Debunked - Texas Public Educations Secret CSCOPE Curriculum

The story can be found at http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/parents-gain-access-to-secret-school-curriculum/.

In a nutshell the Texas Public Education has a curriculum called CSCOPE that had previously been kept secret. How was it secret? Its secret because teachers would have been exposed to criminal penalties for sharing CSCOPE lesson contents with parents. Regardless of what was being taught in tis curriculum its just an example of how arrogant government has gotten especially in public education, The idea that they would expose teachers to criminal penalties if they let parents know what was being taught in CSCOPE. So what was taught CSCOPE?

Some of the more controversial things in CSCOPE that have claimed to have been removed since this was exposed include:

Teaching that the Tea Party was an act of terrorism
Christians are cannibals
Forcing students to draw socialist flags while imagining a new socialist country

I’m very interested to hear what kind of excuses some will make for why this was no big deal or how this is an isolated incident. There’s no telling how many similar programs exist in other states with similar threats of criminal penalties.

No matter how you dress it up and try to justify it, CSCOPE was an attempt by the public education system (which is funded by taxpayers ) to keep secret from parents, material that leaders in public education knew were sensitive and might raise some controversy so they threatened the teachers with criminal prosecution to be quiet. The CSCOPE curriculum goes to prove what Charlotte Iserbyt warned about in her book The Dumbing Down Of America.

Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt is an American freelance writer and whistleblower who served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education during the first term of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and staff employee of the US State Department (South Africa, Belgium, South Korea). She attended Dana Hall preparatory school and Katharine Gibbs College in New York City, where she studied business. Her father and grandfather were Yale University graduates and members of the Skull and Bones secret society.

Let the excuses/debunking begin.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
^ Just one correction/clarification...the alleged curriculum said that the Boston Tea Party was an act of terrorism...not the political party of today.

this is what CSCOPE had to say about that reference:

Recently, questions have been raised regarding an out-of-date, optional CSCOPE lesson, “World History Unit 12 Lesson 07 (with a footnote dated 08/01/10).” Reports have been circulated that this lesson promotes the idea that the Boston Tea Party “was an act of terrorism.” Despite the fact that this lesson is not part of the current CSCOPE system and was an optional lesson associated with the previous Social Studies TEKS, we would like to provide additional clarification on the background and intent of this particular lesson activity.
Based on recent questions about this lesson, we immediately initiated an examination into this unit and its origins. Since none of our current State CSCOPE staff members were involved in the development of this particular lesson, we contacted someone who was directly involved. We were able to speak with the person who actually wrote the “Engage” activity in this lesson that references the Boston Tea Party.
As Americans, we of course know that the Boston Tea Party was a courageous and patriotic event in our history, celebrated as one of the most important acts leading to the American Revolution. According to the writer, the intent was to have students hear a random news report from an unidentified source claiming the event to be an act of terrorism- writing it from a completely different perspective than the one embraced by our great country today.

Additionally, it is important to note that an “Engage” activity is meant to "hook" the students and set the stage for the rest of the lesson. The writer stated that this was an attempt to engage students with an activity on perspective over the topic of terrorism. The activity was meant to show students how the same act can be viewed differently, depending on one’s perspective. The Boston Tea Party is an example of how an act of patriotism to Americans could be perceived differently by an outside party, specifically the King of England at the time.
Content from External Source
 

Clock

Senior Member.
Well, I looked around on the internet, I think that this should be pretty conclusive:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

WND Still Telling Lies About Texas School Curriculum



John Griffing uses a Jan. 13 WorldNetDaily article to repeat misleading claims and outright lies about a Texas school curriculum while largely ignoring that his attacks have been debunked.

Griffing begins by asserting that the "controversial" Texas CSCOPE online curriculum teaches that “Allah is God.”He goes on to assert that "CSCOPE lessons promote Islam, teaching conversion methods and presenting verses from the Quran that denigrate other faiths" and that "the Boston Tea Party is likened to an act of terrorism on par with 9/11."

As we've documented, Griffing is simply repeating a chain email attacking the program, and even before Griffing wrote his first misleading article attacking CSCOPE, a Texas education official gave the members of one Dallas-area school board that had received the chain email "a 72-page handout listing every religious reference in the CSCOPE curriculum, from kindergarten to high school." That report debunks Griffing's claims about CSCOPE "promoting" Islam.
Griffing makes no mention of this handout in his article, even though it addresses the accusations he makes -- and it's likely he ignores it because it undermines the premise of his article.
Griffing goes on to state that "The CSCOPE website has posted a response to concerns about certain lesson plans, including an extensive discussion of the Boston Tea Party." But he doesn't link to CSCOPE's response, nor does he say what it contains. (A copy of it is in the handout, which may be another reason why Griffing doesn't want his readers to know about it.)

