In the 70 percent of Texas public schools where a private curriculum has been installed, students are learning the ?fact? that ?Allah is the Almighty God,? charge critics of a new online curriculum that already is facing condemnation for its secrecy and restrictions on oversight.
The program, called CSCOPE, is a private venture operating under the umbrella of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, whose incorporation documents state its independence from the State Board of Education of the Texas Education Agency.
The critics say the studies border on proselytizing.
In one scenario, students are asked to study the tenets of Islam, and critics say the materials provided exceed impartial review of another faith, extending into requirements of conversion and moral imperatives.
A computer presentation utilized as part of a study of Islam includes information on how to convert, as well as verses denigrating other faiths.
According to excerpts, under the heading, ?Who Is Allah?,? students are told:
?Allah is the Almighty God.?
?Allah alone is the Creator. He alone deserves our devout love and worship.?
Muhammad is described as having become ?disillusioned with the corruption in the city and the growing gap between the urban dwellers and the Bedouins (nomadic herders).?
CSCOPE?s geography curriculum also is being scrutinized.
A high school question on a geography test asks, ?Which of the following has been a benefit of globalization?? Possible answers are as follows: a) pandemics, b) increased standard of living, c) loss of local culture, and finally, d) widespread environmental impacts.
The only ?correct? answer accepted in the context of the test is ?an increased standard of living.?
WND recently reported the Texas State Board of Education was hearing concerns expressed by parents.
The debate carries national significance because of the influence Texas has on textbook and curriculum publishers as the only state that adopts uniform standards.
Kimberly Thomas, a teacher in the Lubbock school district, calls CSCOPE a ?joke,? identifying a ninth-grade lesson that asks students to circle capital letters in a sentence.
Her department was rated exemplary by the state prior to the installation of CSCOPE. As Thomas notes, CSCOPE ?forces our own department to undo the proven, successful curriculum we have developed that gave us an exemplary rating.?
Just days ago, Thomas Ratliff, a member of the state board and supporter of CSCOPE, said CSCOPE was ?supplemental? and that textbooks still are being used.
?CSCOPE is not designed to eliminate textbooks or other instructional materials. It is designed to complement them for the benefit of the teacher and the student,? he wrote in a prepared statement.
CSCOPE employees, on the other hand, claim the software is designed to replace textbooks and, indeed, has in many Texas school districts.
Addressing the issue of the program?s secrecy, Ratliff slammed critics who say they want government to be ?run like a business? but then get upset when that happens.
But critics argue private schools, the closest thing to a school being run like a business, still make instructional materials available to parents, something that CSCOPE refuses to do.
Robert Spencer notes that this should be no surprise:
What a coincidence that this curriculum would be in use in Texas, where Governor Rick Perry partnered with the Aga Khan Foundation to develop a severely whitewashed, Islam-friendly curriculum.