A conservative blogger has published online the questions and answers for social studies tests available to hundreds of Texas school districts because she maintains they reflect a pro-Islam and anti-American bias.
The public release of the tests could render them unusable and is the latest development in an ongoing saga over a curriculum system, formerly known as CSCOPE, that has inflamed conservative and tea party activists over the past year.
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• A group of Texas regional Education Service Centers launched CSCOPE in 2006 to offer school districts a cost-effective curriculum management system that was aligned with state standards. The system includes lesson plans, assessments, instructional calendars and other curriculum tools.
• As of last year, 70 percent of Texas school districts, serving 34 percent of public school students, subscribed to CSCOPE. Most are smaller districts that don’t have the resources for the their own curriculum departments.
• Central Texas school districts that used CSCOPE included Bartlett, Bastrop, Elgin, Florence, Granger, Hays, Hutto, Jarrell, Lago Vista, Lake Travis, Liberty Hill and Wimberley. It is also used by some area private schools, including Hyde Park Baptist, Bannockburn Christian Academy and the Catholic Diocese of Austin.
• The leaders of CSCOPE agreed in May to stop producing the lesson plans, which had been the source of the controversy, while continuing to provide the rest of the system under a new name — TEKS Resource System. School districts can still use the lessons, however, because they are now considered to be in the public domain and are available for free.
CSCOPE public hearing
State Board of Education members will take testimony on CSCOPE social studies lessons as part of a review.
When: 9 a.m. Sept. 13
Where: William Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave., Room 1-104
People interested in testifying must register by Monday. The registration form can be found at www.tea.state.tx.us/Communications/State_Board_of_Education/Public_Testimony_Registration_Instructions_and_Procedures.