Griffing:
"In CSCOPE World History/Social Studies, Lesson 2, Unit 3 under the heading, “Classical Rome,” students are told that Christianity is a “cult,” and given a link to a BBC article saying the early Christians were “cannibals,” i.e. the Eucharist, which students are then led to conclude is the reason for Roman persecution."

Griffing is simply lying here. At no point does the handout he links to describe Christianity as a "cult" -- indeed, the word "cult" does not exist in the handout. Here's what the BBC article actually says about Christianity and cannibalism:

"
Why were Christians persecuted? Much seems to have depended on local governors and how zealously or not they pursued and prosecuted Christians. The reasons why individual Christians were persecuted in this period were varied. In some cases they were perhaps scapegoats, their faith attacked where more personal or local hostilities were at issue.

Contemporary pagan and Christian sources preserve other accusations levelled against the Christians. These included charges of incest and cannibalism, probably resulting from garbled accounts of the rites which Christians celebrated in necessary secrecy, being the agape (the ‘love-feast’) and the Eucharist (partaking of the body and blood of Christ)."


The article reports that early Christians were accused of being cannibals as a pretense for persecution -- not that they are cannibals.

Griffing has also picked WND's penchant for untraceable anonymous sources. He claims that a "source in the Texas education system" says that "operatives in the U.S. Department of Education are actively pursuing CSCOPE as a way around the Texas legislative process." Given that his article is already filled with lies, there's not reason to believe Griffing about this, either.

This is an incredibly shoddy article, even by WND's abysmal standards. You'd think WND would have learned its lesson in the Clark Jones lawsuit about fact-checking submissions from freelancers, but apparently not.
No wonder nobody believes WND.

Content from External Source
http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/...l-telling-lies-about-texas-school-curriculum/
 

Grieves

Senior Member
I don't really see why this of all things should be considered evidence of a corrupted and insidious school system. I caught a documentary the other night called 'What's the matter with Kansas?', about how Kansas, once a very 'liberal' and forward-thinking state, has become highly conservative, and how the driving force behind that is the exploitation of religious communities in politics, encouraging people to make ignorant political decisions for religious reasons that entirely swindled their community out of responsible leadership. One family in particular, highly religious home-schoolers, were being swindled left and right throughout; financially by their Church, which talked them into investing heavily in a Western-themed amusement park that went bankrupt before it opened. Their teenaged daughter was severely excited about the 'christian college' she'd be attending, convinced in evident naivety it would land her a position in the white-house, because George Bush Jr. had attended that same school. What was taught in the school itself was often laughable were it not so intellectually offensive, but it was a private institution and doesn't represent the majority of schools in Kansas. Still, prior to her attendance, her and her family go on a trip to the 'creationist museum', a true joke of an establishment in which religious history (i.e 5k year old universe) is taught, featuring numerous exceedingly impressive (and highly expensive looking) animatronic displays featuring cave-men and dinosaurs chilling out together Flintstones style. They then had a sit-down and talk with a supposed 'astrophysicist', who explained in fast, authoritative and official sounding language why all his 'peers' in his profession were wrong, and all the evidence suggests the Earth, and in fact the universe, is only 5000 years old. He suggested she'd likely go on to learn about all this further at her school. This terribly malicious bullshit and its exceedingly well-funded shovelers are actively encouraging a culture of ignorance, and it's doing so by exploiting people of faith. Kansas school-boards are now largely under the sway of these groups, and pressure is constant to modify the curriculum, votes having passed which had schools removing evolution from their science curriculum, and encouraging religious doctrines about creation be taught in its place.


The foul-mouthed old fellow in the last minute is the breath of fresh air of the film, an eccentric artist and a brilliant straight-talker who sums up the absurdity of the political scene in Kansas, and the effect it's having on education. I encourage anyone out there to give it a watch, though documentaries seem to get a bit of a bad rap here.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I live in Texas and a curriculum like that would never be considered here. One that taught that God created the world in 7 days would be more likely.

And BTW, the Boston Tea Party was either an act of vandalism or terrorism. Even the good guys sometimes use nasty tactics to make their point. The bombing of the King David is more recent example.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
Why would they need to make up stuff about Texas. Isn't the truth bad enough... The Washington Post

The 2012 Republican Party of Texas platform on education.

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
Content from External Source
http://s3.amazonaws.com/texasgop_pre/assets/original/2012Platform_Final.pdf
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Forcing students to draw socialist flags while imagining a new socialist country

What's wrong with this:

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?
Content from External Source
You think that's going to turn them into socialists?

