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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 (31-40):
tooptimistic
by Kelly on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM
1 mom liked this

All of these articles indicate the legitimate and strong frustrations that people feel with CSCOPE.  Texas taxpayers’ dollars pay for CSCOPE, and it is purportedly being used in at least 80% of Texas public school districts.  Yet CSCOPE has never come before the SBOE for a public hearing, and CSCOPE’s strongly worded copyright laws have mistakenly been used to create a secretive atmosphere surrounding this curriculum management system that includes curriculum, assessments, teacher-required training, etc.   In many schools, CSCOPE is the only curriculum being used.  Public transparency is missing from CSCOPE, and this is very alarming for Texas citizens and/or parents........................


PARENTS BEING WEDGED OUT

How can parents be involved in the education of their children if not allowed to see their children’s homework materials each evening?

Are parents even allowed to visit their children’s classrooms to view the CSCOPE materials? How many parents have the time to spend each day observing the CSCOPE lessons being presented?  Why all the secrecy behind CSCOPE?

How can parents monitor what their children are being taught by the public schools if not allowed free access to instructional materials that their taxpayers’ dollars have purchased?

Is the objective of CSCOPE to wedge parents out of personal involvement with their own children?

Do public school superintendents have the legal right to prohibit teachers from revealing the lesson content of CSCOPE? Shouldn’t CSCOPE materials be treated in the same way that copyrighted textbooks are treated whereby everyone is free to see them and utilize the content so long as attribution, anti-plagiarism, and copyright laws are followed?

By law it is the local school administrators who are held accountable to make sure that the instructional materials used in their districts cover the SBOE-adopted curriculum standards and the tests based upon them (STAAR/End-of-Course).  Who is making sure that CSCOPE’s lessons and learning activities are in alignment with the new requirements?  Who is making sure that these local school administrators are held accountable for their choice to buy CSCOPE?

Has there been any public scrutiny of TESCCC’s non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization and their tax-exempt status?

LEGISLATIVE ACTION NEEDED

It is past time to call for transparency of CSCOPE.  Parents and taxpayers deserve to have these questions answered.


http://educationviews.org/cscope-texas-public-hearings/



Wonder why all the secracy?  Its PUBLIC school..

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:43 PM

 This link provides some information on the Social Studies curriculum.  There are some 'unique' educational topics, but I don't see most TX parents reading this.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/ch113b.html

Quoting tooptimistic:

 

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.

 

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

 Its another technique america employed centuries / decades ago....word association.  Its worked great before...it will again

 

Socialism...Freedom of Speech...Taxes...right to bear arms...Constitution...Insurance...Capitalism....Terrorism.

tooptimistic
by Kelly on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Alot of religion, but nothing about thowing the founders of the US under bus, and calling them terrorists.


Quoting LauraKW:

 This link provides some information on the Social Studies curriculum.  There are some 'unique' educational topics, but I don't see most TX parents reading this.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/ch113b.html

Quoting tooptimistic:


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.

 


sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM
Agree

Quoting stacymomof2:

I think it is a good lesson to learn...that terrorism is in the eye of the beholder.  

Who wouldn't want their kid to understand that?  I want my kids to understand the definition of terrorism...which is an uprising against people seen as oppressors or not a representative government, using tactics of "terror" (fear) as coercion.

I guess I don't understand what the problem is.  A full understanding must start with an accurate definition.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Wait...how are parents prevented from seeing homework?  Did I miss something?

Quoting tooptimistic:


All of these articles indicate the legitimate and strong frustrations that people feel with CSCOPE.  Texas taxpayers’ dollars pay for CSCOPE, and it is purportedly being used in at least 80% of Texas public school districts.  Yet CSCOPE has never come before the SBOE for a public hearing, and CSCOPE’s strongly worded copyright laws have mistakenly been used to create a secretive atmosphere surrounding this curriculum management system that includes curriculum, assessments, teacher-required training, etc.   In many schools, CSCOPE is the only curriculum being used.  Public transparency is missing from CSCOPE, and this is very alarming for Texas citizens and/or parents........................


PARENTS BEING WEDGED OUT

How can parents be involved in the education of their children if not allowed to see their children’s homework materials each evening?

Are parents even allowed to visit their children’s classrooms to view the CSCOPE materials? How many parents have the time to spend each day observing the CSCOPE lessons being presented?  Why all the secrecy behind CSCOPE?

How can parents monitor what their children are being taught by the public schools if not allowed free access to instructional materials that their taxpayers’ dollars have purchased?

Is the objective of CSCOPE to wedge parents out of personal involvement with their own children?

