THE CONNECTION: CSCOPE (TX Fed Ed) – COMMON CORE (our state)   7 comments

The Blaze published a new article that explains the connection between CSCOPE, the non-transparent curriculum that’s raising controversy in Texas, and the Common Core, the D.C.-written national standards that our state has unfortunately adopted.  The article reports that Common Core attempted to purchase CSCOPE as a national curriculum.  I would like to see evidence of that fact; if true, then all the claims of the Common Core, that these were “just standards, not national curriculum” were lies.  I am reposting the entire BLAZE article below.  Thank you, Glenn Beck.

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The Blaze article:  CSCOPE: Exposing the Nation’s Most Controversial Public School Curriculum System

In February, Texas announced that the state, along with the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum (TESCCC,) would enact major changes to the controversial curriculum management system dubbed CSCOPE. The system received a litany of complaints from faculty members and parents alike concerning its lack of transparency (parents were allegedly not permitted to review lesson-plans), lack of oversight from the State Board of Education, and for allegedly imposing oppressive working conditions for faculty members.

CSCOPE was created so that teachers could frame their year around teaching points required by the state. Lessons, which are written by CSCOPE staff and current and former teachers, can be updated and delivered online, making it more cost-effective than standard textbooks.

To note just how off-color some of the CSCOPE curriculum is, consider that the Texas CSCOPE Review, an independent watchdog group, uncovered an out-of-date, optional CSCOPE lesson-plan on terrorism — “World History Unit 12 Lesson 07″ — which allegedly likens the Boston Tea Party to “an act of terrorism.”

The system also recently asked students to design a flag for a new socialist nation.

To glean greater insight, Glenn Beck invited special guests David Barton and Pat Gray, along with teachers Mary Bowen, Stan Hartzler and Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick to discuss what is truly going on within their state’s education system.

Barton explained that CSCOPE is referred to as “instructional material” and not “curriculum,” therefore is not subject to regulation by the State Board of Education. The historian also brought in artifacts of Texas public school curriculum to showcase just how different it is today and to mark, year-by-year, the increasing application of political correctness in lesson plans.

Using a chart, Barton documented and mapped out core CSCOPE material, which eliminates national values, Americanism or rather, American exceptionalism, the study of federalism and majority rule (the core of our constitution) along with patriotic symbols like the Liberty Bell. Christopher Columbus, Rosh Hashanah and Christmas are all relegated to the dustbin along with American military history. Equality and a belief in justice is replaced by “fairness” and instruction on American propaganda and imperialism.

Disturbingly, Beck and Barton noted that the worst is yet to come. Showcasing a lesson plan for grades 1-3, Barton revealed CSCOPE’s list of “heroes,” which comprises a dozen secular progressives and only three conservatives or political moderates.

According to a previous report from TheBlaze, teachers complained that they were expected to deliver the curriculum verbatim and only on days allotted by the CSCOPE lesson plan. Even if students were unable to absorb the lesson, teachers were allegedly directed to progress to the next lesson regardless. TheBlaze also reported that teachers were “asked to sign a contract that would prevent them from revealing what was in the CSCOPE lessons or face civil and criminal penalties.”

The controversial program’s website states that CSCOPE is a comprehensive online curriculum management system developed and owned by the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC), a consortium composed of the 20 ESCs in the state.” It goes on to explain that the CSCOPE system provides curriculum framework for grades kindergarten through 12 across a broad range of subject areas.

The online description might raise red flags for some when it states that the CSCOPE content is regularly updated based on, among other criteria, “feedback collected through various stakeholder groups in the collaborative, including individual teacher submissions through the CSCOPE website and the School District Advisory Committee, comprised of district representatives from all participating regions of the state.”

What, or rather who, comprises CSCOPE’s collaborative and stakeholder groups? That question and a myriad others are what critics hope to get to the bottom of.

But while the groups to which CSCOPE appears relatively beholden may sound alarms for critics, the actual researchers CSCOPE credits with providing the basis for its curriculum seem to be formidable industry veterans by and large. Those educators include Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson, and James Barufaldi.

CSCOPE has been adopted by some 75 percent of Texas schools and the aim was to implement a national adoption of the management system. However, CSCOPE reportedly refused when Common Core Standards sought to purchase the system as the national curriculum standard. It is by far and away, one of the more hotly contested topics in the current education debate and much mystery still remains as to CSCOPE’s core tenets.

Beck noted that secular progressivism, further, the notion of communal life and collectivism, is at the system’s core. Other points of contention concerning CSCOPE curriculum include lesson-plans positing that Christopher Columbus was an “eco-warrior” and, when referring to the famed explorer’s journal, all references to God and Christendom were removed.

Students are also posed with hypothetical scenarios concerning historical figures and have allegedly been asked to take a position on population growth. Students were even subject to a lesson framed around the idea that “Christianity was a cult,” Beck noted.

CSCOPE’s director, Wade Labay has defended his curriculum and maintained that controversy has stemmed from misconceptions.” For instance, he said that framing the Boston Tea Party as an act of terrorism was merely one teacher’s way to engage students in the day’s lesson.

State Sen. Patrick, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, has led the CSCOPE hearings, bringing the controversial system to public light. He pushed CSCOPE to allow parents to view curriculum and to lift  gag-orders on teachers. Patrick explained his experience bringing CSCOPE to task and revealed what he believes is in store for his state.

