The CEO of Texas-based Responsive Education Solutions has responded to an in-depth article in Slate detailing how the charter operator’s public schools teach junk science and political propaganda as factual. Frankly, the CEO’s response is just as troubling as the original allegations about the schools’ troubling curriculum.

Responsive Ed’s CEO Chuck Cook wrote an extensive reply to a post about the Slate article on the Arkansas Times website. You can read Cook’s full response in the comments section here. The Arkansas Times writer discusses Cook’s response here. (The original Slate article by Zack Kopplin is here, and a TFN press release about the revelations in that article is here.)

Cook begins his defense by arguing that Responsive Ed’s instructional materials on evolution are simply conforming to the Texas curriculum standards by “examining all sides of scientific evidence” of scientific explanations. He then proceeds to post an extended except from those classroom materials — an excerpt that portrays creationism as a valid scientific concept. This is part of his excerpt from the classroom materials students use:

In recent years, these two schools of thought —creationism and evolution—have been at conflict in schools, universities, and scientific circles.… Read More

According to a statement from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the charter school operator at the center of an in-depth and highly critical article in the online magazine Slate on Thursday is “voluntarily conducting its own internal review.” TEA is also “looking” at the schools’ instructional materials.

TEA released its statement today to Zack Kopplin, who wrote the Slate article about Responsive Education Solution’s charter schools. Kopplin’s article listed numerous examples of anti-science and right-wing propaganda he found in instructional materials used by Responsive Ed schools. The charter school operator says it has 65 campuses with more than 17,000 students in Texas, Arkansas and Indiana and received more than $80 million in taxpayer funds in the fiscal year ending in August 2012.

TEA says in its statement that the agency is reviewing the schools’ materials “to determine that the state curriculum is being covered” and that it hasn’t yet “discovered anything that demonstrates a violation of law.” The statement notes that “allegations regarding instruction at the campus level are a local matter in Texas to be addressed by the governing boards of local education agencies.”

That last point might be true as far as TEA is concerned. But politicians… Read More

Ideologues trying to politicize our children’s classrooms aren’t just focused on traditional public schools. A report published today alleges that one of the largest charter school operators in Texas is using curriculum materials to indoctrinate students with anti-science and right-wing propaganda. We just sent out this press release:

The president of the Texas Freedom Network today called on the Lone Star State’s education commissioner to investigate stunning allegations about what students are learning on campuses run by one of the state’s largest public charter school operators.

An in-depth article published today by the online magazine Slate alleges that the Responsive Education Solutions charter system uses instructional materials that are riddled with factual errors, teach religious beliefs and discredited attacks on evolution in science classrooms, and promote politically biased arguments as fact in social studies classrooms. Responsive Ed, based in Lewisville near Dallas, says it operates 65 public charter school campuses in Texas, Arkansas and Indiana.

“If these allegations are true, they represent a shocking betrayal of the trust that parents and taxpayers put into our charter schools,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “It’s imperative that the education commissioner investigate whether this charter school operator is undermining the education of thousands… Read More