The CSCOPE controversy continues: Some say the course work is "Anti-American"
POSTED: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 11:48pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 11:09am
Tyler, Tx (KETK) — CSCOPE, the controversial school curriculum used in 70% of schools all over Texas is making its way into national headlines again. Some call the curriculum "biased" and "Anti-American."
An advanced placement world geography class at Lumberton High School, in South East Texas recently spent two days learning about the Islamic religion.
Bayleigh Smith a Lumberton High School Freshman student says, "We recently tried on the different types of garbs in Middle East." The students say the teacher gave them the option to put on Burquas, or traditional Middle Eastern attire, for the lesson.
Many students choose to put on the Burquas', and then took pictures, one particular picture went viral. After the viral photograph, parents were up-in-arms. Lumberton ISD then made their students sign a paper saying that they infact "chose" to participate in the lesson and were not "forced" to.
The controversial CSCOPE curriculum used is at the root of all of this. Lumberson ISD does not deny using the CSCOPE curriculm.
John Valastro, Superintendent of Lumberton ISD says, "We can't teach everything as black and white, right and wrong. We have to let the students learn what is going on in the world."
Valastro says the teacher did nothing wrong, "Our teachers do a good job, unfortunately they are caught in between a struggle of what one group thinks is inappropriate and what the state is trying to teach."
In the CSCOPE curriculum students spend time learning about all of the seven major religions. Even more time on Christianity than any other religion. But, what has lit this fire storm is, according to some reports CSCOPE encourages teachers to use language that some believe is "Anti-American."
For example, 9/11 hi-jackers "Freedom fighters."
In lieu of all this, Texas state Senator Dan Patrick says he plans to take a further look at CSCOPE.
Patrick issued this statement to KETK:
"I am conducting an investigation into this matter but i am also working with the state board of education to conduct a full review of CSCOPE materials. The students of Texas deserve an education that reflects their local values and maintains the state's high standards."
Many teachers are also in favor of changing CSCOPE they feel it limits their creativity in the classroom.
KETK did contact a representative at CSCOPE, they issued this statement to KETK:
"Thank you for contacting us today about CSCOPE. The lesson used in Lumberton was not a CSCOPE lesson and is not connected in any way to CSCOPE lessons that are have ever been developed. Furthermore, none of the terms that have reportedly been used in the lesson are apart of CSCOPE content. It is our goal to provide teachers and school districts with a dynamic and reliable resource that teaches the Texas standards in order to improve student learning and strengthen the future workforce of our State. For more information, I would direct you to the school district…We have looked at our lessons, and while we can say with absolute certainty that the reported language is not in the CSCOPE system, we cannot be certain which unit was being taught. (at Lumberton High School)"