If you want to see what values a community holds dear, look at what they teach their children. If you want to know what an American political party is really all about, you should look at their political party platforms at the state level, especially in states where they feel secure.
Here are some excerpts from the Texas Republican Party’s 2012 platform on education:
* American Identity Patriotism and Loyalty – We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.
You will learn only what we consider mainstream American culture (hint: 1950s TV shows like “Leave It To Beaver” with all-whte casts) and you will recite rote allegiance so that you may be indoctrinated properly. Never is heard a discouraging word.
* Classroom Discipline –We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.
The beatings will continue until you love Texas and America.
* Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.
Gosh, this sounds great actually! Mountains of scientific data supporting the neo-Darwinian synthesis and anthropogenic climate change, up against Goddidit and Godwuddendothat. What could go wrong?
* 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.
Don’t try none of that there critical thinking around here, kids, we don’t hold with such.
* Sex Education – We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.
Parents should be allowed to choose between abstinence-only sex education, no sex education at all, or they can do it themselves. We can’t have our kids learning the actual facts about sex in school.
* Religious Freedom in Public Schools – We urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students specifically of their First Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We urge the Legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents.
Texas has censorship of discussions of religion in history classes, who knew? Well, we can’t lead you in prayer kids, but you should be aware that you can do it yourselves while we beam at you from behind our teacher desk.
* School Surveys and Testing – Public schools should be required to obtain written parental consent for student participation in any test or questionnaire that surveys beliefs, feelings, or opinions. Parental rights, including viewing course materials prior to giving consent, should not be infringed.
Don’t make it too easy to encourage students to express their opinions, that kind of thing can be a gateway drug to thinking for themselves.
* Traditional Principles in Education – We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings.
Except that pinko Jefferson, of course, and that scoundrel Franklin, and be mighty careful of Madison, he had some unsound notions… wasn’t he the one who put in that stupid rule about not permitting religious tests for office? The only mention of religion in the original Constitution, come to think of it.
* U.S. Department of Education – Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished.
“As goes Texas, so goes the nation.” If you can’t fool all the people all the time, start making them dumber.