Thinking critically

I read with interest the article on Common Core in education (The A-T, Dec. 8). It got me to thinking – critically.

I think standardized testing isn’t all bad if we are looking at absolutes such as math, geography, grammar or spelling. Critical thinking, however, is not good as it is being taught. Critical thinking was being taught more than 40 years ago when I was in public high school. As I remember it, we looked critically as established government, society and moral values.

When our oldest daughter was in third grade, we insisted, against the teacher’s preference, on using both sides of tablet paper to conserve it and our limited money. Later in the school year, the teacher was drilling class on ways to conserve natural resources by recycling and other such “book” answers. Our daughter raised her hand and suggested using the tablet paper on both sides instead of one side and throwing it away. The teacher said, “That’s not the kind of answers we’re looking for here.” So, we can be critical of parents’ values but not the wisdom of the elite leaders of public education. (Teacher, if you remember this incident, we don’t think there was malice on your part.)

And so it goes that now children are being told to think critically about parental authority, morality, religion, absolutes of right and wrong. (For you most critical thinkers, yes, there are absolutes of right and wrong.) But they are encouraged to believe, without question, in things such as evolution (mostly phoney baloney), man-made global warming (Wait! When I was in school, it was global cooling that was the greatest crisis facing mankind) and that we need to save some “endangered” subspecies while we kill unborn humans.

I could go on and on. When public education was first introduced, wise people, critical thinkers, warned public education would come to this. I suggest home schooling, as we ended up doing.


Stephen Faber,