In a pretty shocking move, the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative — the entity that administers CSCOPE — announced Monday that it has agreed to cease production of lesson plans for its much-criticized online curriculum system.
Beginning Aug. 31, 2013, school districts in the Lone Star State will no longer be permitted to use any existing CSCOPE lesson plans. CSCOPE itself will be far from dead, however, and other features of curriculum system will continue unchanged.
CSCOPE is the acronym-sounding name — that is not actually an acronym — for the oft-criticized, all-embracing K-12 online educational curriculum that has been used in 877 Texas districts, which is nearly 80 percent of the state’s school districts.
The agreement to end the lesson-plan element of the program was brokered over the course of three days, according to the Houston Chronicle. At the end of this week, the 20 members of the CSCOPE board plan to vote as an undivided bloc to eliminate CSCOPE lesson plans.
“The era of CSCOPE lesson plans has come to an end,” said Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican from Houston, in a statement.
“I’m pleased that the CSCOPE Board has made the decision to get out of the lesson plan business,” Patrick added.
Before Monday’s announcement, a throng of mostly conservative, grassroots critics had persistently protested that the curriculum is riddled with cultural relativism and downright leftist assumptions, particularly in history and social studies.
They pointed to lesson plans informing kids in the state’s public schools that Islam and communism are awesome, just for example. Students also learned that the Boston Tea Party was a terrorist attack, that Christianity is a cult and that a Malthusian population catastrophe is about to overtake the planet. (RELATED: Ten shocking lessons a huge Texas conglomerate has foisted on public school students)
In another incident, a teacher in Lumberton using a CSCOPE lesson plan allowed three female students to dress up in full-length Islamic burqas and then instructed the entire class that Muslim terrorists are actually freedom fighters. RELATED: Texas public school students don burqas, learn that Muslim terrorists are freedom fighters
In a recent education committee hearing in the Texas state Senate, several school superintendents had testified that CSCOPE is valuable to them because it is inexpensive and flexible.
Texas Freedom Network, a group that monitors the activities of what it deems the far right, has called the agreement to abolish CSCOPE lesson plans “successful witch hunt,” reports the Chronicle.