A writer for the Wise County Messenger near Fort Worth makes some good points in a column on the CSCOPE “controversy” that tea party activists and other right-wing activists have been pushing across the state. It’s worth a read.
After attending a community meeting where activists promised to provide the “truth” about CSCOPE, writer Brian Knox came away frustrated that “there are real concerns about our education system that seem to be overshadowed by these conspiracy theories with no basis in fact.” He wrote about the CSCOPE meeting:
“Despite her assurances that this crusade ‘is not political,’ the presentation by Alice Linahan of Women on the Wall was clearly geared to a Tea Party crowd. Overreaching federal government. Hidden agendas. Wasteful spending. Anti-American. Anti-Christian. Foreign-born educators having access to our children. These were all topics Alice associated either with CSCOPE or the other ‘progressive’ education techniques such as ’21st Century Learning’ being implemented in our schools.”
Knox says claims that Texas students “are being ‘indoctrinated’ by the “communist-inspired’ teaching methods of educators who associate with known terrorists” are “hogwash.” He goes on to plead for more rational discussion and less politics in efforts to improve public education for Texas kids:
“I wish Alice and others who are ‘taking up the battle’ traveling around the state spreading their own version of ‘truth’ would spend more time in the classrooms and school board meetings listening to the concerns of local teachers, students, school board members and administrators rather than telling them what they should be doing (or more specifically, what they shouldn’t be doing). And I wish the education community would listen more to these concerns and respond accordingly.”
Not surprisingly, some of the comments posted in response by CSCOPE critics aren’t encouraging. One claims that if folks “do research into the history of education, educational reform, UNESCO, socialism, the inception of public education, where current groups are getting their funding, etc., we might learn some things.”
Yeah. Sure. The solution is to “research” all the right-wing bogeymen. UNESCO! Socialism! Public education!
Mr. Knox’s pleas might fail to sway the culture warriors, but he makes some good points. Check it out here.