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Was The Boston Tea Party Terrorism? Texas Schools Are Teaching Just That (And More)

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In less than a month (December 16th), we will mark the 239th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This well-known protest against "taxation without representation" is almost universally recognized as the moment that sparked the American Revolution.

In many Texas public schools, the Boston Tea Party is now being taught as an example of an act of terrorism.

Here's an excerpt from a Texas school system's World History / Social Studies lesson plan. It purports to be helping teachers become more efficient, but many people are upset with the content of the lesson and the lack of parental review. In this specific instance, teachers are instructed to read the story to their classes as if it were a news report that had just happened within the past hour:

News report: New Act of Terrorism

A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation's busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities. It is believed that the terrorist attack was a response to the policies enacted by the occupying country's government. Even stronger policies are anticipated by the local citizens.

Later in the curriculum, teachers are instructed to reveal to students that the event described above the historic Boston Tea Party. Here's a screen capture from the actual lesson and what should be done after the story is read:

 
Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was Terrorism

Image: Screen capture CSCOPE's website

For the record, this lesson comes from a non-profit group called CSCOPE. They are an offshoot of an educational program that traces its roots back to 1965 when the state established media centers / Education Service Centers (ESCs) throughout each of the state's 20 school districts:

In 1965, the 59th Texas Legislature authorized the State Board of Education to establish media centers throughout the state. Two years later, the State Board of Education divided the state into 20 regions, assigning each media center to begin operations and serve in each region. In 1966-67, Title III of the U.S. Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided funding for start-up costs associated with establishing supplementary educational centers.

These "media centers" are reported to have received $25 million in funding last year.

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was TerrorismJust a few years ago, 19 of the 20 centers formed a non-profit entity call the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC). And TESCCC owns the Cscope Curriculum Management System. CSCOPE defines itself on their website:

CSCOPE is the source for an all-in-one approach to a quality curriculum system. CSCOPE is a comprehensive, customizable, user-friendly curriculum management system built on the most current research-based practices in the field.

TheBlaze has reached out to CSCOPE in hopes of clarifying a few of the issues being raised by parents. As of this writing, no calls have been returned.

One of the major issues we expect to discuss with CSCOPE's directors is the complaint raised by several parents about the lack of transparency at the schools. Several parents from different locations in Texas have independently confirmed that parents are not permitted to access the lessons being taught in the classrooms. There is a "Parent's Portal" available online, but the content differs greatly from the lesson plans we have seen.

For example, the lesson on terrorism shown above is part of the curriculum that correlates to this section in the Parents Portal:

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was Terrorism

Image: CSCOPE web site

Several parents and teachers have written to TheBlaze stating that they were denied access to the lessons being taught using CSCOPE materials. This apparent denial is apparently in direct conflict with Texas law.

From Texas State Constitution:

Sec. 26.006. ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS. (a) A parent is entitled to:

(1) review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent's child;

If schools using CSCOPE are not allowing parents to review education materials, it would appear they are violating one of the state's constitutionally protected rights. Our initial investigation into CSCOPE has also uncovered some other questionable lesson plans. In order to properly vet these stories, TheBlaze is investigating further and will report back on Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.

 

 

 

Ok, I know its from the Blaze (Glenn Beck) but wow, I can't believe Texas schools get away with teaching that.  Thoughts?

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Replies (21-30):
glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 7:57 PM
2 moms liked this

Not taught that way in any Texas school near me!

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:05 PM
Texas is very backwards. The only mention of slavery in my son's eighth grade history is that slaves were traded in the 'Triangle of Trade'. We are having our own lessons on the subject, as I encourage anyone to do if they disagree with a specific lesson being taught.
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glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM

LOVE... the generalizations.  NOT! My daughter's learned more than that about the slave trade and the schools are free to expand lesson plans and they select which books they teach from not all schools are equal sadly. I live in a area where they have won awards for accomplishments in scholastics

Quoting LauraKW:

Texas is very backwards. The only mention of slavery in my son's eighth grade history is that slaves were traded in the 'Triangle of Trade'. We are having our own lessons on the subject, as I encourage anyone to do if they disagree with a specific lesson being taught.


stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM
1 mom liked this

No, I think they are just defining terrorism.  I don't think they are teaching it IS terrorism but  discussing what terrorism means and how it is used and why.  Which, IMO, is a valuable lesson in today's world, which currently defines terrorism as "Arabs on a plane."  

