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Friday, December 14, 2012
WND Article On 'Biased' Curriculum Was Discredited Before It Was Written
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 13 WorldNetdaily article by John Griffing begins scarily:

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.

[...]

Now come concerns about what critics describe as a definitively pro-Islam bias.

The critics say the studies border on proselytizing.

Not only is Griffing's article completely false, it was discredited a full two days before WND published it.

Griffing cites only unnamed "critics" of the curriculum, called CSCOPE; in fact, his source is a chain email fearmongering about it. Griffing made no apparent attempt to contact Texas school officials for a response.

If he had bothered to make this basic journalistic effort, he would have learned that school officials looking to that chain email he put so much faith in, and found it to be without merit.

The Dallas Morning News reports that one education official gave the members of one Dallas-area school board that had received the chain email "a 72-page handout listing every religious reference in the CSCOPE curriculum, from kindergarten to high school."

  • Christianity got twice as much attention in the curriculum as any other religion. Islam was a distant second.
  • The Red Crescent and Boston Tea Party reference mentioned in the email were nowhere in CSCOPE’s curriculum, although they may have been in the past.
  • If there was any Islamic bias in CSCOPE it was “bias against radical Islam.”

In other words, the exact opposite of that Griffing claimed.

Griffing also claims that CSCOPE's study of Islam "includes information on how to convert, as well as verses denigrating other faiths," and that it describes Allah as "the Almighty God" and "alone is the Creator" but makes "no mention of his documented sex activities with a child or his penchant for beheading entire indigenous people groups [sic]".

Since Griffing is merely repeating what he read in a chain email, he offers no context for which these statements allegedly appear.

Griffing goes on to assert that the CSCOPE curriculum treated the Boston Tea Party "as a terrorist act on par with the 9/11 attack." That's not true either. The handout includes an explanation of the Boston Tea Party exercise from the creators of CSCOPE:

As Americans, we of course know that the Boston Tea Party was a courageous and patriotic event in our history, celebrated as one of the most important acts leading to thte American Revolution. According to the writer [of the Boston Tea Party activity], the intent was to have students hear a random news report from an unidentified source claiming the event to be an act of terrorism -- writing it froma completely different perspective that the one embraced by our great country today.

Additionally, it is important to note that an "Engage" activiity is meant to "hook" the students and set the stage for thte rest of the lesson. The writer stated that this was an attempt to engage students with an activity on perspective over the topic of terrorism. The activity was meant to show student how the same act can be viewed differently, depending on one's perspective. The Boston Tea Party is an example of how an act of patriotism to American could be perceived differently by an outside party, specifically the King of England at the time.

Griffing -- described only as "a frequent contributor to American Thinker" -- wrote a thoroughly discredited article that, if he cared anything at all about journalism, he should have known was discredited before he even set fingers to keyboard. And if WND cared anything at all about journalism, it would have done some due diligence and some basic research before publishing it. This lack of even the most rudimentary fact-checking has burned WND in the past.

As such, we have been provided yet another reason why nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012 8:15 PM EST

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