So the Texas Republican Party is calling for education reforms that predictably call for more spanking, deregulating kindergarten, denying schooling to illegal immigrants and other surprises. And then there's this:
The position causing the most controversy, however, is the statement that they oppose the teaching of "higher order thinking skills" -- a curriculum which strives to encourage critical thinking -- arguing that it might challenge "student's fixed beliefs" and undermine "parental authority."
A student's fixed beliefs? Let me tell you something about fixed beliefs.
As a kid, I was terrified of holy water. Didn't want to look at it, let alone touch it. I didn't attend Catholic mass often, but when I did, I made damn sure afterward to wash God's divine fluid off my forehead and hands. I was worried that if I accidentally ingested any, I'd disintegrate like Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. (That film came out when I was 9, by the way.) Two major influences finally disavowed me of this notion: my mom and science class. But do all impressionable kids have rational parents? No. And of those who don't, how many have rational schools to temper any harmful influence?
The ENTIRE POINT OF EDUCATION is to challenge children, and to instill within them the ability to think critically. I get that such things get in the way of unblinking obedience and intellectual stagnation, but them's the breaks.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if education is a threat to your beliefs, then your beliefs suck. You also suck if you prize your child's ability to not be confused above their attainment of knowledge. When did it become confusion to open your mind to new information and outlooks? It sure doesn't say much about the stock you put in your child's mental capacity.
Someone has to teach them about the holy water.