The Texas GOP vs. Thought

Texas sure is an interesting state.

The Lone Star State Republican Party recently released its 2012 platform. Texas academics are particularly concerned by the document. While political platforms are by definition outlines of political opinions, this particular piece is extreme, even for Texas Republicans.

Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel writes that:

It’s the sort of thing that Jon Stewart prays for. And, like many things that come out of Texas, it would be hysterically funny if it wasn’t a collection of actual beliefs held by actual people in actual positions of power.

Many of its higher education policies, if implemented, would convert the state’s public colleges into bastions of reactionary irrelevance. According to the platform:

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.

Right, apparently no critical thinking should occur in colleges. Challenging fixed beliefs is the point of college.

This is not a rant from a disgruntled radio host or a self-published book by a forgotten televangelist; this is an official state political party platform.

Read the document here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer