminals like John Cornyn to Washington.

    Is Texas Red, oh yes. Is our Governor a Dominionist? Oh yes he is. Do they want the population of this state to be ignorant? Yes.

    • Valentine,
      Thanks for commenting from the Lone Star state … and I know this platform doesn’t speak for the entire state. Nonetheless, I’m sure there is a lot of stuff what we out-of-staters don’t know! Thanks for sharing!

  4. loved your comments on each point Frank..
    yes we should beat kids whenever we can in fact we should just beat them every morning before breakfast as a ritual so that they behave the rest of the day..
    our politicians are doing their bit by doing nothing we should too by not caring…
    Schools here in India have some of the worst forms of punishments…how the kids survive all that,load of homework and heavy text books is still a mystery

  5. Holy Cow. Thanks for waking me up this morning with a slap in the face combined with a bucket of cold water! If that’s the way folks in Texas think about education I’m sure glad they’re the only state that feels that way . . . ?

  6. Frank, this is truly frightening. Truly. Critical thinking skills are what helps people sort BS from facts and make informed decisions. My feeling that politicians that oppose education (in this and in many cases – Republicans) do so in order to keep the electorate uniformed and easily distracted. It seems to be working. Sigh . . .

  7. Yikes! While those of us who are not Texans can’t do much about this, we can and should pay attention to what is happening in our own states. Local and state elections and politics matter greatly and because people tend not to pay attention to local elections, it is the place where your vote has the most impact. The situation in Texas is a wake up call for the rest of us.

  8. If there was ever an example of a government authority posing a threat to the stability and continuation of the democratic process that binds together our Republic, it’s Texas.

  9. The sad part is, Texas strongly influences what the textbook publishers write for the whole country. So some of this anti-science anti-questioning nonsense might creep, unsuspected, into the entire country!
    And yes, there ARE truly good people living in Texas. Pity we can’t round up the rest and trade them for some want-to-be-citizen immigrants. At least they would accomplish worthwhile things, unlike the political cretins!

    • John,
      Texas has a huge influence on the textbook market – and it is interesting how publishers play to them. Also, great point Texans because I didn’t want to imply that all Texans believe this. Heck, I’m not even sure all Texas Republicans are comfortable with these points. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Seeing others comments I truly believe people are not honest about who they voted for ONLY if the person in that office is doing fantastic and things are going well do most people jump up and “SAY I VOTED for him/her.” So many people I know who were on the Obama bandwagon now are dead silent in my neck of the woods. Even when leaving voting booths the old “exit polling.” I don’t believe for ONE second people tell the truth of who they voted for behind closed currents.For me, I own it …whom ever I voted for I stand by my decision good or bad. I respect people more who also do the same.

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