Texas GOP Educational Policy
As Dave Barry used to say, I swear I am not making this up. You could certainly be forgiven if you assumed I was making it up, because such a statement sounds so obviously ridiculous that no one – not even the Texas GOP – could possibly say it and mean it. Alas, you’d be wrong. Page 13 (or, in Texas GOP-numeration, “page 12″ – go figure) states the following (pdf):
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs…
Why? Why would even such a revanchist entity as the Texas GOP oppose what they call “HOTS” (but you may be familiar with as TAG or the gifted program), as well as critical thinking, period? Because it has…
…the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
No, really. Go read it for yourself. Then go and wonder no more why America’s academic achievement continues to slip relative to other countries.
Or, what passes for academic freedom around my neck of the woods.
I don’t really follow what goes on in local colleges all that closely, partly because my children are still so far away themselves from the college years, and partly because even though this may be a fantasy I should jettison sooner rather than later, I always sort of assumed this would be more of a weigh station than a permanent residence, and that my kids would have their high school years onward in some different part of the country – or at least make their pick of colleges from among a national rather than local list. So I wasn’t following this when it happened, but came across it by chance today in the AJC.
The big local state college around here is Kennesaw State University. Apparently, they’ve been searching for a new Provost, the #2 administrative position, directly underneath the Dean. It’s a prominent position, with a salary of $228,000/yr, so naturally, the selection process was a bit more involved than simply putting an ad in the classifieds of the AJC. Administrators at KSU conducted a nationwide search and, I presume, thorough interview process, before offering the job to Dr. Timothy Chandler, currently an Associate Provost at Kent State University (yes, that Kent State), in Ohio. I have no personal knowledge of either the search committee’s process, nor of Dr. Chandler’s background, but I’m willing to assume prima facie, based on Chandler’s current position and the fact that a university the size of KSU would have knowledge of how to conduct a proper search for such a high-ranking position, that Dr. Chandler is qualified for the position. At any rate, clearly, the search committee thought so as well. They offered Chandler the job, and after deliberation, he accepted. Things appeared set for Chandler to move his family to Georgia and begin a new phase of his career – one which amounted to a promotion from his current position at Kent State.
But a funny thing happened on the way to what should have been a routine appointment. Local politics got involved. Continue reading