Do public school superintendents have the legal right to prohibit teachers from revealing the lesson content of CSCOPE? Shouldn’t CSCOPE materials be treated in the same way that copyrighted textbooks are treated whereby everyone is free to see them and utilize the content so long as attribution, anti-plagiarism, and copyright laws are followed?

By law it is the local school administrators who are held accountable to make sure that the instructional materials used in their districts cover the SBOE-adopted curriculum standards and the tests based upon them (STAAR/End-of-Course).  Who is making sure that CSCOPE’s lessons and learning activities are in alignment with the new requirements?  Who is making sure that these local school administrators are held accountable for their choice to buy CSCOPE?

Has there been any public scrutiny of TESCCC’s non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization and their tax-exempt status?

LEGISLATIVE ACTION NEEDED

It is past time to call for transparency of CSCOPE.  Parents and taxpayers deserve to have these questions answered.


http://educationviews.org/cscope-texas-public-hearings/



Wonder why all the secracy?  Its PUBLIC school..


tooptimistic
by Kelly on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:23 PM

If you google Cscope in Texas, parents are not very happy.

Click the link at the bottom.  Parents aren't allowed to see it, and teachers sign a confidentiality agreement, so they can't discuss it.  I wouldn't want my children to be taught a secret curriculum. 

The link Laura posted with the curriculum was very generic. 

Quoting stacymomof2:

Wait...how are parents prevented from seeing homework?  Did I miss something?

Quoting tooptimistic:

 

All of these articles indicate the legitimate and strong frustrations that people feel with CSCOPE.  Texas taxpayers’ dollars pay for CSCOPE, and it is purportedly being used in at least 80% of Texas public school districts.  Yet CSCOPE has never come before the SBOE for a public hearing, and CSCOPE’s strongly worded copyright laws have mistakenly been used to create a secretive atmosphere surrounding this curriculum management system that includes curriculum, assessments, teacher-required training, etc.   In many schools, CSCOPE is the only curriculum being used.  Public transparency is missing from CSCOPE, and this is very alarming for Texas citizens and/or parents........................

 

PARENTS BEING WEDGED OUT

How can parents be involved in the education of their children if not allowed to see their children’s homework materials each evening?

Are parents even allowed to visit their children’s classrooms to view the CSCOPE materials? How many parents have the time to spend each day observing the CSCOPE lessons being presented?  Why all the secrecy behind CSCOPE?

How can parents monitor what their children are being taught by the public schools if not allowed free access to instructional materials that their taxpayers’ dollars have purchased?

Is the objective of CSCOPE to wedge parents out of personal involvement with their own children?

Do public school superintendents have the legal right to prohibit teachers from revealing the lesson content of CSCOPE? Shouldn’t CSCOPE materials be treated in the same way that copyrighted textbooks are treated whereby everyone is free to see them and utilize the content so long as attribution, anti-plagiarism, and copyright laws are followed?

By law it is the local school administrators who are held accountable to make sure that the instructional materials used in their districts cover the SBOE-adopted curriculum standards and the tests based upon them (STAAR/End-of-Course).  Who is making sure that CSCOPE’s lessons and learning activities are in alignment with the new requirements?  Who is making sure that these local school administrators are held accountable for their choice to buy CSCOPE?

Has there been any public scrutiny of TESCCC’s non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization and their tax-exempt status?

LEGISLATIVE ACTION NEEDED

It is past time to call for transparency of CSCOPE.  Parents and taxpayers deserve to have these questions answered.

 

http://educationviews.org/cscope-texas-public-hearings/

 

 

Wonder why all the secracy?  Its PUBLIC school..



sherry132
by Silver Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Um, my kids didn't learn it that way, in Texas. Have no idea what Cscope is. 

Oh and it was an act of terrorism. 

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:27 PM

How are parents "not allowed to see their children's homework materials"?

Specific question.  How are parents not allowed to see their kids homework?  Can't they just look over their shoulder?

Quoting tooptimistic:

If you google Cscope in Texas, parents are not very happy.

Click the link at the bottom.  Parents aren't allowed to see it, and teachers sign a confidentiality agreement, so they can't discuss it.  I wouldn't want my children to be taught a secret curriculum. 

The link Laura posted with the curriculum was very generic. 

Quoting stacymomof2:

Wait...how are parents prevented from seeing homework?  Did I miss something?

Quoting tooptimistic:


All of these articles indicate the legitimate and strong frustrations that people feel with CSCOPE.  Texas taxpayers’ dollars pay for CSCOPE, and it is purportedly being used in at least 80% of Texas public school districts.  Yet CSCOPE has never come before the SBOE for a public hearing, and CSCOPE’s strongly worded copyright laws have mistakenly been used to create a secretive atmosphere surrounding this curriculum management system that includes curriculum, assessments, teacher-required training, etc.   In many schools, CSCOPE is the only curriculum being used.  Public transparency is missing from CSCOPE, and this is very alarming for Texas citizens and/or parents........................


