Early this month, Texas Republican delegates met in Fort Worth to approve their 2012 platform, notable parts of which take aim at the state's education system.

In the section titled "Educating Our Children," the document states that "corporal punishment is effective" and recommends teachers be given "more authority" to deal with disciplinary problems.

Additionally, the document states the party opposes mandatory pre-school and kindergarten, saying parents are "best suited to train their children in their early development."

The position causing the most controversy, however, is the statement that they oppose the teaching of "higher order thinking skills" -- a curriculum which strives to encourage critical thinking -- arguing that it might challenge "student's fixed beliefs" and undermine "parental authority."

The party also notes its encouragement of legislation that prevents "non-citizens unlawfully present in the United States" from enrolling in public schools, a stance that federal officials have previously deemed against the law.

In March, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Bloomberg he felt "very, very badly" for Texas students.

"Texas may have the lowest high school graduation rate in the country," Duncan said, according to Bloomberg.

The following weekend, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs gave his own criticism of the state's education system.

"I think when it comes to someone like Rick Perry, [voters are] going to wonder why a place like Texas has one of the worst education systems," Gibbs said on "Meet the Press."

LOOK: Texas Republican Party 2012 Platform: