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Go, TX GOP - MN will benefit!

In his Dangerously Irrelevant blog post, Scott McLeod expresses outrage about:

The Republican Party of Texas states in its official 2012 political platform:

“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.”

This is astounding since most everyone else in America seems to understand that our educational graduates and our employees need greater, not less, development of critical and higher-order thinking skills in order to be effective citizens, learners, and workers in our hyperconnected, hypercompetitive global information society. This political platform item is an absolutely stunning example of educational and economic cluelessness and is a surefire recipe for complete irrelevance in the 21st century. [Scott McLeod]

Scott, my friend, you need to celebrate this plank and hope it gets enacted. While I pity the Texas children who will be forever doomed to either a low level job or a life of meaningless indolence enabled by hereditary wealth, think of the benefit to those of us here in Minnesota and states where creative problem-solving is valued in workers.

If Richard Florida in his book The Rise of the Creative Class is correct, those families who do want their children to become creative, critical thinkers and now live in Texas will vote with their feet and move to places like Minnesota. We will get great kids in our schools, great employees for our companies, and more tax revenues to provide better services for everyone in our state. If Texans want a third world economy, who am I to say they shouldn't create one - especially if I am not forced to live there. I hope Texas would then be open to Minnesota's Tea Baggers moving to a more politically friendly state as well. (Think about it, Michelle - please, please, please!)

We'd like to see the housing market warm up again here in Minnesota, so motivated Texans just call the movers and head on north (just get on I35 and keep going). Miguel G, there is this nice rambler just down the road from me - right on the lake - that would be perfect for you.

And Scott, for gosh sakes, look a the big picture!

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Reader Comments (8)

Yow. Funny I have to read a blog in MN to find out the planks in the TX GOP platform.

Glad we can help you out ;)

Seriously appalling.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Foote

Doug, After I stopped laughing, I got to thinking about the implications.
First, let's assume that our districts will continue to move towards open-source content that isn't beholden to text-book companies that model their curriculum on big states like Texas. The great work districts like Anoka and Byron are doing in Minnesota to create their own texts is a model we should all be following, IMHO.
I still worry that given the current legislative make-up, we are veto pen away from being like Texas.
The Emmer-Dayton election was a lot closer than it should have been.
I think there is a hidden agenda to destroy public education, and I don't want those in MN to get any more ideas that will further erode it than we already have!
That said, I do admire your optimism!

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Walker

A lakeside view doesn't compare to just being down the road from the Oracle of folksy wisdom and insight BS Blog represents.


June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel Guhlin

"[crital thinking skills] have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

As evidenced here, the Texas GOP opposes teaching young people HOW to think, insisting instead on teaching people WHAT to think, blindly and in concert with the established thought of those around them. How else would the GOP continue to dominate TX politics as they do?

Minnesota is looking better and better to my husband and me...

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Camp

Hi Carolyn,

I know this has to be tough on people in Texas like yourself. Our own legislature proposes stuff that makes me be seriously embarrassed to be Minnesotan as well. Good seeing you at ISTE! Wish I could have stayed for your whole session.


And you can bring some that Texas BS with you!


Hi Michael,

Oh, there are a great plenty MN legislators that would be very happy to sign on to a similar platform right here - and, yes, the last elections have been too close for comfort. Hoping the 2010 elections were a weird blip in MN politics.


Hi Jamie,

We would welcome any new resident with the sense to read the Blue Skunk (hah!).

Consider the move. We need good thinkers and educators here. You'll need your longjohns a few months of the year, but it is a beautiful place too.


July 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Yes, our blogs united, I'm sure we could stink up any politicians' efforts at legislative reform.

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiguel Guhlin

I once said to the Wisconsin superintendents, "Actually, I don't care if you do all of this stuff [e.g., higher-order thinking, technology infusion]. After all, my kids have to beat out someone in this hypercompetitive global economy. Might as well be yours!"

They knew I was kidding but they got my point! ;)

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott McLeod

Hi Scott,

I've got a little Ole and Lena and the bear story I sometimes use to drive home the same point. I was very impressed with Yong Zhou's talk at ISTE about the relationship of creativity and national economies. My sense it is the fear of a changing social order that drives thinking like the TX GOP and other far right groups.

All the best,


July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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