CSCOPE is the acronym-sounding name — that is not actually an acronym — for the oft-criticized, all-embracing K-12 educational curriculum that is used in 80 percent of the school districts in Texas.
“CSCOPE’s high quality curriculum, assessment, and instructional components assist schools in meeting the high standard of rigor and relevance” ostensibly required by various assessments administered by the Lone Star State, touts the nonprofit entity’s website.
Most — though not all — of the critics of CSCOPE are politically conservative. They charge that the controversial curriculum is a radical, backdoor way for progressives to circumvent both the Texas legislative process and the desires of local school boards and communities. They also charge that the creators of the curriculum operate secretly and do not make it easy for parents or even school board members to see the material.
The flood of criticism has likely been responsible for a handful of significant, recent changes. CSCOPE meetings will be public now, and content will be a lot more accessible to the general public. Also, a content review system involving parents, teachers and school administrators is in the works.
Complaints about CSCOPE have been many, though. The most common complaints are probably that the curriculum is riddled with cultural relativism and downright leftist assumptions, particularly in social studies. Critics also say that CSCOPE coursework is short on facts and way too long on giving students opportunities to give their uninformed opinions.
Below, The Daily Caller presents 10 of the most egregious examples of the curriculum’s inadequacies and absurdities.
1. Islam is awesome
In a unit of high school world history, the online material students are given is essentially a paean to the greatness of Islam and its founder, Mohammed.
One portion involves open-ended discussion of the merits of the hijab — the face and body covering worn by many Muslim women (and under threat of arrest in Saudi Arabia and Iran). Perhaps high school students think the hijab is “freeing because it prevents others from making them into sexual objects.” Or perhaps they think the hijab suggests that “women need to be obscured so as not to arouse male desire.” Either way, it’s fine.
The widespread and ordinary mistreatment of women in Islamic countries — particularly Arab ones — is ignored. Texas high schoolers don’t learn, for example, that Jordan and other Islamic kingdoms have laws that pardon rapists if an arrangement can be reached for rapists and their victims to get married.
2. Christianity is a cult
Another portion of the materials on Islam lists several specific lessons that Muslims take from the example of Islam’s founder, such as “Be respectful of other religions.” Strangely, there does not appear to be any such lesson focused on, say, Moses or Jesus Christ.
Instead, the materials in another world history lesson inform students that Christianity is a cult that parallels the death and resurrection in the story of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead. The same material takes pains to point out that early Christians were accused of incest, cannibalism and other atrocities.