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Muh

Obey the Kitty!There’s a peculiar sound you can hear in my house, whenever the TV is on. It’s a little sound…something like…”muh.” You’d hear it more often during news broadcasts and unscripted shows than at other times. It wouldn’t take you long to realize that it comes from me.

I have an affliction. It’s called speakproperlydammititis. The symptoms include facial tics, guttural mumbling, involuntary moues, and the small Tourette-like exclamations of “muh.”

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Obey the Kitty!If I told you that the problem with your kids is that they think too much, what would you say? Well, that’s what the Texas GOP is saying in their platform section on education.

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills…, critical thinking skills and similar programs…which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

I knew it! All those pesky teachers, sitting in their classrooms, waiting—just like a spider!—until we send them our kids so they can teach them to think for themselves! Damned commie pinko junkies!

There are other gems in this section of the TX-GOP platform, including:

  • A rant against multiculturalism (It’s divisive.)
  • A hoo-rah for corporal punishment (We’ll beat your kids for you!)
  • A contradictory statement against disciplining kids without consent (We’ll beat them, but only if you give the green-light.)
  • A Henry Ford style approval of sex education (Teach them anything, as long as it’s “abstinence before marriage.”)
  • A curriculum weighted heavily with founding documents, including Founder’s writings (I guess they never read Ben Franklin’s “Fart Proudly”.)
  • The complete removal of any sort of oversight to private education (Hell…anyone can be a teacher; what’s so hard?)

And, in a final, oxymoronic, only-in-Texas coup de grâce:

  • All controversial topics such as evolution and climate change should be presented as “challengeable scientific theories” (which would be great except that, oh yeah, we don’t want to be guilty of “challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority,” remember?)

In short, it’s the kind of approach to education that evokes an image of millions of students, standing rank and file, each holding up their little red book. It’s the kind of approach that fosters bovine complacency and stifles genius. It’s the kind of approach that says:

“Don’t question authority.”
“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”
“The nail that stands up will be hammered down.”

From a purely sociological viewpoint, it would be interesting to compare the graduates of this educational policy with those of other methods, but I’d prefer to start with a smaller test group than the whole State of Texas.

k

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