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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 (41-50):
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:42 AM

I honestly don't get it.  Are there really teachers refusing to say what they are teaching children?  Is there a homework monitor who stands between you and your kid while they do their homework?  Do the kids sign a confidentiality agreement as well, so they can't answer your questions?  

I'm gonna have to call bullshit.

Quoting LauraKW:

 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..




 


rockinmomnwife
by Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 12:48 AM
1 mom liked this

According to that definition, the guy from the black panthers standing outside the voting "box," was doing an act of terrorism, too. I would have never classified it that way. Hmmm...

Quoting katy_kay08:

technically it was an act of terrorism.  Generally speaking the difference between terrorism vs. revolutionary and/or liberator is in the eye of the beholder.  

ter·ror·ism/ˈterəˌrizəm/

Noun:
The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.


glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:41 AM

We are exemplary too, the schools have more than one book to choose from always have always will my girls are out of school BUT my cousins are still in and one recently did a report on TJ. The teachers here are free to add to the curriculum as they see fit and it is age appropriate.

Quoting LauraKW:

 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.


 


Claire-Huxtable
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:48 AM
teachers do not sign confidenciality agreements on CSCOPE. I just asked my neighbor that uses it in her classroom. while parents don't have access to the site nothing other than lazy teachers stops a parent from knowing what is going to be taught.


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..






Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM

 As the new curriculum was only approved in 2010 and implemented in 2011 you may not be familiar with the changes. 

 

Texas board adopts new social studies curriculum

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.

The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats' and moderate Republicans' efforts to delay a final vote failed.

 

In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board dilutes the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment's wording.

 

The ideological debate over the guidelines, which drew intense scrutiny beyond Texas, will be used to determine what important political events and figures some 4.8 million students will learn about for the next decade.

 

The standards, which one Democrat called a "travesty," also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on guidelines approved in Texas, although teachers in the Lone Star state have latitude in deciding how to teach the material.

 

The board attempted to make more than 200 amendments this week alone, reshaping draft standards that had been prepared over the last year and a half by expert groups of teachers and professors.

 

As new amendments were being presented just moments before the vote, Democrats bristled that the changes had not been vetted.

 

"I think we're doing an injustice to the children of this state by piecemealing together, cutting and pasting, coming up with new amendments as late as today," said Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat. "What we have done today and what we did yesterday is something that a classroom teacher would not even have accepted."

 

During the monthslong revision process, conservatives strengthened requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic." Students will be required to study the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

 

They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.

 

Former board chairman Don McLeroy, one of the board's most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.

 

"I'm proud to have my name on this document," Republican board member Barbara Cargill said shortly before the vote.

 

Another Republican board member, David Bradley, said the curriculum revision process has always been political - but this time, the ruling faction had changed since the last time social studies standards were adopted.

 

"We took our licks, we got outvoted," he said referring to the debate from 10 years earlier. "Now it's 10-5 in the other direction ... we're an elected body, this is a political process. Outside that, go find yourself a benevolent dictator."

 

GOP board member Geraldine Miller was absent during the votes.

 

Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically.

 

The curriculum dispute contributed to McLeroy's defeat in the March state Republican primary.

 

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.

 

"We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn't fit with their particular views," Duncan said in a statement. "Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum."

 

After the vote, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas urged the state Legislature to place more control over the board.

 

"At the end of three long days, the State Board of Education has amended, re-amended and approved curriculum standards that are more ideological than ever, despite pleas to not politicize what is taught to Texas school children," said the state ACLU's executive director, Terri Burke.

 

At least one lawmaker vowed legislative action to "rein in" the board.

 

"They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms," said Rep. Mike Villareal, a San Antonio Democrat. "They fail to understand that we don't want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists."

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Quoting glitterteaz:

We are exemplary too, the schools have more than one book to choose from always have always will my girls are out of school BUT my cousins are still in and one recently did a report on TJ. The teachers here are free to add to the curriculum as they see fit and it is age appropriate.

 

Quoting LauraKW:

 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.


 

 

 


 

 

 

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 1:57 AM

Ya my daughter was in school then so I am aware and the teachers can elaborate in their classrooms. My cousin wrote the report on TJ about a month or 2 ago.  All the board does is set the minimum standards teachers can go the extra mile and add the stuff back they see fit and here I know they do.

Quoting LauraKW:

 As the new curriculum was only approved in 2010 and implemented in 2011 you may not be familiar with the changes. 


Texas board adopts new social studies curriculum


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.

The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats' and moderate Republicans' efforts to delay a final vote failed.


In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board dilutes the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment's wording.