Given the various explanations above, I'm marking this as debunked.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Yeah.... education is in a sorry state in North America almost across the board. College is crazy-expensive here in Canada, but the government has some pretty decent programs in place to give students a break, and prices/loan schemes are nothing like what they are in the States, which are mind-boggling. The horror stories I've heard coming out of the states involving student loans are really rather chilling, not just in their content but in their startling abundance. The efforts to push the objective of education away from everything but the most base job-skills is increasingly obvious, and all the more ominous for it.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
They oppose critical thinking skills? I'm speechless.

Yup speechless. Follow the link I posted to the pdf file to check out their stance on "Controversial Theories", sex education and homosexuality. In the words of one loudmouth YouTuber, "These people have become so brazenly stupid, that they no longer even try to hide their evil agenda.":)
 

jvnk08

Senior Member.
As far as K-12 education goes, some areas have really stellar public schooling. Unfortunately they tend to be wealthier areas where there are more tax dollars spent on education...

Also, Grieves: I don't think YouTube embeds work here, or maybe Google is having trouble serving it for some reason.... can't see your video, but would like to.
 

hemi

Senior Member.
What's wrong with this:

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?
Content from External Source
You think that's going to turn them into socialists?

I remember doing something similar to this when we were studying WWII back in primary school in the 1970s, and having all those kids studying socialism didn't turn New Zealand into ... oh ... wait. ;)
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
What's wrong with this:

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?
Content from External Source
You think that's going to turn them into socialists?

Given the various explanations above, I'm marking this as debunked.

I recall reading a short story on the theme of teachers after a communist coup, getting the school children to voluntarily burn the national flag. I thought it was a short story at the end of a novel and was called 'the flag'. I thought it was Orwell but apparently it wasn't. Does anyone recall it?
 
What's wrong with this:

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?
Content from External Source
You think that's going to turn them into socialists?

Given the various explanations above, I'm marking this as debunked.



Sorry Mick but this has not been debunked. Every counter point so far has taken the stance of:

1) Nothing Happened, it’s all a lie made up by WND

2) Yeah SCOPE is real but there’s nothing in it that is a problem

Fact is SCOPE is REAL and teachers were in fact threatened with prosecution if they revealed any part of the curriculum to parents. Now regardless of what is in the program the fact that the school did NOT want parents to be able to see what’s in the curriculum is enough to raise caution and that’s exactly what happened when Senator Dan Patrick launched his investigation into the matter.

You can argue that what SCOPE was teaching is OK and while I would disagree I would agree that it alone is not enough to warrant cause for alarm. My concern comes from the attempts to keep information from parents about what is being taught. That’s something that every one of you should be concerned with.
If this is debunked why then was there a senator lead investigation into the matter and why then why did CSCOPE agree to the changes? If there was nothing wrong then why the need to change?
I also noticed no one tried to debunk or deny the existence of or the qualification of Katherine Iserbyt and her book the Dumbing Down Of America.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Blue Collar, I live in Texas and Texas is more likely to teach that cavemen hunted dinosaurs, than ANY Communist agenda. I am going to check with a friend that is a teacher and find out more about this.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
teachers were in fact threatened with prosecution if they revealed any part of the curriculum to parents.

Can you back that up? What EXACTLY was the situation? Your wnd article says:

The CSCOPE program, an online offering that until now has prohibited, under penalty of law, teachers from sharing the lessons with parents, stirred up controversy because of its various lessons – some that were taken offline after the questions arose.
...
Teachers also would have been exposed to criminal penalties for sharing CSCOPE lesson content with parents, and educators were required to teach strictly from the CSCOPE lesson plan, without additions or changes.
Content from External Source
From what I can gather that sounds like a rather strict interpretation of the boilerplate terms-of-use, rather than something that was actually intended. Can you find a teacher who was threatened with prosecution?

It's a bit like when someone looks at the TOS for a web site (like Metabunk) and find it says:
https://www.metabunk.org/content/126-Terms-of-Use

By posting or contributing content to the Site using these Services, you are granting Metabunk a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, and worldwide license to use your content in connection with the operation of the Site and Services, and/or for educational or other non-commercial purposes, including, without limitation, the license rights to copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your content, and/or to incorporate it into a collective work.
Content from External Source
And they start saying "OMG, Metabunk owns everything I've ever written!!!"

So were teachers threatened? Of was it just something in the terms of service?
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
From their FAQ:

http://www.cscope.us/faq.html

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


A school district may also request written permission from the TESCCC to reveal or provide CSCOPE content or website access that may not be allowed under the current TESCCC DULA or Terms of Use. Note: Parents are encouraged to speak with their child’s teacher or campus administrator to learn more about how their district is using CSCOPE and to what degree lessons are being used (if at all). Likewise, parents are encouraged exercise their rights to view any materials used by their child’s teacher, including CSCOPE content being used in the classroom.
Content from External Source
Which sounds like a clarification of a misunderstanding.
 
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