Oh, Texas. You never fail to reach a new height of strangeness, especially when it comes to your own schools.
On its face, this story appears to look like some librul doofus snuck Commie curriculum into their state-approved materials for online learning. Fox leads off with a big intro from AFP's Texas Director Peggy Venable, and segues into an interview with Texas senator Dan Patrick about horrible, awful, un-American, dirty commie hippie freak progressive lesson plans.
In the clips of testimony shown, one teacher is horrified that students are asked to design a flag for a newly-created socialist state. Damned radical commie lesson, it is! Another teacher testified that being forced to teach the CSCOPE curriculum is like being a surgeon using a dirty scalpel because he has to teach students about socialism. Damn.
The CSCOPE curriculum was created by a consortium of teachers from public and charter schools within the Texas School System known as the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC). It was designed by Texas teachers for Texas teachers to use.
Anyone who paid close attention to the Texas State Board of Education process for adopting new, very conservative curriculum standards in 2010 would know that something seems off about the claims of Americans for Prosperity and others about how terribly awful this curriculum is.
TESCCC has published a statement defending the lessons under fire, which clearly outlines what I recall from those contentious 2010 arguments, where standards about teaching free enterprise systems and capitalism were inserted into their core standards. Here's an excerpt:
CSCOPE strongly believes in the greatness of the free enterprise system and how it has helped build our country into the envy of all other nations. Free markets are a critical part of our American way of life. It is important to note that the activity in question is in a high school course and not in a grade 6 lesson. This twenty-minute activity is part of a six-day lesson on various economic systems at the high school level that are state required teaching standards set forth by the State Board of Education.
Oh, wait! This is an econ class for seniors in high school? This is what the freakout is about?