Feehery: Critical thinking theory

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin addresses supporters about his education agenda during an event at Eva Walker Park in Warrenton, Va., on Thursday, October 14, 2021.
Greg Nash

Education is the top issue in the Virginia governor’s race. 

That’s usually not a good topic for Republicans, because the Democrats typically make it a referendum on spending more money.

But this year, this issue is not how much money is being spent on education; it’s how the money is being spent in the public schools. 

Last year, parents got a better glimpse into how local schools spend taxpayer dollars. It wasn’t pretty.

If money wasn’t being wasted on critical race theory, it was being wasted on critical gender theory. Parents watched in horror as their kids were taught less about math, science and critical thinking skills and more about how they were either racist or victims, about how they may not be either boys or girls, and worse, about how evil and corrupt America truly is. 

One thing has become readily apparent over the last year and a half in the United States.  Everybody needs more critical thinking skills and the courage to apply those skills to everyday life. We might as well start teaching them to the children.

You can’t believe everything you read in the paper these days. In fact, you really can’t believe anything you read in the paper. When our politicians say something, don’t take it face value.  They may not be willfully lying to you, but they are not telling you the whole truth. When health experts like Tony Fauci say something, get a second opinion. Fauci is not infallible. And for God’s sake, be careful with the internet. There is a lot of nonsense being spewed forth on social media. 

The fight over our nation’s schools is long overdue. 

Our education establishment has been failing our children and our nation for far too long. 

Too many of our kids can’t read at grade level, can’t write simple paragraphs, can’t do simple math, don’t know anything about history and aren’t prepared to make a positive contribution to society. This is especially true in schools that serve large minority populations, but the failure is not contained to urban schools. 

We need a revolution that puts more power in the hands of parents and takes power out of the hands of education bureaucrats. 

This is what next week’s election is all about. 

Terry McAuliffe is the choice of the unions because he wants to maintain the status quo. He believes that public education is doing just fine, although notably he sent his own children to private school. He is not comfortable giving parents more say in how their kids are being taught. He is fine with how public schools are teaching critical race theory and critical gender theory. Whatever the unions want is fine with him.

And indeed, Democrats like McAuliffe are not really interested in giving kids more critical thinking tools to help them question authority and chart their own course in a free world that requires taking risks to succeed. They want the kids to learn far-left ideologies to make them better Democrats. 

I don’t know if Glenn Youngkin imagined that education would be the No. 1 issue of this campaign when he decided to run for governor, but he is well-suited to take the fight to McAuliffe because he is at heart a disrupter who applies critical thinking skills to solve private sector problems.

In this crazy COVID-19 world we live in, where kids in blue states are required to wear masks outside as they play soccer, where Democrat mayors promise to fire thousands of police officers who refuse to take an experimental vaccine, where petty dictators close down small businesses based on little more than whims disguised as health mandates, and where over 50 percent of liberal voters think they have a better than an even chance of dying from COVID-19 even though statistics show in the worst-case scenario, chances are far less than .05 percent, we need less focus on critical race theory and more focus on critical thinking theory.         

That’s what next week’s election is really about.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).

Tags Critical race theory Critical thinking Dennis Hastert Education Virginia Governor race

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