Don’t Let the Texas Republican Party Stop the Teaching of Basic Problem Solving Skills in Schools

Target: The Republican Party of Texas

Goal: Don’t advocate stopping the teaching of basic problem solving skills in schools.

The Republican Party of Texas recently released its party platform for the year of 2012. A state party platform is simply a compilation of legislative initiatives and values which will guide the actions of the party for whichever year the platform is released. In most cases, these platforms pass unnoticed by those who don’t belong to the state party, but the 2012 Texas platform has garnered significant criticism for several of its educational goals.

In the section of the party platform labeled “Educating Our Children”, the Texas GOP makes the startling claim that they reject the teaching of “higher order thinking” and “critical thinking” skills. The actual quote from the party platform is this:

“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.” –2012 TX Republican Party platform, Pg. 12

This segment of the platform is extremely worrying and should elicit outrage by all Texans who wish their children to learn. By cutting critical thinking skills and higher order thinking skills from the curriculum, Texas could intellectually cripple their students and produce a generation which lacks the ability to process complex arguments. School should not only be about learning facts, but also new ways to interpret facts and challenging preconceived (and sometimes incorrect) notions of current thought.

It seems almost too absurd to fathom that a major political party is publicly decrying the teaching of basic problem solving skills in schools, yet this is certainly the problem facing Texas. The Republican Party virtually controls Texas politics and will likely set the agenda for the state during the year of 2012; due to this power, such an extreme policy being a part of the Republican Party platform is consequential for all citizens of Texas.

Sign this petition in order to protest the segment of the Texas Republican Party’s educational platform which attacks the teaching of critical thinking skills. No party should reject the idea that thinking skills should be taught in our schools, lest they end up causing irreparable harm to the students under their governance.


Dear Texas State Republican Party,

In your 2012 party platform, you decry the teaching of “critical thinking skills” and “higher order thinking skills” in Texas schools. Put plainly, this rejection of thinking skills is entirely wrong-headed and will only result in irreparable harm to the students of your state.

Schools should teach students facts in combination with methods of objectively assessing facts (thinking skills), in order to produce well-rounded students. If schools fail to teach critical thinking skills, the students will not learn how to use the facts which they learn, and the school will be largely ineffective.

I, as well as everybody else to sign this petition, implore you to remove the rejection of critical thinking skills from your political platform. Educating the next generation is of primary importance, and your current goals put your state’s ability to do so at risk.


[Your Name Here]

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42 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
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