Hartzler, who taught math for nearly four decades, retired early because of CSCOPE. He said that he was written nearly a dozen times for not following the system’s lesson plan and maintains that CSCOPE is dumbing-down American students. He said he tried his best to follow the lesson plans, but simply could not.

Bowen, who is currently forced to use CSCOPE in her school district, feels that schools are now more like factories that send children out into the real world from an assembly-line that has not even given them the basics. She spoke to Beck despite the fact that CSCOPE had set up disciplinary consequences for doing so.

Bowen said that the lessons were mediocre at best, often “riddled with errors” and that “tests were invalid.”

“There’s tremendous coercion. It’s an incredibly oppressive environment.” She added that there have been teachers who were fired for speaking out to the school board.

Bowen also explained that teachers spend “one out of every five” days testing students, and that those tests provide data for the government’s use.

When asked what they tell parents who are inquisitive about their child’s lesson-plans, Hartzler said he violated his gag-order “right away.” He said he showed the parents why the students were struggling and where they should go from that point on.

Beck said that President Obama will look to move forward with implementing CSCOPE or such systems within a short time-frame. The panel said concerned Americans should send letters to the Attorney General and that emergency legislation should be enacted to help teachers push back.

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7 responses to “THE CONNECTION: CSCOPE (TX Fed Ed) – COMMON CORE (our state)

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  1. I want to get more involved in this, but since I don’t have children I’m not in attendance at PTA meetings and other school related events. I try to talk with people about this but when they find out I have no children they dismiss everything I have to say on the issue. I’m at a loss here. How can I help stop this in my State of Montana? Is there anyone here in MT that’s working with your group? Any help is appreciated. I’m so deeply concerned about this diabolical scheme and I would be derelict if I didn’t pursue it. Please help me get involved here.

  2. Christel is wonderful and very helpful. Go to your school board meetings and keep making your voice heard. Talk with your state legislators and ask them the tough questions. A lot of your newly elected reps have no idea what this is and we need to inform them. I am meeting with one of mine tomorrow and will hand over my list of questions, which Christel so kindly passed on to me. I want answers! Ask your school board members and superintendent the same questions. Unfortunately here in Florida we have a split board of those you oppose and favor CCSS. They have all been indoctrinated to spill out rubbish they have done no research on themselves. They are going by the actual CCSS book of standards and curriculum they have been given and they think its the bible. Teachers are afraid to speak out against it in fear of losing their job. Keep in touch with this website and others and you will learn a lot.
    Keep fighting, we have to. Our children are at stake. Even though you don’t have any at this time, I appreciate you looking out for ours and the well being of our country.
    imjustamom@bellsouth.net is where you can reach me if you want to collaborate ideas.

    Debbie Higginbotham
  3. Thanks so much, Debbie. I’ll gather more info and start attending the school board meetings. As a taxpayer, I have every right to question what they’re doing with my money. As an American Citizen, I have the DUTY to help ensure our children are not being abused and brainwashed. At 52yrs, I will never have children, but I care deeply about them all. They are victims in this mess. Far too many “caring parents” are either too apathetic or too busy to get involved. What’s the definition of Apathy? I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T CARE. Being “afraid to speak up” is no longer an acceptable excuse. Shame on them.

  4. I have just started down this trail with my representatives in the state of NC, based on their responses I have the impression that not many people are pushing back yet. I find that quite troubling if it true. The leaning curve is high right now, I’m trying to digest as much credible information as I can find. At this point I’ve found the following hxxp://truthinamericaneducation.com/ and hxxp://stopcommoncore.com/ (you’ll need to replace the xx with tt in the web address.

    • Dave, other credible sources who are standing against Common Core’s invasions include Heritage Foundation, Pioneer Institute, American Principles Project, Cato Institute, Sutherland Institute, Utahns Against Common Core, Missouri Education Watchdog, Hoosiers Against Common Core, Restore Oklahoma Public Education, Professor Thomas Newkirk of University of New Hampshire, Professor Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University, Professor Sandra Stotsky of University of Arkansas, Professor Bill Evers of Stanford University Hoover Institute, Professor James Milgram of Stanford, formerly a NASA mathematician; Ze’ev Wurman, a mathematician who served on the California Validation Committee and worked for the Dept. of Education; Professor Yong Zhao of University of Oregon; Professor William Mathis of University of Colorado at Boulder; The Electronic Privacy Information Center; Californians United Against Common Core, Stop Common Core in Illinois, Stop Common Core in Michigan, Parents and Educators Against Common Core, and countless groups with Facebook pages. This is just off the top of my head. There are many more.

  5. Christel, understand. As I become more familiar with what’s going on I see that there are many groups pushing back on the implementation of Common Core but unfortunately I don’t see much activity in NC. The only thing that is going to make the legislators sit up and take notice is if the voters wake up. I have asked that our local Tea Party get involved but that’s at the very earlier stages. The Common Core issues here aren’t getting much attention. I’ve been made aware of a free webcast hosted by Nancy Brinkley, registration info is below. Again, swap the xx for tt in the web address, don’t know if you folks what links posted on your page.

    hxxps://events-na8.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1116687670/en/events/event/shared/default_template/event_landing.html?sco-id=1123547076&_charset_=utf-8

  6. How can Christian schools use common core without the side affects? I know one in CA that has adopted it and uses Terra Nova tests. Thinking the government is not involved.

    Barbara Rankin

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