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.