The ideological debate over the guidelines, which drew intense scrutiny beyond Texas, will be used to determine what important political events and figures some 4.8 million students will learn about for the next decade.


The standards, which one Democrat called a "travesty," also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on guidelines approved in Texas, although teachers in the Lone Star state have latitude in deciding how to teach the material.


The board attempted to make more than 200 amendments this week alone, reshaping draft standards that had been prepared over the last year and a half by expert groups of teachers and professors.


As new amendments were being presented just moments before the vote, Democrats bristled that the changes had not been vetted.


"I think we're doing an injustice to the children of this state by piecemealing together, cutting and pasting, coming up with new amendments as late as today," said Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat. "What we have done today and what we did yesterday is something that a classroom teacher would not even have accepted."


During the monthslong revision process, conservatives strengthened requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic." Students will be required to study the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.


They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.


Former board chairman Don McLeroy, one of the board's most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.


"I'm proud to have my name on this document," Republican board member Barbara Cargill said shortly before the vote.


Another Republican board member, David Bradley, said the curriculum revision process has always been political - but this time, the ruling faction had changed since the last time social studies standards were adopted.


"We took our licks, we got outvoted," he said referring to the debate from 10 years earlier. "Now it's 10-5 in the other direction ... we're an elected body, this is a political process. Outside that, go find yourself a benevolent dictator."


GOP board member Geraldine Miller was absent during the votes.


Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically.


The curriculum dispute contributed to McLeroy's defeat in the March state Republican primary.


Education Secretary Arne Duncan said school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.


"We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn't fit with their particular views," Duncan said in a statement. "Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum."


After the vote, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas urged the state Legislature to place more control over the board.


"At the end of three long days, the State Board of Education has amended, re-amended and approved curriculum standards that are more ideological than ever, despite pleas to not politicize what is taught to Texas school children," said the state ACLU's executive director, Terri Burke.


At least one lawmaker vowed legislative action to "rein in" the board.


"They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms," said Rep. Mike Villareal, a San Antonio Democrat. "They fail to understand that we don't want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists."


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Quoting glitterteaz:

We are exemplary too, the schools have more than one book to choose from always have always will my girls are out of school BUT my cousins are still in and one recently did a report on TJ. The teachers here are free to add to the curriculum as they see fit and it is age appropriate.


Quoting LauraKW:

 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.



 




 



LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Nov. 21, 2012 at 2:08 AM

 Meh, I stand by my Texas is backwards statement.

Quoting glitterteaz:

Ya my daughter was in school then so I am aware and the teachers can elaborate in their classrooms. My cousin wrote the report on TJ about a month or 2 ago.  All the board does is set the minimum standards teachers can go the extra mile and add the stuff back they see fit and here I know they do.

Quoting LauraKW:

 As the new curriculum was only approved in 2010 and implemented in 2011 you may not be familiar with the changes. 

 

Texas board adopts new social studies curriculum

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.

The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats' and moderate Republicans' efforts to delay a final vote failed.

 

In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board dilutes the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment's wording.

 

The ideological debate over the guidelines, which drew intense scrutiny beyond Texas, will be used to determine what important political events and figures some 4.8 million students will learn about for the next decade.

 

The standards, which one Democrat called a "travesty," also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on guidelines approved in Texas, although teachers in the Lone Star state have latitude in deciding how to teach the material.

 

The board attempted to make more than 200 amendments this week alone, reshaping draft standards that had been prepared over the last year and a half by expert groups of teachers and professors.

 

As new amendments were being presented just moments before the vote, Democrats bristled that the changes had not been vetted.

 

"I think we're doing an injustice to the children of this state by piecemealing together, cutting and pasting, coming up with new amendments as late as today," said Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat. "What we have done today and what we did yesterday is something that a classroom teacher would not even have accepted."

 

During the monthslong revision process, conservatives strengthened requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic." Students will be required to study the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

 

They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.

 

Former board chairman Don McLeroy, one of the board's most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.

 

"I'm proud to have my name on this document," Republican board member Barbara Cargill said shortly before the vote.

 

Another Republican board member, David Bradley, said the curriculum revision process has always been political - but this time, the ruling faction had changed since the last time social studies standards were adopted.

 

"We took our licks, we got outvoted," he said referring to the debate from 10 years earlier. "Now it's 10-5 in the other direction ... we're an elected body, this is a political process. Outside that, go find yourself a benevolent dictator."

 

GOP board member Geraldine Miller was absent during the votes.

 

Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically.

 

The curriculum dispute contributed to McLeroy's defeat in the March state Republican primary.

 

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.

 

"We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn't fit with their particular views," Duncan said in a statement. "Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum."

 

After the vote, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas urged the state Legislature to place more control over the board.

