tooptimistic
Was The Boston Tea Party Terrorism? Texas Schools Are Teaching Just That (And More)
November 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

In less than a month (December 16th), we will mark the 239th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This well-known protest against "taxation without representation" is almost universally recognized as the moment that sparked the American Revolution.

In many Texas public schools, the Boston Tea Party is now being taught as an example of an act of terrorism.

Here's an excerpt from a Texas school system's World History / Social Studies lesson plan. It purports to be helping teachers become more efficient, but many people are upset with the content of the lesson and the lack of parental review. In this specific instance, teachers are instructed to read the story to their classes as if it were a news report that had just happened within the past hour:

News report: New Act of Terrorism

A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation's busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities. It is believed that the terrorist attack was a response to the policies enacted by the occupying country's government. Even stronger policies are anticipated by the local citizens.

Later in the curriculum, teachers are instructed to reveal to students that the event described above the historic Boston Tea Party. Here's a screen capture from the actual lesson and what should be done after the story is read:

 
Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was Terrorism

Image: Screen capture CSCOPE's website

For the record, this lesson comes from a non-profit group called CSCOPE. They are an offshoot of an educational program that traces its roots back to 1965 when the state established media centers / Education Service Centers (ESCs) throughout each of the state's 20 school districts:

In 1965, the 59th Texas Legislature authorized the State Board of Education to establish media centers throughout the state. Two years later, the State Board of Education divided the state into 20 regions, assigning each media center to begin operations and serve in each region. In 1966-67, Title III of the U.S. Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided funding for start-up costs associated with establishing supplementary educational centers.

These "media centers" are reported to have received $25 million in funding last year.

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was TerrorismJust a few years ago, 19 of the 20 centers formed a non-profit entity call the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC). And TESCCC owns the Cscope Curriculum Management System. CSCOPE defines itself on their website:

CSCOPE is the source for an all-in-one approach to a quality curriculum system. CSCOPE is a comprehensive, customizable, user-friendly curriculum management system built on the most current research-based practices in the field.

TheBlaze has reached out to CSCOPE in hopes of clarifying a few of the issues being raised by parents. As of this writing, no calls have been returned.

One of the major issues we expect to discuss with CSCOPE's directors is the complaint raised by several parents about the lack of transparency at the schools. Several parents from different locations in Texas have independently confirmed that parents are not permitted to access the lessons being taught in the classrooms. There is a "Parent's Portal" available online, but the content differs greatly from the lesson plans we have seen.

For example, the lesson on terrorism shown above is part of the curriculum that correlates to this section in the Parents Portal:

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was Terrorism

Image: CSCOPE web site

Several parents and teachers have written to TheBlaze stating that they were denied access to the lessons being taught using CSCOPE materials. This apparent denial is apparently in direct conflict with Texas law.

From Texas State Constitution:

Sec. 26.006. ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS. (a) A parent is entitled to:

(1) review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent's child;

If schools using CSCOPE are not allowing parents to review education materials, it would appear they are violating one of the state's constitutionally protected rights. Our initial investigation into CSCOPE has also uncovered some other questionable lesson plans. In order to properly vet these stories, TheBlaze is investigating further and will report back on Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.

 

 

 

Ok, I know its from the Blaze (Glenn Beck) but wow, I can't believe Texas schools get away with teaching that.  Thoughts?

Replies

  • katy_kay08
    November 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    technically it was an act of terrorism.  Generally speaking the difference between terrorism vs. revolutionary and/or liberator is in the eye of the beholder.  

    ter·ror·ism/ˈterəˌrizəm/

    Noun:
    The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
  • specialwingz
    November 20, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    I'm in Texas.  My kids have not been taught what you are professing.  And, the schools in our area don't use this CSCOPE you speak of either.

  • joyfulmom30
    November 20, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I can believe about anything could happen in public education. When my son was in public school, I asked the principal and her staff during a meeting why they kept advancing my son even though he wasn't doing on grade level schoolwork, they didn't answer.

  • stacymomof2
    November 20, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I think it is a good lesson to learn...that terrorism is in the eye of the beholder.  

    Who wouldn't want their kid to understand that?  I want my kids to understand the definition of terrorism...which is an uprising against people seen as oppressors or not a representative government, using tactics of "terror" (fear) as coercion.

    I guess I don't understand what the problem is.  A full understanding must start with an accurate definition.

  • mehamil1
    November 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I like the way that was framed. It's questioning the idea of terrorism vs. freedom fighter. Also labeling something as terrorism is usually done by the greater powers that be. Way to encourage critical thinking skills!

  • gludwig2000
    November 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

     Oh, hell no! I didn't finish reading the OP after the so called "news report" because that seems so wrong. No where in that "news report" was it mentioned why the Boston Tea Party happened, or what they were protesting.

  • gludwig2000
    November 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

     While I agree that terrorism in in the eye of the beholder, when I think of terrorism or terrorist, I think of someone with a complete lack of respect for human life and those who think differently from them.

    Quoting stacymomof2:

    I think it is a good lesson to learn...that terrorism is in the eye of the beholder.  

    Who wouldn't want their kid to understand that?  I want my kids to understand the definition of terrorism...which is an uprising against people seen as oppressors or not a representative government, using tactics of "terror" (fear) as coercion.

    I guess I don't understand what the problem is.  A full understanding must start with an accurate definition.

     

  • tooptimistic
    November 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    The Boston Tea Party was an act to civil disobedience.    It was a one time event to emphasize they were not going to pay taxes on tea.. to the point where they would not sell tea.  It was not a threat to anyone, and no one was hurt.  It was protest.  Much much different than a terrorist attack.  At the most it was an act of vandalism.

    I would be a more than a little upset if my kids were taught this in school.

  • tooptimistic
    November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM


    Quoting katy_kay08:

    technically it was an act of terrorism.  Generally speaking the difference between terrorism vs. revolutionary and/or liberator is in the eye of the beholder.  

    ter·ror·ism/ˈterəˌrizəm/

    Noun:
    The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.


    So was OWS an act of terrorism?  They intimiadated people who worked on Wall Street, and some couldn't get to work?  That was imtimidation in pursuit of political aims or was it just a protest?

     

  • katy_kay08
    November 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM


    Quoting tooptimistic:


    Quoting katy_kay08:

    technically it was an act of terrorism.  Generally speaking the difference between terrorism vs. revolutionary and/or liberator is in the eye of the beholder.  

    ter·ror·ism/ˈterəˌrizəm/

    Noun:
    The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.


    So was OWS an act of terrorism?  They intimiadated people who worked on Wall Street, and some couldn't get to work?  That was imtimidation in pursuit of political aims or was it just a protest?


    IMO, there were probably minor acts of terrorism committed during a variety of OWS protests.  The ones that most quickly come to mind were the recent May Day "protests" in Seattle that devolved into property damage and intimidation.