I think there is a difference between civil disobedience and terrorism, by the way.  

Quoting tooptimistic:

So any protests that involve vandalism we are going to teach are children are terrorist attacks?  Any act of civil disobedience?  Women's suffrage movement a terrorist plan and act?  What about the civil rights movement?  The Vietnam protests?  The Tea Party?  Kids revolting in the school lunch and starting a food fight with the intent of demanding their old lunches back a terrorist attack or an act of civil disobedience?

Kinda takes away from the term terrorist attack.. 


squeekers
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:37 PM

 bump

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:47 PM
1 mom liked this

the massacre at Fort Hood was the work of a mentally ill individual - seriously just because you don't like his ethnicity doesn't change the fact that he was mentally ill. If he had been white and christian would you still say the same act was terrorism.

You need to review the definition of terrorism. - Destroying the tea coming into boston would be like someone destroying all of the coffee coming into the US - that is terrorism. One man committing multiple homicide because he is mentally unstable is not terrorism.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Interesting.  The massacre at Fort Hood was NOT terrorism...but the Boston Tea Party was.  What an upside down world we now live in.


SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:54 PM
1 mom liked this

 I live in Texas. They say the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States first. In my District they then say the Pledge of Allegiance to Texas. Red, White,and Blue with a star is running through these kids veins. They aren't teaching that the tea par-tiers are terrorists. But that does bring up a good point with what is going on in the Middle East right now. Palestinians aren't terrorists, there are resistance fighters. There are illegal settlements. There are occupiers and there is apartheid there. Guess what I am teaching my son.

Quoting momtoscott:

 I wouldn't personally categorize the Boston Tea Party as terrorism.  It wasn't even the first protest of that kind in Boston.  In general I like it when history classes go beyond dates and into the issues that riled up the people of the time. 

But the faux news article contains a lot of weird phrases ("occupying  country's government") and outright inaccuracies, such as suggesting that tea itself was loathsome to the "terrorists," which of course was not true.  This may be a well intentioned, rather badly done attempt to get students thinking critically.   Or it could be a way to start students along the path to calling any action that challenges authority possible terrorism.  Given that it's Texas we're talking about...


LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:14 PM

 What grades are your girls in this year?  The schools in our area are also award winning - TX exemplary rated - and well funded.  And the State Board of Education set the curriculum a couple of years ago with an extremely conservative Board making drastic last minute changes like removing mention of Thomas Jefferson becase he advocated for separation of church and state, although he was reinserted basically as a footnote.  These changes are part of the curriculum being taught throughout the state of TX.

Quoting glitterteaz:

LOVE... the generalizations.  NOT! My daughter's learned more than that about the slave trade and the schools are free to expand lesson plans and they select which books they teach from not all schools are equal sadly. I live in a area where they have won awards for accomplishments in scholastics

Quoting LauraKW:

Texas is very backwards. The only mention of slavery in my son's eighth grade history is that slaves were traded in the 'Triangle of Trade'. We are having our own lessons on the subject, as I encourage anyone to do if they disagree with a specific lesson being taught.


 

tooptimistic
by Kelly on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:30 PM


Quoting momtoscott:

 I wouldn't personally categorize the Boston Tea Party as terrorism.  It wasn't even the first protest of that kind in Boston.  In general I like it when history classes go beyond dates and into the issues that riled up the people of the time. 

But the faux news article contains a lot of weird phrases ("occupying  country's government") and outright inaccuracies, such as suggesting that tea itself was loathsome to the "terrorists," which of course was not true.  This may be a well intentioned, rather badly done attempt to get students thinking critically.   Or it could be a way to start students along the path to calling any action that challenges authority possible terrorism.  Given that it's Texas we're talking about...

That's what bothers me.. and parents who ask aren't being given what is in the curriculum.

mmtosam06
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Sorry I know on Mon what my dd is learning in her school. I get the beautiful note/letter once a week. This week she has a full week off for Thanksgiving and returns on the 26th

Stephanie nice to meet you.
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