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2013-05-30

'CSCOPE era is over,' sez Texas senator

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A letter signed by all 20 board members of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) indicated they would notify their 875 school district clients that all CSCOPE lesson plans will be removed from their website on August 31. In addition, school districts cannot use any lessons they currently have beyond that date, according to the notification.

TESCCC is CSCOPE's governing body. Districts using CSCOPE make up nearly 80 percent of the state's school districts.

The August 31 date corresponds to the notice clause in contracts with TESCCC districts. The letter goes on to say that the 20 Regional Service Centers will not produce lesson plans in the future. Instead, the service centers will return to their original business plan of providing a management tool for teachers to stay on schedule regarding the teaching of the required TEKS. The official vote took place at an already scheduled board meeting on Friday, May 24.

Before last week's announcement, CSCOPE had been on the radar of mostly conservative grassroots organizations because CSCOPE curriculum contains what many consider "cultural relativism and leftist assumptions," particularly in history and social studies.

As examples, students were queried as to whether the 1775 Boston Tea Party should be considered an act of terrorism. Also under discussion were the merits of the hijab - the face and body covering worn by many Muslim women - that perhaps prevented sexual harassment.

In addition, controversial materials in a world history lesson likened Christianity to a cult and compared the concept of death and resurrection to the myth of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead.

To read more about CSCOPE lesson plans, visit http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/21/ten-shocking-things-a-huge-texas-curriculum-conglomerate-has-foisted-on-public-school-students/#ixzz2U2NeD7XY

"I'm pleased that the CSCOPE Board has made the decision to get out of the lesson plan business. This is a positive development for students, parents, teachers, and for the Regional Service Centers," said Texas District 7 Senator Dan Patrick, chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee.

"I want to thank the members of the Senate Education Committee for their months of work on this issue. I also want to thank Attorney General Abbott and his staff in providing valuable assistance in our review of CSCOPE."
Patrick continued, "Once TESCCC officially approves this measure, I will notify the State Board of Education that they do not need to review the 1,600 CSCOPE lesson plans."

According to Patrick, the CSCOPE era is over. However, he recommended that state authorities create a plan to monitor all future online material, ensuring school and classroom transparency. "That way parents and the legislature knows what is being taught in our classrooms across Texas," Patrick added.