Texas GOP: Don’t Teach Them How to Think Critically

If you’re voting for the GOP in Texas, you’re not doing anybody any favors:

(via Far Left Side)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Amey

    I need more information to find out what their real complaint is.  I thought they were taking issue with “higher order thinking skills” but there is an actual program/curriculum called Higher Order Thinking Skills.    While I’m willing to believe the GOP has issues with critical thinking, in this case they’re taking issue with a specific program rather than logic or general problem solving, and I’m curious to know what their issue is with it.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I think pretty much the opposite of 
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR0GyYaeI-k#t=9m32s

      • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com/ Ani Sharmin

        Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen the tribute video.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

      The party at the state level has to adopt a platform change about a specific program? It seems pretty sweeping to me, and doesn’t explain the claim about a “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” They also oppose mandatory Pre-K/Kindergarten under the same auspices of parental control, and clearly come out against evolution and anything that might case climate change as a real thing. So, even if this platform change is about a legitimate ideological disagreement, the stuff surrounding it smacks of express denial of science and thinking that would challenge their view of a proper design, even leaving aside the fact that they have also written in the whole “academic freedom” mantra so that religion is given more tier 1 consideration.

    • Annie

      Amey-  I think this might be the program. 

      http://www.hots.org/

      I don’t know anything about it, though.

  • Ken McKnight

    They said it undermines parental authority.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Then why even bother having public schools. Don’t they all undermine parental authority in that case?

      • LesterBallard

        They don’t want public education. They don’t want public schools with their critical thinking and evilution and homos getting married.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=574573993 Ron Wild

      I taught my children to question everything they either did not understand or thought was unfair. As a result I have two articulate, clever, personable young adults, of whom I am very proud.

  • Marc J

    This article gives a little more explanation than sources I have been able to find up to this point.  
    http://www.dailytexanonline.com/blog/update/2012/06/27/critical-update-texas-gop-platform

  • mikespeir

    Embarrassing.  I’d move across the border into Oklahoma, but it’s no better there.

    • cipher

      Oklahoma? Its state slogan is “Texas’ Developmentally Challenged Little Brother”.

  • Kevin

     Why does the Jefferson quote have a donkey in front of it? TJ was a member of the Democratic Republican party, which became the National Republicans>>> Whigs>>> modern day Republicans. I am a Republican, research scientist, and agnostic, so please let’s not stereotype Republicans.

    • Marc J

      Yes, the implication that the Dems are stalwart defenders of science and critical thinking is a stretch but compared to the Republicans they are way ahead.  It is the Texas Republicans that are literally opposed to critical thinking in their schools after all, which is the point of the cartoon.  I would think that should offend you as a scientist and you would be admonishing the members of your party that are working to prevent students from learning the very things they need to be good scientists if they so choose.

    • Marc J
    • Lucilius

      You conveniently fail to mention that Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican party was also ancestor to modern Democrats – the party split in the 1820s, with factions joining each of the successors. And, for that matter, that Democrats and Republicans slowly swapped ideologies in the early 20th century; while neither 19th century party aligned precisely with modern definitions of conservatives and liberals, early Republicans were quite liberal for their day, while Democrats were essentially conservative until the 1930s – and many Southern Democrats remained conservative, just as Republicans still had a “liberal wing” until the Reagan years.

    • http://twitter.com/cftxp Chris Fornesa

       Didn’t an ideological shift occur sometime between Eisenhower and Reagan since I always hear of many liberals (being one myself and a new high school graduate of Texas who always wondered why his SAT critical reading scores were always so low – I see myself an average student but 570 didn’t cut it for me :x) identifying with Eisenhower-era policies.  I don’t know if it’s true or not but it would explain how suddenly, Texas became a Republican state when George Bush became the governor after years of supporting Democrats. 

      All I know is that the fact that Texas ranks 49th out of all 50 states (51 districts if you include D.C.) when it comes to education is the result of other interests and not the good of the people.  Though I could identify myself as an independent, I’m definitely voting Democrat because clearly the Republican majority isn’t doing its job right (and also, I remember from my economics class that during a time of contraction in the economy, stimulus rather than austerity measures which the Texas government has supported, is the key to getting out of the recession, I mean it worked when Roosevelt stimulated production due to the world war but military expansion is still government stimulus, just to that branch of the government – sorry for that, it just needed to get out!  :x)

      But yeah, all I know is that the Whigs (who became the Republicans) did support emancipation and were therefore the liberals while the Democrats had its base in the South (with support from some Northerners who were most likely also instilling its own form of slavery via corporations) and were therefore, conservatives.  (Adding on historical data to Lucilius’s reply)  So this leads me back to the question of when the ideological shift occurred since if it happened in the 1930′s, how is Eisenhower considered someone who would be somewhat revered by liberals (what confuses me also is that he also regrets choosing the chief justice that he did since that’s the man who pretty much answered the call of the Civil Rights Movement and starting from the late 1950s advised the court to pass the Civil Rights laws).

      [Sorry for the chunk, I plan on pursuing political science after my love of art for my master's so I'm definitely interested and thirsty for knowledge.  :/]

    • cipher

      so please let’s not stereotype Republicans

      We’ll be glad to stop, as soon as you people get out of bed with the evangelicals whom you’ve courted and lied to for thirty years in your attempt to comandeer society.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com/ Ani Sharmin

    Thanks for posting. Seriously, this story (I head about it via The Young Turks) shocked me, though I guess I should be used to this kind of thing from the Republicans by now. Really, what’s shocking is that we’ve gotten to the point where they can just say this flat out, rather than trying to use some euphemism or vague language, and still expect support from a large percentage of people.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Let’s not forget that it’s the Texas School Board that is removing most references to Jefferson from the history books that state schools will purchase. So before long, there will be an entire state that will simply stare at this cartoon and have not the slightest idea what it means.

  • B_R_Deadite99

    Un-fucking-believable. These cretinous  scum-sacks have been ranting and raving for years over how dem evil lib’rals and secularists are brainwashing and indoctrinating our children in the public school system. Every major figure of the right, from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh has made this claim numerous times, and yet here they are, declaring that they oppose teaching kids how to use logic and reason. Of course, the reason why is plain; if they can’t think for themselves, they’ll become potential GOP constituents.

  • Ggroff

    I was reading more of their platform.  While they do not want their beliefs challenged they have no problem supporting the teaching of controversial topics such as origins of life and climate change.


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