 

"At the end of three long days, the State Board of Education has amended, re-amended and approved curriculum standards that are more ideological than ever, despite pleas to not politicize what is taught to Texas school children," said the state ACLU's executive director, Terri Burke.

 

At least one lawmaker vowed legislative action to "rein in" the board.

 

"They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms," said Rep. Mike Villareal, a San Antonio Democrat. "They fail to understand that we don't want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists."

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Quoting glitterteaz:

We are exemplary too, the schools have more than one book to choose from always have always will my girls are out of school BUT my cousins are still in and one recently did a report on TJ. The teachers here are free to add to the curriculum as they see fit and it is age appropriate.

 

Quoting LauraKW:

 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.


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 2:32 AM

And I stand by my generalization comment.  Fact is every area has its weird crap Texas is NOT an exception. So once again generalizations are ignorant comments.

Quoting LauraKW:

 Meh, I stand by my Texas is backwards statement.

Quoting glitterteaz:

Ya my daughter was in school then so I am aware and the teachers can elaborate in their classrooms. My cousin wrote the report on TJ about a month or 2 ago.  All the board does is set the minimum standards teachers can go the extra mile and add the stuff back they see fit and here I know they do.

Quoting LauraKW:

 As the new curriculum was only approved in 2010 and implemented in 2011 you may not be familiar with the changes. 


Texas board adopts new social studies curriculum


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.

The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats' and moderate Republicans' efforts to delay a final vote failed.


In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board dilutes the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment's wording.


The ideological debate over the guidelines, which drew intense scrutiny beyond Texas, will be used to determine what important political events and figures some 4.8 million students will learn about for the next decade.


The standards, which one Democrat called a "travesty," also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on guidelines approved in Texas, although teachers in the Lone Star state have latitude in deciding how to teach the material.


The board attempted to make more than 200 amendments this week alone, reshaping draft standards that had been prepared over the last year and a half by expert groups of teachers and professors.


As new amendments were being presented just moments before the vote, Democrats bristled that the changes had not been vetted.


"I think we're doing an injustice to the children of this state by piecemealing together, cutting and pasting, coming up with new amendments as late as today," said Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat. "What we have done today and what we did yesterday is something that a classroom teacher would not even have accepted."


During the monthslong revision process, conservatives strengthened requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic." Students will be required to study the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.


They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.


Former board chairman Don McLeroy, one of the board's most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.


"I'm proud to have my name on this document," Republican board member Barbara Cargill said shortly before the vote.


Another Republican board member, David Bradley, said the curriculum revision process has always been political - but this time, the ruling faction had changed since the last time social studies standards were adopted.


"We took our licks, we got outvoted," he said referring to the debate from 10 years earlier. "Now it's 10-5 in the other direction ... we're an elected body, this is a political process. Outside that, go find yourself a benevolent dictator."


GOP board member Geraldine Miller was absent during the votes.


Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically.


The curriculum dispute contributed to McLeroy's defeat in the March state Republican primary.


Education Secretary Arne Duncan said school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.


"We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn't fit with their particular views," Duncan said in a statement. "Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum."


After the vote, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas urged the state Legislature to place more control over the board.


"At the end of three long days, the State Board of Education has amended, re-amended and approved curriculum standards that are more ideological than ever, despite pleas to not politicize what is taught to Texas school children," said the state ACLU's executive director, Terri Burke.


At least one lawmaker vowed legislative action to "rein in" the board.


"They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms," said Rep. Mike Villareal, a San Antonio Democrat. "They fail to understand that we don't want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists."


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Quoting glitterteaz:

We are exemplary too, the schools have more than one book to choose from always have always will my girls are out of school BUT my cousins are still in and one recently did a report on TJ. The teachers here are free to add to the curriculum as they see fit and it is age appropriate.


Quoting LauraKW:

 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. 21, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Its just what a few webslites are saying.  Parents in some areas are not liking it all.   It seems some kids aren't being sent home with homework.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I honestly don't get it.  Are there really teachers refusing to say what they are teaching children?  Is there a homework monitor who stands between you and your kid while they do their homework?  Do the kids sign a confidentiality agreement as well, so they can't answer your questions?  

I'm gonna have to call bullshit.

Quoting LauraKW:

 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..


 


 


 

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Nov. 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Eh, not concerned... well, at least for my kid.. he is getting homeschooled until we leave Texas.

Mainly because, while the school he would be going to rates awesomely in Texas... it is far below the one he left in Hawaii and I would have to fight the school for the kind of services he was recieving in his old school. Not interested in doing that..

If this is true (questioning it) this would be another reason to not send him to a Texas school. 

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