Texas AG Greg Abbott Brags About Helping a Witch Hunt Undermine Local Control in Texas Schools

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s is engaged in an awfully cynical and abusive game. Now the state’s chief law enforcement officer is actually bragging that “we beat back CSCOPE,” referring to a decision by the state’s Education Service Centers to eliminate a key component of a program 877 school districts — nearly 80 percent of all Texas school districts — have been using.


Never mind the silly comparison of CSCOPE to the Common Core standards. They have nothing to do with each other. CSCOPE’s purpose is to help school districts teach to the Texas curriculum standards.

No, the ridiculous thing about Abbott’s tweet is that he’s proud that political bullying by him, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and a number of tea party and other right-wing pressure groups has gutted a tool that many small and mid-size school districts found useful. Honest people can disagree on how useful CSCOPE has been, with some teachers liking the program and others not. The point here is that local school districts had been able to make the decision about whether CSCOPE’s lesson plans were useful and appropriate for their students. They can’t anymore, and Attorney General Abbott is bragging about that.

It doesn’t matter to critics who screamed about transparency that the Education Service Centers (ESCs) were making all CSCOPE lessons available online for all to see. It doesn’t make any difference, apparently, that the ESCs were voluntarily submitting all CSCOPE lessons to the State Board of Education for review. The bullying continued until the ESCs threw up their hands and said “we surrender.” And Abbott is bragging about it.

He’s bragging about a witch hunt in which political activists wildly distorted CSCOPE’s lessons and dishonestly smeared the Texas teachers who wrote them, absurdly suggesting that those teachers were trying to indoctrinate students into Marxism and Islam. In a reasonable political world, Abbott and Patrick would be laughed out of office.

Sadly, it’s about to get worse. Anti-CSCOPE fanatics, their feverish minds working in overdrive, are calling the folks who work at the Education Service Centers “a devious group” with “poisonous fangs embedded in our Texas Schools.” They’re screaming that teachers might actually keep CSCOPE lessons they find useful. Horrors! Trust teachers to know what’s appropriate to use in their own classrooms? Not these fanatics. They see bogeymen behind every school door. But Abbott is bragging.

We’re also seeing calls to get rid of CSCOPE completely — not just the lessons, but also the CSCOPE guides that help school districts map out how to cover all of the state’s cumbersome and unwieldy curriculum standards in the course of a school year. Never mind that local school officials are scrambling just to replace CSCOPE lesson plans in an efficient, cost-effective way. Private companies are already circling, shopping similar products that will almost certainly cost taxpayers more money. But Abbott is bragging.

Some critics are even suggesting that the Education Service Centers themselves — created by the state in the 1960s to provide needed services to school districts — should be shut down. And they’re preparing attacks on other curriculum programs, using their CSCOPE witch hunt as a model. But Abbott is bragging.

If anyone wants to see how politicians and fanatics can wreck a state’s education system, just look to Texas. Heck, they even brag about it here.

7 thoughts on “Texas AG Greg Abbott Brags About Helping a Witch Hunt Undermine Local Control in Texas Schools

  1. As much as I hated CSCOPE and everything about how districts used it and what it implied about the ability and professionalism of teachers, the idea that it was un-American is laughable. And it doesn’t take a great imagination to wonder why CSCOPE is suddenly on the way out just as Pearson has similar guides ready for sale…

    1. It does go back to the manner that the ESC’s presented cscope in the early rollout. Vague answers as to non profit status, leadership, fiscal issues, and the unchecked, unaccountable, and arrogant attitude when questioned. Many do know that some ESC’s demanded that the lessons be verbatim and the lack of transparency has dome nothing to build trust as to the ESC’s agenda-which apparently is to make money any way possible. Someone does need to take a really good look at the structure-or lack of it.

  2. This is what happens when persons in a position of public trust decide that they want to move up the political position ladder. It ceases to be about serving the people and becomes a cynical game of what you can do to “serve yourself.” You know you have reached that point when you will stoop to any low that presents itself to get what you want. You plaster your conscience (if you have one) with band-aids that say falsely that you really do want to “serve the people” at a higher level, whereas what you really want is to have your name in a history book some day, have greater perks, and rub elbows with the “big boys,” who are really just small, low-life boys that took the same pass you are taking.

    Davey Crockett resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives because he could no longer stomach this sort of two-bit nonsense, and he headed out to Texas. He died there in the hopes that Texas might find a better governmental way than what he saw in Washington D.C. If we could bring him back to life today and introduce him to right wingnut politics in Austin, I feel certain that he would vomit in his coon skin hat and wish to be dead again.

  3. What is happening in Texas is inexcusable political pandering and will not stop until all of the right wing hypocritical politicians have been replaced. The good people of Texas must go to the polls armed with a deep background knowledge of the candidates. It is to late after they get in office and have caused the kind of damage we see today. At present we are the laughing stock of the nation and the rest of the right wing republican states wait breathlessly to see what our politicians will get away with next so they can dupe their citizens in like manner. With the third highest property taxes, the worst legal social and labor oppression, the worst health care, some of the lowest education scores and the near the lowest in wages and benefits our state has little to brag about for what it is costing to maintain our government. Please vote like your life and that of your family and our society are at stake, for they truly are.

  4. Bill writes:
    “…we are the laughing stock of the nation….”

    Nay, nay, Bill. We are the laughingstock of the world. The rest of the world looks at the way our voters have elected and re-elected Republicans who are trying to engineer ignorance, and they guffaw. They know that they and their children, not Texans, will lead the world into the future. U.S. and international colleges and universities are paying closer attention to the ridiculous crap, such as creationism/intelligent design and climate change denial, that the right wingers are proposing to be taught to Texas students, and they will scrutinize much more closely when young Texans apply for admission to their universities. A great many Texas home schoolers are teaching their children the same crap the Republicans are trying to put into public schools. They’re not doing their children any favors either.

    Wake up, Texas voters. Stop electing Republicans before it’s too late. They’re destroying our public schools and engineering ignorance.