AUSTIN, Tex. – The Republican Party of Texas has announced its 2012 legislative platform, drawing sharp criticism from a wide spectrum of groups across the country. One item that has drawn particular attention states that the Texas GOP opposes “the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills…critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education…which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
The platform also says the party opposes early childhood education, sex education, and multicultural education, but they support “school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded.”
Education leaders were particularly upset by this stance, and People’s News Source reached out to the president of the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, for his reaction. “I don’t have time for this shit,” Mr. Van Roekel told our editorial staff by phone. “There is no sane person anywhere who would put forward such claptrap as what you’re claiming the Texas GOP did. If this is supposed to be some infantile attempt at satire, it’s not working. In order for satire to be at all effective it has to be at least marginally plausible. Now get the hell off my phone.”
The Texas GOP has had to answer to a tidal wave of ridicule, especially for its stated opposition to teaching critical thinking in schools. Their communications director, Chris Elam, said the passage about opposition to critical thinking was all a big mistake — in that it wasn’t supposed to be included in the published 2012 platform. “Yes, we are against critical thinking, but that wasn’t supposed to be in the final copy. My secretary was supposed to take it out before we published it, but she doesn’t know how to edit Word documents.
“She said she would go home and ask one of her 12 kids to help her figure it out. But the seven boys were at football practice, three of her girls were pregnant and living at their boyfriend’s house, and the other two girls were drunk. So I guess it didn’t get done.
“We’ve decided we need some outside help to prevent mistakes like this in the future,” Elam added. “We’re thinking of hiring an out-of-state consultant to help us with these computer gizmos. For some reason no one in Texas has really gotten the hang of these things yet.”