PARENTS BEING WEDGED OUT

How can parents be involved in the education of their children if not allowed to see their children’s homework materials each evening?

Are parents even allowed to visit their children’s classrooms to view the CSCOPE materials? How many parents have the time to spend each day observing the CSCOPE lessons being presented?  Why all the secrecy behind CSCOPE?

How can parents monitor what their children are being taught by the public schools if not allowed free access to instructional materials that their taxpayers’ dollars have purchased?

Is the objective of CSCOPE to wedge parents out of personal involvement with their own children?

Do public school superintendents have the legal right to prohibit teachers from revealing the lesson content of CSCOPE? Shouldn’t CSCOPE materials be treated in the same way that copyrighted textbooks are treated whereby everyone is free to see them and utilize the content so long as attribution, anti-plagiarism, and copyright laws are followed?

By law it is the local school administrators who are held accountable to make sure that the instructional materials used in their districts cover the SBOE-adopted curriculum standards and the tests based upon them (STAAR/End-of-Course).  Who is making sure that CSCOPE’s lessons and learning activities are in alignment with the new requirements?  Who is making sure that these local school administrators are held accountable for their choice to buy CSCOPE?

Has there been any public scrutiny of TESCCC’s non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization and their tax-exempt status?

LEGISLATIVE ACTION NEEDED

It is past time to call for transparency of CSCOPE.  Parents and taxpayers deserve to have these questions answered.


http://educationviews.org/cscope-texas-public-hearings/



Wonder why all the secracy?  Its PUBLIC school..




LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:40 PM

 I think we've stumbled into a conspiracy theory.

Quoting stacymomof2:

How are parents "not allowed to see their children's homework materials"?

Specific question.  How are parents not allowed to see their kids homework?  Can't they just look over their shoulder?

Quoting tooptimistic:

If you google Cscope in Texas, parents are not very happy.

Click the link at the bottom.  Parents aren't allowed to see it, and teachers sign a confidentiality agreement, so they can't discuss it.  I wouldn't want my children to be taught a secret curriculum. 

The link Laura posted with the curriculum was very generic. 

Quoting stacymomof2:

Wait...how are parents prevented from seeing homework?  Did I miss something?

Quoting tooptimistic:

 

All of these articles indicate the legitimate and strong frustrations that people feel with CSCOPE.  Texas taxpayers’ dollars pay for CSCOPE, and it is purportedly being used in at least 80% of Texas public school districts.  Yet CSCOPE has never come before the SBOE for a public hearing, and CSCOPE’s strongly worded copyright laws have mistakenly been used to create a secretive atmosphere surrounding this curriculum management system that includes curriculum, assessments, teacher-required training, etc.   In many schools, CSCOPE is the only curriculum being used.  Public transparency is missing from CSCOPE, and this is very alarming for Texas citizens and/or parents........................

 

PARENTS BEING WEDGED OUT

How can parents be involved in the education of their children if not allowed to see their children’s homework materials each evening?

Are parents even allowed to visit their children’s classrooms to view the CSCOPE materials? How many parents have the time to spend each day observing the CSCOPE lessons being presented?  Why all the secrecy behind CSCOPE?

How can parents monitor what their children are being taught by the public schools if not allowed free access to instructional materials that their taxpayers’ dollars have purchased?

Is the objective of CSCOPE to wedge parents out of personal involvement with their own children?

Do public school superintendents have the legal right to prohibit teachers from revealing the lesson content of CSCOPE? Shouldn’t CSCOPE materials be treated in the same way that copyrighted textbooks are treated whereby everyone is free to see them and utilize the content so long as attribution, anti-plagiarism, and copyright laws are followed?

By law it is the local school administrators who are held accountable to make sure that the instructional materials used in their districts cover the SBOE-adopted curriculum standards and the tests based upon them (STAAR/End-of-Course).  Who is making sure that CSCOPE’s lessons and learning activities are in alignment with the new requirements?  Who is making sure that these local school administrators are held accountable for their choice to buy CSCOPE?

Has there been any public scrutiny of TESCCC’s non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization and their tax-exempt status?

LEGISLATIVE ACTION NEEDED

It is past time to call for transparency of CSCOPE.  Parents and taxpayers deserve to have these questions answered.

 

http://educationviews.org/cscope-texas-public-hearings/

 

 

Wonder why all the secracy?  Its PUBLIC school..


 


 

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