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CSCOPE’s Communist Indoctrination [update]

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flag-500x281As if the Obama 2012 campaign flag wasn’t controversial enough, CSCOPE has offered its own flag-creating curriculum:

Texas CSCOPE Review – In Texas CSCOPE High Schools Students study about communism and socialism and then create a new flag for a new socialist Nation–

Is the US to be the new socialist nation? Via Common Core Standards, Obama is teaching our children how wonderful socialism is and that communism is even better.

CSCOPE is the prelude to having the Obama Common Core Standards in our schools. Via our Texas School Superintendents, who are studying how to implement Common Core, our state Education services centers are setting in place the perfect technology framework called CSCOPE.

Following are the instruction from the CSCOPE activity directing students to design a socialist/communist flag.
[quote]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 ?[/quote]

Senators question creators of curriculum system

Texas-Cscope-FlagBY WILL WEISSERT
The Associated Press

AUSTIN — Members of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday grilled the creators of a curriculum system used across Texas that critics say promotes anti-American values and stifles classroom flexibility.

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.

Defending the system was Wade Lebay, director of state CSCOPE at the Region 13 Education Service Center in Austin. He said CSCOPE offers about 1,600 model lessons that districts can access for a fee of $7 per student. Additional training for teachers on how to use the system can increase the per-pupil price.

“It’s built by teachers, designed by teachers and that’s what’s powerful about CSCOPE,” Lebay said.

Region 13 is one of 20 service centers statewide that are liaisons between school districts and the Texas Education Agency, which oversees public schools. Senators asked Lebay about complaints that some lesson plans promoted pro-Islam ideals, or described participants of the Boston Tea Party as terrorists.

Lebay was even asked to read part of a sixth-grade lesson plan that showed different countries’ flags and instructed students to “notice that socialist and communist countries use symbolism on their flags.” It went on to ask students what symbols they would use if they were to create a flag for a new socialist country.

First-term Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, asked, “Does that sound like we’re sympathizing with those types of countries?” He later said he found the lesson plan “very egregious as a Texan and an American.”

Linda Villarreal, director of the Region 2 Education Service Center in Corpus Christi, responded, “We have 1,600 lessons, so to take just this one is …” Taylor cut her off, asking, “Who is reviewing these 1,600 plans?”

Another first-year senator, Donna Campbell, R-San Marcos, complained about the uniformity CSCOPE imposes — though Lebay and Villarreal argued that it is to ensure that teachers adhere to complicated state curriculum requirements.

“Our teachers don’t need to be scripted,” Campbell said.

[UPDATE]
Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7) wrote:

Dan Patrick
January 31
SENATE JOURNAL DAY 24

PASSED SB 135 Ending 15% on STAAR permanently and taking up CSCOPE in 7 hour hearing

Today was one of my busiest days ever in the legislature for I chaired my first official Senate Education Committee to a packed committee room. People came to testify on the controversial CSCOPE. At the same time the Finance Committee, which I serve on, was holding hearings.

The committees both started at 8:30 am, education ended at 3:30 and finance ended at 8:30 tonight. I went right from education to the finance committee. In total we had over 150 public witnesses between the 2 committees and over 30 invited witnesses.

The only break I took was to hold a press conference to unveil my bill on transforming our education graduation pathways, Senate Bill 3. (see my separate post for the description of the bill) I was proud to have representatives from 19 major industries stand with me in support of a bill that will elevate rigor and flexibility for career tech & business courses, add flexibility so students can focus on either stem or humanities in high school, as well as the Distinguish degree.

The first thing we did was keep a promise I made to pass the permanent ban on counting the STAAR EOC Tests as 15% of a student’s grade. It passed 7-0. The bill will give local districts the option to count the test from 0 to 15% if they decide to in the future. Students still have to pass it, but how much it will count toward a student’s grade is up to the parents, board & Superintendent of the local district.

Next we took up CSCOPE, the curriculum course that is in 875 districts, mostly small and mid size, that has had a lot folks stirred up over content — calling our Boston Tea Party patriots terrorists, instructing students to design a communist/socialist flag, etc In addition parents are upset with a lack of transparency & many teachers are upset with the rigidity of the lesson plans.

It was rather amazing how the CSCOPE leaders were unprepared to answer many questions, didn’t know the answer, were not aware of some of the content, and didn’t really have a good answer on why they seem to want to keep everything from the public -something they cannot do as a public entity.

We will follow up on what we learned today. I would like to see the entire CSCOPE curriculum under SBOE review, the end of their private non profit corporation as the operating umbrella for CSCOPE, and the end to using CSCOPE as direct lesson plans. Teachers should be free to teach and be creative. CSCOPE was originally designed to be a tool for new teachers and to help keep teachers on a schedule to teach what the SBOE says each student should learn in each grade.

[UPDATE]
Sen. Dan Patrick and CSCOPE Announce Sweeping Changes

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