by Ginger Russell
I did not wake up one day and decide to fight the public school system in Texas. Not by a long shot. I have always been politically active and my mother, Janice VanCleave, not so much. Unfortunately the cause fell in our lap when mom asked me to look into a situation she found herself in.
My mother is science author, Janice VanCleave who also runs www.txcscopereview.com. She is in her 70′s and retired. She spends time serving her community by visiting widows in nursing homes and tutoring. This all started over a year ago when she tried to tutor some children in her local school district, of Marlin ISD. When she asked them where their textbooks were they said they had none. (RED FLAG) The teacher knew mom’s reputation and gave her a copy of a CSCOPE science lesson. Finding the CSCOPE lesson riddled with errors she asked for additional lessons and was refused. (RED FLAG). Prior to writing, mom taught years earlier in Marlin ISD among other TX districts. Needless to say she ended up in her local ESC in Waco where they refused to let her see the CSCOPE lessons as well. The actions and behavior by all involved raised some serious (RED FLAGS). I put mom in contact with SBOE chairman Barbara Cargill who had not heard of CSCOPE (RED FLAG) and she requested the ESC to give her a password and they refused (RED FLAG). Barbara was not able to get a password to CSCOPE for six months until Gov Perry got involved (RED FLAG).
When the CSCOPE reps in Austin found out who mom was and her credentials they drove to her local town of Marlin to meet with her. SERIOUSLY! I along with another gentlemen attended the meeting to their surprise. They had hoped they could team up on her 5 to 1 and were not happy with our presence. I have the whole meeting recorded below. It is long and boring. But at one point in the conversation I handed the CSCOPE State Coordinator, the Islamic Powerpoint and he tries to deny it (RED FLAG).
I then filed a Public Information Request and TESCCC (CSCOPE owners) asked the attorney General to deem them a “non governmental entity”)RED FLAG) which he denied. They also stated that mom was a CSCOPE competitor in hopes he would rule on their behalf. The lie has made it’s round through the education system.
We then started going public and teachers would contact us anonymously asking for help. They informed us that their administrators were having them to sign a non disclosure statement, stating that they would not release the contents or say anything negative about it. (RED FLAG).
I spoke at the Willis ISD Board meeting in October in regard to CSCOPE. I had no idea at the time who Lindy McCullogh (ESC CSCOPE COORDINATOR) was or that she was there. She spoke after me and was obviously outraged that I had spoke out against CSCOPE. (RED FLAG) VIDEO BELOW
I later called ESC director Brent Hawkins and in our conversation he said “you will not tear apart something we implemented”. (RED FLAG)
Now, with all the red flags and strange behavior by some many educators in regard to CSCOPE we knew something had to be done. By this time a couple of veteran educators had contacted us and started exposing CSCOPE lesson content (which CSCOPE reps began editing and removingd after we exposed it).
Needless to say when you have an educational program that is riddled with the controversial material, parents can’t see it, teachers silenced and threatened with prosecution for releasing content, etc, that was enough RED FLAGS for us.
Being politically active I had a personal meeting with the LT Governor in January. Dewhurst said he would have the chairman of the Senate Education Committee which was Dan Patrick hold an education hearing on it. And he did. About the same time I had tweeted about the CSCOPE lesson that portrayed the Boston Tea Party as being a Terrorist Act, and Glenn Beck picked it up. Thank you Glenn! Fortunately parents started realizing what was going on at their school and became involved as well. The rest is history.
I have not even expounded the financials in regard to CSCOPE or their lack of transparency, which is presently under the review of the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott.
It has taken me over a year to finally find out what CSCOPE iand it is about implementing a radical change in the way students are taught called “project based learning”(PBL). PBL is based on the collective not individual achievement. There is a chart below outlining the differences in a traditional education and PBL. Project Based Learning and Common Core Standards are based on the same progressive philosophy.
As for a my mother, the Texas education establishment have come out attacking and FALSELY accusing her as being a competitor with CSCOPE and out it to make a profit on CSCOPE’s exposure.Nothing could be farther from the truth. If anything, out of concern for children and our country’s future it has cost us both money and time away from family working on this debacle. We have got where we just laugh at the accusations because we know the education establishment is jumping through hoops to divert the exposure off of them. Thankfully the truth always wins in the end.
I am by no way a self proclaimed expert on education. Yes, I did home school both of my children who are now college graduates and married. But I do know it is wrong to pass out verses of the Quran to students, I know it is wrong to have students draw new Communist Flags,I know it is wrong to have students learn about the sex life of Islamic Women, etc, etc.. enough on the lessons. I know it was unacceptable and wrong to not allow parents to view what their children were taught. I know it is wrong to have teachers threatened with a lawsuit for disclosing content or speaking negatively about a curriculum. How you can ignore this? How can you vote to purchase this crap again and petition the state for a waiver is beyond me.
I want you to know yes mom and I have a following of conservative christian activist… but there are 100′s across the state that supply us information as to what is going on in their school districts. We are not in this alone, not by a long shot. The days of our local school districts hiding and spending money with no oversight is over.
I want to personally thank Alice Linahan, Donna Garner, Peggy Venable, Ms. Mac, Ms. Bowen, Stan Hartzler, Dr. David Stovall, Laurie Bartlett, and hundreds more that have joined in this battle of protecting our children.