For well over a year, right-wing activists and pandering politicians like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick have loudly and recklessly complained that a popular curriculum tool used in hundreds of Texas schools is filled with anti-American, Marxist and pro-Islamic bias. Now a formal review of lessons from the CSCOPE curriculum program confirms that lies and distortions were behind many of the attacks.

An Austin-American Statesman review of the final reports from the State Board of Education’s review exposes just how baseless the attacks on CSCOPE’s lessons were. From the article:

More than 140 volunteers — parents, educators, business people and others appointed by members of the State Board of Education — combed through 431 social studies lessons from all grades in search of bias and errors. Their findings were posted online at cscopereviews.com in late January.

Fewer than 10 of the panelists found evidence of pervasive liberal bias; the other 130 or so did not.

“They used public schools and kids as pawns in their political games and now they have moved on to something else,” said State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, who opposed Patrick during a… Read More

Texas state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, is upset that rocker Ted Nugent’s racist insults (like “subhuman mongrel”) about President Obama and his equally repugnant attacks on Hillary Clinton  (like “toxic c***,” “two-bit whore” and “worthless bitch”) have made the news.

Now Nugent name calling of Obama gets media hype, but where were they when Bill Mahr called Sarah Palin a vulgar word? MEDIA HYPOCRACY!!

— Bill Zedler (@Bill_Zedler) February 22, 2014

Of course, Zedler is conveniently ignoring the extensive media coverage of Maher’s crude and deeply offensive insult of Palin. He is also ignoring some other important facts. For one thing, President Obama didn’t defiantly campaign with Maher and refer to him as his “blood brother” — as Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has done with Nugent. Moreover, this isn’t just about the numerous racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other vile insults Nugent has vomited over the years.

Nugent has also bragged about having sex with minors. He has even glorified preying on 13-year-old girls in his music, as the Dallas Morning News points out. The newspaper notes these lyrics to “Nugent’s 1981 paean to sex with underage girls entitled Jailbait”:… Read More

Religious-right groups have swooned over Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general and candidate for the Republican nomination for governor next year. Now they appear to be lining up behind a candidate to replace Abbott as AG: state Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney.

Today Paxton’s campaign released a long list of religious-right activists who are backing his bid to become the state’s chief law enforcement officer. The list includes Cathie Adams of Texas Eagle Forum, Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute (and its lobby arm in Austin, Texas Values), Tim Lambert of the Texas Home School Coalition, Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity-Texas, leaders from Concerned Women for America of Texas, and David Barton‘s WallBuilders sidekick Rick Green. These are among the most rabidly anti-gay, anti-sex education and anti-abortion culture warriors in the state (not to mention their strident opposition to church-state separation).

Paxton’s extreme positions on important issues makes their hearts flutter, of course. This year, for example, Paxton tried to pass legislation that would have effectively ended sex education in much of Texas, a state with one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation. Fortunately,… Read More

Now Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has joined state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, in throwing local control out the window and pandering to fanatics attacking the CSCOPE curriculum program used in hundreds of Texas school districts.

In a letter to the State Board of Education on Wednesday, Dewhurst said that he is “deeply troubled” that teachers in local school districts plan to continue using CSCOPE lessons. Activists on the loony right have absurdly attacked the lessons as Marxist, anti-American and pro-Islamic. Dewhurst wrote that “it is my intent to pass legislation as soon as possible to prevent districts from using CSCOPE lesson plans” as well as other components of the program.

Nearly 900 school districts — close to 80 percent of the school districts in Texas — use CSCOPE to help teachers cover all of the state’s complex and convoluted curriculum standards in a cost-effective way. Now the lieutenant governor wants the state Legislature to tell local superintendents and teachers what curriculum tools they can use in their local schools.

Dewhurst has also posted an anti-CSCOPE petition on his re-election campaign website, repeating the same silly claims (“unnecessary bias,” “veil of secrecy,” “attempt to undermine Texas values”) Tea… Read More

Just two months after gutting a curriculum tool that nearly 900 Texas school districts were using, state Sen. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott have decided they're not done harassing educators and wasting taxpayer dollars. Last week Patrick called on the Texas State Auditor's Office to review the operations of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC), which was managing the CSCOPE curriculum program. The TESCCC (a nonprofit entity) was a collaboration of the state's 20 Education Service Centers (ESCs). Abbott sent a letter to the auditor's office making the same request a week earlier and tweeted on Sunday that "our investigation into #CSCOPE continues." No one has provided even a shred of evidence that the TESCCC, which was created to protect the intellectual property rights to CSCOPE, was involved in financial shenanigans. But right-wing activists -- the same ones who absurdly claim that CSCOPE's lessons (written largely by current and retired Texas teachers) are anti-American, anti-Christian, pro-Marxist and pro-Islam -- have been demanding that someone "investigate" anyway. Patrick, who has announced a run for lieutenant governor next year, and Abbot, who has launched a bid for the Governor's…… Read More