The result was, by the way, that a flagrantly mis-graded student essay was showcased nationally (in ASCD's Paul: I don't think so.
Let me suggest a way in which you could begin to test my contention.
The present level of instruction for thinking is very low indeed.
Question: But there are many areas of concern in instruction, not just one, not just critical thinking, but communication skills, problem solving, creative thinking, collaborative learning, self-esteem, and so forth.
All of us can engage in small talk, can share gossip.
And we don't require any intricate skills to do that fairly well.
(See "The assessing teachers and testers did not notice that the student failed to respond to the directions, did not support his judgment with reasons and evidence, did not consider possible criteria on which to base his judgment, did not analyze the subject in the light of the criteria, and did not select evidence that clearly supported his judgment.
Instead the student: The assessing teachers were apparently not clear enough about the nature of evaluative reasoning or the basic notions of criteria, evidence, reasons, and well-supported judgment to notice the discrepancy.
To think well is to impose discipline and restraint on our thinking-by means of intellectual standards — in order to raise our thinking to a level of "perfection" or quality that is not natural or likely in undisciplined, spontaneous thought.
The dimension of critical thinking least understood is that of "intellectual standards." Most teachers were not taught how to assess thinking through standards; indeed, often the thinking of teachers themselves is very "undisciplined" and reflects a lack of internalized intellectual standards.