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More on CSCOPE - Promoting Communist China?

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the brewing CSCOPE controversy in an entry, CSCOPE Conspiracy?. For a bit of background, CSCOPE describes itself as "a customizable, online curriculum management system aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)." It basically consists of material to help teachers cover the required curriculum. But since everything seems to be politicized these days, CSCOPE is now getting pulled into the culture wars. Right wing critics of CSCOPE are leveling all sorts of charges against the system, such as claiming that it criticizes Christianity and that it promotes communism.

Since my post a few weeks ago, I've begun noticing these signs popping up all over Wichita Falls.

CSCOPE Protest Sign
Image Source: RedHotConservative.com*

So, I decided to take another look at this story. In my last entry, I examined one claim against CSCOPE - that it was denigrating Christianity by calling it a cult and claiming that early Christians participated in cannibalism and incest. Needless to say, reality didn't match up with the right wing claim.

Today, I typed CSCOPE into my google search box and followed a link to see another claimed criticism of the system. This time, the link was this one.
The Blaze - Want to See What CSCOPE and Common Core (Even Homeschooling) Lessons Look Like? These Parents Opened Up to TheBlaze

The writer of this article seemed mostly concerned with how CSCOPE discussed China, and supposedly promoted communism over capitalism. Here's a claim from that article.

"They make kids watch a video that makes capitalism look bad and Communist China look good. It's absolutely unbelievable."

Below are several screenshots of the program, "China Rises," along with a video that Card was able to record and save for his own records.

So, what does the screenshot say in support of Communism?

In 25 years, China has achieved the most rapid economic advance in such a short time of any nation in history. How? By scrapping its devotion to collectivism and embracing private enterprise with the zeal of 19th-century robber barons. But is China's success riding on the backs of the poor?

That's a pretty strange endorsement of communism. Here's an excerpt from another screenshot on that page.

Yet economic reform continued in China and continues today. The communist concept of sharing the work and the wealth - collectivism - has fallen by the wayside, and private enterprise has taken the helm of China's economy.

The actual screenshots from CSCOPE in the article are contradicting the text within the article. The CSCOPE lesson is claiming that China's switch to free market capitalism is what's fueling its economic growth.

The next complaint in the article was about 'cruelties' under capitalism.

Card notes that the video preview made available under the "Getting Rich" sub-section of the site talks about capitalism's "cruelties" as it shows a man whose [sic] lost his hand in a machine.

I haven't yet watched the video, but this doesn't sound like an indictment of capitalism. Given the mention of 'robber barons' in the one excerpt, it sounds like a look at how China is transitioning to capitalism, going through some of the same birth pangs as the rest of the world during the Industrial Revolution, when lack of regulations led to bad working environments and actual armed uprisings like the Ludlow Massacre.

So, that's another criticism of CSCOPE examined and found wanting. If I have the time and motivation, I may try looking into more of these criticisms in follow-up entries.

More Info:


*Note that the article on that RedHotConservative.com site is a verbatim copy of the article on Times Record News without even citing it.

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