Secretive Texas Curriculum Faces Legislative Scrutiny

Published March 31, 2013

A set of Texas curriculum and tests has become controversial for lesson plans suggesting the Boston Tea Party could be considered “a terrorist organization,” having children design flags for an imaginary socialist country, and barring parents from access to the online-only materials.

Eighty-five percent of Texas school districts use CSCOPE (not an acronym), a nonprofit they created and fund that sells K-12 lesson plans, tests, and student records software back to them at $7 to $9 per student per year

“We are deeply disturbed by the CSCOPE content and have significant legal concerns about the program’s operations,” wrote Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot in a March letter to state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston). “Inexplicably, CSCOPE’s officials still have not taken any real steps to address the very concerns that have been raised thus far.”

Since the Texas legislature held a hearing on CSCOPE, the organization has agreed to hold board meetings in public, dissolve its nonprofit status, and allow parents to access materials by this summer. The Texas House will soon hear Senate Bill 1407, which requires all these changes and would give the state school board oversight of CSCOPE.

Image by The Texas Tribune.