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SCOTUS to Texas: ‘Children Are Not Mere Creatures of The State’

Parents fighting for the right to view critical materials related to what their children are learning.

by
Karen Lugo

Bio

March 7, 2013 - 1:21 pm
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Also, there is question as to how much latitude teachers have to deviate from CSCOPE. As teacher of thirty-three years Mary Bowen testified at the hearing, CSCOPE training materials urge “sustained monitoring of the curriculum” as needed to assure that “individual teachers do not have the option to disregard or replace assigned content.” The training materials assert that “educational equity” can only be assured by “tight alignment between the taught and the tested curriculum.” Teachers in some districts have also complained of spot visits by minders, some with cameras, making sure that they were teaching to the CSCOPE schedule and subject matter.

In an effort to confront the burqa controversy, CSCOPE provided a link to the original lesson on its website — for just a few days. I was able to review the actual “inactive” lesson plan before it was removed (the pdf file that I saved is identical to this screenshot).

Ironically, my conversation regarding lesson accuracy with CSCOPE public information officer Mason Moses may be the reason that the link disappeared.

As I explained to Mr. Moses, the lesson did not literally suggest that students adopt Muslim clerical religious codes for a day, but it did ask teachers to explore the many “similarities” between Islam and Christianity provided in the lesson, did provide hand-picked, idealistic passages from the Koran for passing out to students, and it did pose baffling questions for group discussion like: “Why do all the references about mercy [in the Koran?] seem against what we are seeing in reports from our ‘occupation’ in Iraq or in reports of events in Iran or Israel?”

Was this question a first draft? Was it vetted by a teacher/reviewer? One does not have to be child of a military member serving in Iraq or Afghanistan to understand the breathtaking offense embedded in this kind of question. The attempt to draw mercy-defined moral equivalence between the actions of a dictatorial and egregiously abusive government like Iran’s and a legitimately elected and accountable democratic government like Israel’s — on top of the unflinching selection of the word “occupation” to characterize U.S. involvement Iraq — cannot be explained away with the usual CSCOPE “passage was taken out of context” denial.

CSCOPE’s Vertical Alignment Document (VAD) for World History reflects the same kind of uninvestigated assumptions. Here is just one of several misleading factoids provided for discussion: “People conquered by Muslims chose to accept Islam because they were attracted by the appeal of this religion’s message, as well as not having to pay a poll tax.” The wording of the statement reveals the inherent question (even if one can know many centuries later how many were  “attracted” by the religion’s “appeal”): One would first have to establish that the particular conquered people referenced did indeed have a “choice,” especially if the conquering was done by sword. Historical records — much written by Muslims based upon eyewitness accounts — describe the methods of Islamic conquest as savage depending on the time and tribe. For those that refused to convert, life was often that of a second-class citizen (dhimmi), or sometimes that of a slave. These issues are eligible subjects for debate and investigation, but only after more mature students are guided through research of historical records and reliable accounts.

This disturbing lack of footnotes and citations to authoritative reference plagues the viewable CSCOPE curriculum and framework. When internet searches are performed by extracting phrases from the VAD or when one follows links to recommended internet resources, the copy-and-paste extracted for use in the CSCOPE materials is often from another home-spun site that generates bullet points or slide shows. Many sites are clearly agenda-driven with no external sourcing offered for authentication of material.

Now that education is becoming textbook-optional, parents need to be even more vigilant. Web-based learning may sound sophisticated and advanced, but both CSCOPE and Common Core have demonstrated it can be anything but. When two of the most popularly linked resource sites are authentichistory.com and historyonthenet.com, it is not surprising that lesson orientation may be ad hoc, simplistic, erroneous, and eurocentric. Augmenting a lesson with sample postcards from a period in history or viewing cartoons that illustrated a political contest is a fun way to reinforce a lesson. But the lesson must first have a foundation in facts, dates, leaders, villains, and heroes. These are judgment calls that many of the featured websites are not willing to make and the default to cultural relativism shows that too many of today’s teachers-who-teach-teachers can be expected to prefer the shades of historical gray that come with easy copy-and-paste.

At the education committee hearing CSCOPE maintained that it had turned the proverbial corner, that it will provide full transparency, that curriculum coordinators will be reviewed – albeit by more senior teachers, and that teachers will always have a ready “feedback” button to press for complaints.

All of that remains to be seen. CSCOPE now bears the burden of proof but the parents in every Texas community bear the burden of oversight. Thanks to teachers like Mary Bowen, a state education chair like Barbara Cargill, and an education committee chair like Senator Patrick, the CSCOPE fraud has been exposed. Now it is up to grandparents, retired teachers, and  home- and public-school parents to do their duty as responsible parents and citizens to monitor the content and conduct of the soon-to-be-reformed CSCOPE.

