Tag Archives: the importance of critical thinking

Comparing the Best Thinkers to Bill Gates and President Obama’s Common Core agenda

Harvard reports that The Best Thinkers Have 7 ‘Thinking Dispositions’, and they all require critical thinking and problem solving skills. Critical thinking is mentioned twice in the piece. Nowhere does the Harvard study mention the importance of high test scores in math, literacy or science.

Harvard says, “So if you want to be more inclined to critical thinking, you need to know what’s in your toolbox, just as Warren Buffett would have you do.”

There was also a photo of Bill Gates, and the photo’s caption says, “Bill Gates isn’t just a smart guy—he’s disposed to critical thinking.”

In addition, the Harvard report said, “Fundamental critical thinking is essential in business, and life, but is seldom seen on a college curriculum.”

Maybe it’s seldom seen on a curriculum, but in the public schools, teachers have focused on teaching critical thinking and how to solve problems for decades.  How else did 15-year olds in the U.S. rank 4th, and almost tie for 2nd and 3rd place, in the relative performance in problem solving on the 2012 International PISA test?

Yes, the International PISA test also tests for Creative Problem Solving: Students’ Skills in Tackling Real-Life Problems.  The same skills that led to the success of billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

However, the only PISA scores the profit-driven, corporate-supported, fake-education reformers focus on are the math, literacy and science rankings—areas that do not represent what the Harvard study revealed about the “Best Thinkers.”

But when we look at Finland, a country that the fake-education reformers often compare to the U.S. in math, science and literacy rankings, Finland does poorly in the relative performance in problem solving, and Shanghai, China, #1 in math, science and literacy on the PISA, was second to last in the relative performance in problem solving.

On the other hand, the Common Core agenda of Bill Gates and President Obama does not focus on critical thinking and problem solving.  Instead, the Common Core agenda would turn our children into robots who score high on bubble tests in math, science and literacy.

Remember, the U.S. is currently ranked #4 and almost tied for 2nd and 3rd place in the relative performance in problem solving, but Shanghai, China is ranked #42.

The PISA says, “As in other assessment areas, there are wide differences between and within countries in the ability of 15-year-olds to fully engage with and solve non-routine problems in real-life contexts. These differences, however, do not always mirror those observed in the core PISA domains of mathematics, reading and science. Just because a student performs well in core school subjects doesn’t mean he or she is proficient in problem solving.”

In conclusion, why do Bill Gates and President Obama—partners in the destruction of the democratic public schools—want the United States to be more like Shanghai, China?


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Book Cover Here

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves


Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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