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Monday, February 04, 2013

Texas: Should School Children Be Taught to Create Socialist Flags As Part Of Curriculum?

By Susan Duclos

[Update added on 2/11/13- below the post] 

Texas CSCOPE Review reports that one of the lesson plans being handed out to Texas school children reads as follows:

Notice socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags representing various aspects of their economic system. Imagine a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating a flag. Use symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag. What kind of symbolism/colors would you use?

Needless to say this is controversial among parent and members of the Senate Education Committee as they questioned the  "creators of a curriculum system used across Texas that critics say promotes anti-American values and stifles classroom flexibility." (Via Star-Telegram)

Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, called it "a mess." One witness compared the system to "mind control," and an algebra teacher wept as he described quitting because he felt he was "aiding and abetting a crime" by using CSCOPE in his classroom.

CSCOPE is an electronic curriculum management system that offers Web-based lesson plans and exams designed to help teachers adhere to state education requirements. It is used in 875 school districts -- more than 70 percent of districts statewide -- and is supposed to be flexible enough for teachers to alter content to meet their individual needs.

A string of witnesses before the Senate Education Committee criticized the program for promoting liberal values they said are anti-Christian at best and openly socialist at worst.

They also complained that it is hard for nonteachers to get a look at the program.

"Discontent is rampant across the state," said Peggy Venable, a frequent critic of public schools and the Texas director of Americans for Prosperity.

Read more here:

Should American school children be designing socialist flags and is it a form of indoctrination as some believe? s this happening in you state and your children?

Do you even know?

H/T EAG News.

[Update- 2/11/13] After the initial story broke and hearings were held, there have been some major changes made to the CSCOPE program.

There will no longer be criminal penalties against teachers for sharing CSCOPE lesson content with parents, there will be more transparency and the lessons no longer have to be taught "verbatim."


The Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, which owns CSCOPE, agreed to the following changes, effectively immediately, he said.
Those include:
  • All future meetings of the TESCCC governing board, beginning with the February meeting, will be public with all the respective notice requirements being met.
  • The TESCCC will begin a joint review process of all CSCOPE lessons with the SBOE beginning with Social Studies.
  • Amendment of all Terms of Use Agreements, signed by both teachers and districts, removing civil or criminal penalties associated with the release of CSCOPE content.
  • Clarifying that all teachers and districts may post any and all CSCOPE lessons that they deem necessary.
In addition to these immediate transparency and quality control changes, CSCOPE will also undergo structural, governance, and other changes, including ending the non-profit 501(c)3 arrangement that incorporates CSCOPE, posting lessons online, and creating a standing curriculum review panel comprised of parents, teachers, school administrators, members of the SBOE, and TESCCC board members.

The online courses no longer will be mandatory, either, the senator said.

“CSCOPE is notifying all participating school districts that lessons are not intended to be taught verbatim, and the governing board generally recommends that local districts utilize CSCOPE lessons solely as a resource. Until CSCOPE lessons can be reviewed through a collaborative process with the SBOE and TESCCC, districts are strongly encouraged to review all lessons at the local level, to ensure that lessons are appropriate for their students,” the senator’s announcement said.

Head over to WMD to see what some of the curriculum content issues that were controversial.