CSCOPE state director, Wade Lebay discusses the CSCOPE Boston Tea Party Lesson on Terrorism.
FYI: The Social Studies TEKS Mr. Lebay refers to are shown. Note that the lesson title is Terrorism. Note that the Lessons Synopsis is about Terrorism. Now note that the TEKS used for this lesson has nothing to do with terrorism. The author chose to write about terrorism and chose to represent the Boston Tea Party as a terrorist attack.
Mr. Lebay said:
Based on recent questions about this lesson, we immediately initiated an examination into this unit and its origins. Since none of our current State CSCOPE staff members were involved in the development of this particular lesson…
This is an accountability problem for the parents of school children in Texas. No one can answer for this lesson or any of the other lessons in CSCOPE,
cont….we contacted someone who was directly involved. We were able to speak with the person who actually wrote the “Engage” activity in this lesson that references the Boston Tea Party.
As Americans, we of course know that the Boston Tea Party was a courageous and patriotic event in our history, celebrated as one of the most important acts leading to the American Revolution. According to the writer, the intent was to have students hear a random news report from an unidentified source claiming the event to be an act of terrorism-writing it from a completely different perspective than the one embraced by our great country today.The purpose of education is to teach students accurate information. The acknowledgement that someone was paid to write intent into a lesson that students should rewrite the accurate history of our great country from a completely different perspective is proof that parents must be alerted. Mr. Labay must be held accountable for lack of judgment. This is clearly not what any parent would desire for their child in a public school system.
Following is a copy of the instructions for the teacher. What do you think? Does the script for the teacher present the Boston Tea Party as a patriot act or an act of terriorism?
Mr. Lebay continues….. Additionally, it is important to note that an “Engage” activity is meant to “hook” the students and set the stage for the rest of the lesson. The writer stated that this was an attempt to engage students with an activity on perspective over the topic of terrorism. The activity was meant to show students how the same act can be viewed differently, depending on one’s perspective. The Boston Tea Party is an example of how an act of patriotism to Americans could be perceived differently by an outside party, specifically the King of England at the time.
We always strive to provide the best content possible in CSCOPE, and we certainly do not want any information to be misleading. In reviewing this particular content, we believe additional information could have been included either in the activity itself or in the Teacher Notes section of the lesson to clarify the intent of the activity and prevent it from being taken out of context. However, the current controversy over this issue is an example of what can happen when an interpretation of content is made without the proper context or other relevant information. It is also worth noting that this is the first concern we have heard about this activity, which has been available as an optional CSCOPE resource for teachers prior to this school year.
Could it be that no one has spoken out because until now the lesson has not been viewed by the public. It is shown now only because a teacher basically smuggled it out. Parents need to investigate more of the CSCOPE lessons and ask why teachers cannot openly reveal the content of the CSCOPE lessons their administrators force them to use.
We hope this additional information will help provide some context and clarity regarding this material. We are constantly working to improve CSCOPE to ensure that it is of the highest quality and benefit to the 800+ school districts currently using the system. We continually strive to assist Texas teachers in ensuring student proficiency in the State Board of Education approved TEKS and prepare students to be career and college ready.
As previous shown, this CSCOPE lesson on terrorism was not described by the TEKS. Instead, the author chose to present terrorism and chose to present the Boston Tea Party as a terrorist act.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions and/or visit www.cscope.us for more information