Just how silly is the claim that CSCOPE — the curriculum management system that far-right activists are determined to destroy — is a tool for indoctrinating Texas students into radical Islam? We figure it’s very silly for most folks — unless they also think Christian parochial schools are in on the conspiracy.
TFN Insider has been reporting about the bizarre campaign to destroy a curriculum system developed through a collaboration of Education Service Centers in Texas. Set up by the state in the 1960s, the centers provide support services to school districts. A few years ago the centers developed CSCOPE as a guide to help districts cover curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Among the absurd charges leveled by CSCOPE critics are that the program is about promoting Marxism and Nazi-mind techniques. Also among the claims is that CSCOPE promotes radical Islam and teaches students that “Allah is God.”
Last week we sent a request under the Texas Public Information Act to one of the service centers, asking for a list of schools using the program. It turns out that hundreds of public school districts use it. Clearly, this vast, satanic conspiracy has pulled in a legion of anti-American and anti-Christian collaborators on school boards and other local school officials across the state.
But wait, there’s more! It seems that a number of Christian parochial schools are also involved in the conspiracy to turn Texas into a state run under Sharia law. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, which runs 23 schools in Central Texas, uses CSCOPE. Two other Catholics schools outside Central Texas are also customers.
Protestant schools also use CSCOPE, including Hyde Park Baptist in Austin and Dallas Christian. And — surprise of surprises! — Cornerstone Christian Schools, founded by conservative mega-church pastor John Hagee in San Antonio, is on the CSCOPE list. Here’s how Cornerstone Christian Schools’ website describes its mission:
Cornerstone Christian Schools will create and sustain a Christ-centered teaching- learning environment of unprecedented excellence designed to develop every student spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially to their maximum potential.
Gosh, that doesn’t sound all Muslimy to us. So are CSCOPE critics saying that officials at Christian schools in Texas are dupes for radical Muslims and Communists?
We have said for a long time now that it’s important for schools to make sure that any materials they use — from whatever source — are free of errors and that parents have a right to see what their children are learning in their classrooms. If CSCOPE has problems with quality and transparency, then those problems should be corrected. But such concerns — whether valid or not — have been overshadowed by the bizarre, hair-on-fire smears made by CSCOPE critics (“COMMUNIST, MARXIST, PROGRESSIVE, LEFTIST DOGMA, PROPAGANDA, AND INDOCTRINATION at the expense of taxpayers!”). And those smears have been repeated in right-wing media and even at the Texas Legislature. But witch hunts are rarely about truth — they’re about finding someone to burn at the stake.