The Texas State Board of Education‘s last meeting of 2012 could be a case of, as Yogi Berra might say, déjà vu all over again.
In 2010 the state board’s far-right faction rammed through approval of an outrageous resolution falsely claiming that history textbooks are “anti-Christian” and “pro-Muslim.” Besides the fact that the resolution was based on absurd distortions and falsehoods, among the board members supporting it were those who served on the board when it had approved the textbooks years earlier.
Now, just two weeks after the November 6 general elections, religious-righters are planning to descend on the board with more complaints about supposed pro-Islamic bias in Texas public schools. This time their target is CSCOPE, a curriculum system developed through the collaboration of Education Service Centers in Texas. The program’s developers describe CSCOPE as “a comprehensive, customized, user-friendly curriculum support system. In addition to the curriculum, CSCOPE encompasses resources for the implementation, monitors the curriculum and establishes an accountability process to ensure a quality implementation.” We assume there are legitimate arguments for and against the program. Indeed, some teachers like it, while others don’t. TFN neither supports nor opposes it. (We welcome comments below from people — especially teachers — who use or are otherwise familiar with the program.)
But it looks like some folks want to turn CSCOPE into the newest “culture war” battle at the State Board of Education. Apparently, they plan to come to Austin to speak before the State Board of Education’s Committee on Instruction on Thursday (November 15). Below are excerpts from an email being circulated to various ministers and others in Texas. One of the recipients forwarded the email to us. We’re trying to track the source.
Subject: Letter Of Request To All Christians In Texas
On November 15, 2012 at 2:00 p. m. many teachers, parents, and community leaders will go to Austin, Texas to speak before the State Board of Education. Their goal is to expose the true intent of a program called C-SCOPE. This program is currently being used in over 2/3rd of the schools in Texas. It is based on humanistic, socialistic, and Marxist philosophy and ideology. This program pushes students to question authority as well as a clear definition of what is right and what is wrong. Actual lessons are obviously anti-Christian and pro-Islamic. Parents are isolated from the true intent of this program because textbooks have been eliminated.
Homework has been minimized. Examination of what is being taught is extremely difficult. Teachers are forced to sign a document that keeps them from speaking the truth. Then they are intimidated with a monitoring system called the Three-Minute Walk-through. Objections from parents and teachers, who are brave enough to speak out, are either ignored or intimidated into silence.
Students are being dumbed-down with “fuzzy-math.” Evaluations, on how well they interact socially, take precedent over the traditional objective-testing of basic knowledge. The use of materials, from highly-suspect liberal sources, is indoctrinating the students without one single review committee. The mental and emotional stress placed on students is showing up in gastro-intestinal problems. The mental and emotional stress on teachers is showing up in a number of negative ways. All of this is being done in the name of money, ignorance, and power.
If you are a Christian, pray for those who are speaking.
If you are not a Christian, consider seeking the truth in all things.
The email then calls on Christians to contact the State Board of Education and demand a “full legislative examination” of CSCOPE “so that the public can be made aware of the intent and consequences of this program.”
The State Board of Education has no authority whatsoever over the program. But we’ll see whether some board members want to plunge into yet another “culture war” battle anyway.
TFN will be at the meeting on Thursday — we’ll let you know what happens.