IDEA Public Schools One of the purveyors of such rubbish is Texas educational retail chain IDEA Public Schools.IDEA is a retail charter outfit that standardizes curriculum downwards, away from critical thinking, embracing instead rote memorization and regurgitation, or what I call the “anorexic/bulimic” learning model of intellectual atrophy, ossification, and decay. This status was obtained for tax purposes, and it would take another article to demonstrate how nonprofit status has been hijacked by special interests (charter schools in this case) in the interest of profit extraction.With regard to critical thinking, the Republican Party of Texas document states: “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.” (page 20, Republican Party of Texas, 2012).Yes, challenging beliefs or claims is considered insubordinate, immoral and could lead to rebellion, disobedience or perhaps worse: revolution.
In the quarters of obedience training, “education” has nothing to do with “schooling” under capitalism.
One such passage from the book sums up the thinking regarding children and childhood: “One who studies educational theory aright can see in the mechanical routine of the classroom the educative forces that are slowly transforming the child from a little savage into a creature of law and order, fit for the life of civilized society.” Law and order is what counts, and critical education, of course, seeks to subject all laws and claims to order to the lens of critical scrutiny, something the powerful disdain.
Schooling under the neofeudalistic capitalist relations that are now emerging in the new Gilded Age of the 21st century is no different than in the past, where learning how was the norm.
Supernaturalism and supernatural beliefs no doubt will continue to snake their way into public school lesson plans, and as Texas will have significant impact on the content of all the nation’s texts through its textbook purchasing power, we may find that the tale of the Loch Ness Monster is now told to children as if it were a true story in science classes. This is now the case in Louisiana where, as The Washington Post reported, “A biology textbook used by a Christian school in Louisiana that will be accepting students with publicly funded vouchers in the fall says that the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland is real.
And it isn’t just any monster but a dinosaur – an effort to debunk evolution and bolster creationist theory.” Remember: In Louisiana, taxpayer money is given in the form of school vouchers so that parents can now see their tax monies spent on a supernatural curriculum bent on teaching that the Loch Ness Monster and other fairy tales are true.