Who Can Be Against Higher-Order Thinking Skills? The Texas GOP

Gosh, I wish this were a hoax. Here’s one of the planks in the Republican Party of Texas’s 2012 campaign platform:

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. 

If your beliefs can’t withstand being subjected to higher order thinking, they’re probably stupid. And if a child’s fixed beliefs are never challenged, he or she may remain childish for life.

Unfortunately, this anti-education activism can cause damage throughout the entire country. Texas buys a lot of textbooks. To appeal to the Texans, textbook publishers may be tempted to dumb down the textbooks to be used throughout the country.

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