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Karen Lugo is Co-director for the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

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All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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You're on to something here,where women's rights meets Islam.Where the millions and millions of fatherless households meet the educational system,and where these mothers of young children meet the teachers union.
CSCOPE,the Frankenstein constructed by the left wing of the teachers union,woman's rights divorcees,the fear of Islam and the innocence of young children.Somebody should clue these female head's of broken households in on how women are treated under that religion.But don't remind the CSCOPE women,allow them to find out the hard way! I have always believed that the smartest students quit school at 16! What a student really needs is an ability to read and a lousy job.That should sort things out soon enough. When schools act like this,FLUSH TWICE!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Get the Federal Government and Michelle out of school affairs. All decisions should
be made by local boards. Time for parents to kick some butt and manage their own school carriculum, not to mention what foods are served in the lunch rooms.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Looks like the cockroaches found a place to hide for a little while.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Weird and murky stuff. I don't normally do this, but check this out. You'll find it fascinating.

•CSCOPE - What's Behind the Curtain? Part II

Part ll has a quick link to Part l . I got interested in this because I'm always interested in following money. Check out the house in NY!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, the Common Core State Standards program was proposed in March,2010 by a panel of educators convened by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The causation, was based on transfer students from state-to-state being disadvantaged by the differences in each states curriculum and disrupting student advancement.

It always helps to be informed of the 'facts' before assigning 'blame' to any individual or group!

The governors had the best interest of the students in mind when proposing such standarized core curriculum -- especially those in elementary and those who were college tracked.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A good point, Zeke. But experience has shown that whenever somebody somewhere wants to centralize curricula formulation, it is assigned to the educrats to implement and something like this results.

Think about the motivation: is the dislocation experienced by students who change school systems sufficient justification for centralizing the entire curriculum? How many are there who are affected? Wouldn't there be a less intrusive way? Could this have been a ploy to get control of the curriculum from the git-go?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're precisely correct! "educrats"

My wife was and educator for 40 years and then was a lobbyist across the country with legislatures to transition back to traditional localized education but was overun by all the new era education bureaucrats whom all had a one-size-fits-all solution for everyhting -- so long and you purchased their plan for x-gazillion dollars. These perpetual experimenters cross both political lines and if a betting many more are from the republican side -- that we've known.

The problem noted by the states was the increasing transitory migration of students from one state to another. The highest population of students in this category is the military kids followed by corporate and job transfers. The military segement is a national disgrace! The problems they create and bring into public schools is every bit as serious and the most inner city problems.

Personally, we endorse standardized curriculum for math, sciences, reading and english/languages throughout K12. Likewise, we fully endorse classroom teachers returning to content educators and not psychologists, social workers, family counselors, etc., and get back to 'fulltime' instruction facilitators wit actual books and content testing standards included with the texts cover-to-cover. Until our teachers are allowed once again to be teacher/educators nothing is going to reverse the continual decline in our nations education systems.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I guess I'm not following the problem. CSCOPE's FAQ states;

Does the TESCCC’s District User License Agreement (DULA) or individual Terms of Use agreement prevent parents from viewing certain CSCOPE content or components?

Neither the DULA, nor the Terms of Use agreement, prohibit an authorized user (e.g., a teacher) from revealing CSCOPE content to parents or other non-authorized users, as long as they follow these primary guidelines:

Adhere to district policy and guidelines for how CSCOPE content should or may be shared/displayed
Adhere to the TESCCC DULA and Terms of Use by not allowing unauthorized users to have online access to the CSCOPE site or gain permanent possession of CSCOPE content
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, yes; who rules on failure to adhere...and punishment ?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Must be lawyers in love...What a wonderful use of our legal system. Thank you jurist for keeping our system busy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OMFG. I opened that pdf file called the Islamic World. It is completely unsuitable for public school; it is the type of thing that is more appropriate to a religious studies course. That being said, its obvious intent is more than imparting generic information about Islam. It is so completely designed so as to indoctrinate into Islam that it is offensive, from a parental standpoint.

If the same course were offered, but with a pro-Judaism or pro-Christian bias, you would hear screaming from the ACLU and every atheist from here to kingdom come. Jeez, a teacher can't even have a Bible on her desk for her own private devotions without getting sanctioned; this bloody course has the teachers handing out complete passages from the Koran.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's getting to the point where a responsible parent has to ask themselves why they'd ever NOT home-school their children. To leave it in the hands of the "professionals" just means indoctrinating the children as young progressives, much like school systems in the Soviet Union and other dictatorships.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How long will it be until real history is gone unless you actually have the books in your possession that say otherwise?

When everything is relative, the truth is subjective and entirely up to what the people in charge decide to make it.

Or, we are at war with Eastasia and at peace with Oceania ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You have it right on the issue of books. They can only burn, not erase them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Liberals are famous for wanting dialogue but they have no interest in such a thing. In fact they have made up their minds, and for us as well. That's why the ends justifies the means in their minds, and why they skulk about like rats in the night, and in secret.

Hard to imagine people so depraved they hide a curriculum they are proud of. Tells you they think of the average citizen as a child that must take their medicine - because I said so. And that's that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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