A controversial public school curriculum system accused of promoting anti-American values will be abandoned in the face of unrelenting pressure, some of it directly traceable to a controversy at Lumberton High School earlier this year.
State Sen. Dan Patrick said Monday that the 20-member board overseeing the CSCOPE system will vote to effectively gut it later this week. He displayed copies of a letter signed by all board members pledging to scrap lesson plans by Aug. 31.
The Monday announcement comes as the Texas Legislature was poised to pass a $1.1 million plan to provide strict state oversight for CSCOPE, which has drawn sharp criticism from tea party lawmakers and some local parents. That bill is now largely moot.
The curriculum system is used by hundreds of school districts across the state. It raised the hackles of some Lumberton parents earlier this year and set off a media firestorm when photos surfaced of several high school students wearing burqas. The teens said they were required to wear the traditional Islamic women's garb while studying other cultures in a world geography class.
Lumberton Superintendent John Valastro said on Monday the district formed a committee after the burqa incident that was already planning to recommend the district move away from the curriculum.
Now, the district will just need to move faster on finding a replacement curriculum, he said.
Beaumont ISD Assistant Superintendent Dwaine Augustine said most districts have already exhausted their budgets at this point in the year, so it will be difficult to switch lesson plans now.
"I don't know if it's a wise decision," he said.