Lawmakers insisting on state oversight of online teaching plan
– John Griffing
Texas lawmakers have decided they want to rein in a controversial public school curriculum content and management system that at one point taught “Allah is God.”
Most of the state’s classrooms, some 80 percent, are using the CSCOPE program that also has raised eyebrows because educators had refused to allow parents and others to see what being taught.
Twenty-five state representatives now have signed onto a proposed oversight statute that would target CSCOPE, the online system that set up firewalls and passwords so that parents would not be able to see the curriculum.
Bill author State Rep. Steve Toth said, “It’s imperative that we bring CSCOPE under the direction and oversight of the locally elected members of the State Board of Education. Repeated instances of impropriety along with a decidedly liberal leaning agenda makes this move of the utmost importance. ISDs all over the State of Texas have been misled as to what CSCOPE is and what it contains. We’ve got to get this right.”
The action followed a recent hearing by the Texas State Senate Committee on Education, where lawmakers expressed alarm and more.
The hearing was chaired by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and concerned CSCOPE’s secrecy and lack of transparency, as well as complaints that teachers are contractually prohibited from revealing classroom content to parents.
The committee consensus appeared to focus on the fact that parents and the public have not been allowed access to CSCOPE instructional materials. The committee also argued that Texas’ TESCCC (CSCOPE’s de facto parent company) is funded with state dollars, and therefore, CSCOPE content “belongs to the people of Texas.” The TESCCC is a “public entity,” as is CSCOPE, and must therefore submit to state oversight, they also said.
Senators also found the way CSCOPE was set up, it exposes teachers to legal action if they revealed CSCOPE content to the public. CSCOPE representatives admitted to this, but claimed it was unintentional – a mistake in language.
During the hearing, four panels were heard by the committee.. Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/texas-decides-to-rein-in-liberal-curriculum/#alDsuMVjcS9Odj2q.99