CSCOPE: The illusion of helping Texas school children

by Alice Linahan
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On Monday evening in Carthage, Texas, the ladies of WomenOnTheWall.org were invited to a symposium to discover what is behind CSCOPE, an online technology curriculum that is in 75% of school districts in the state of Texas.

What was uncovered is that CSCOPE has major issues from who is behind it, how it was implemented and the fact that it is not helping districts who are struggling with failing students.Image

 

CSCOPE is without a doubt connected to the Common Core philosophy of education that is being forced on 45 states across the country.

It was clearly shown the educational philosophy behind CSCOPE was based on the research and beliefs of Linda Darling Hammond, Lev Vygotsky and Fenwick English — with English listed among the 10 most wanted enemies of education.

Here are facts that were presented and follow up information as to why the over riding theme of the evening was…. Follow the money.

• TESCCC/CSCOPE is made up of the executive directors of the Education Service Centers of Texas used taxpayer money as venture capital to start a non-profit corporation without clearance from the legislature, the Attorney Generals office, or the Commissioner of Education.

• The ESC (Education Service Centers of Texas) for at least the last 2 years have been in violation of Texas Education Code TITLE 2. PUBLIC EDUCATION, SUBTITLE E. STUDENTS AND PARENTS, CHAPTER 26. PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES (Sec 26.006. ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS). TESCCC/CSOPE requires every teacher and administrator using the CSCOPE materials to sign a very strict non-disclosure agreement which prevents them from letting parents see the course materials being taught to their students.

• Every aspect of the CSCOPE product was developed with public funds. After the product was developed, ownership was transferred from the State of Texas to a private corporation without compensating taxpayers for the money used to develop the product.

• Then the private corporation charges each Texas ESC an original membership fee and annual dues for the right to sell CSCOPE to the Texas ISDs. The original membership fee can be as high as $275,000, and the annual dues vary. Those membership fees and dues are paid with public funds.

• Then each ESC sells yearly licenses to the Texas ISDs which allow them to use CSCOPE curriculum and materials. This annual fee is also paid with public funds.

• So Texas public funds paid for the development of the CSCOPE curriculum. Texas public funds pay for the original membership fees and annual dues for the CSCOPE curriculum. And Texas public funds pay for the annual ISD licenses for CSCOPE. Texas is paying over and over for a product it may already own.

• We are calling for an investigation into possible criminal behavior by the governing board of TESCCC/CSCOPE made up of the executive directors of the Education Service Centers of Texas in that the Executive Directors of the ESCs are acting in obvious conflict of interest in simultaneously directing the ESCs and serving on the governing board of TESCCC/CSCOPE.

• In their capacities on the TESCCC/CSCOPE board the directors set the fees to be charged to the ESCs. Then in their capacities as directors of the ESCs these SAME people heavily influence the approval for paying the fees to TESCCC/CSCOPE.

It is very apparent that when you follow the money those producing, selling and implementing CSCOPE have a vested interest in seeing a failing curriculum stay in Carthage ISD.

Who are the losers in this scam? Texas children because they are being used for profit instead of being taught with the highest quality education which is produced by hiring teachers who can teach, not teachers who are given an inferior product that they have to spend hours trying to work around because of the flaws in the CSCOPE product.Image

The question was asked, is there an intent to indoctrinate Texas students with the CSCOPE curriculum?

As Jeanine McGregor has stated, “I have viewed enough lessons to know that careless errors or failure to edit is not the cause for so many controversial lessons and indoctrinating slants on questions. Patterns always denote an intent.” So what is the intent behind the CSCOPE curriculum that is so closely aligned not with the updated and current Texas TEKS but with the Common Core progressive philosophy of education?

One thing that seemed to be agreed upon by administrators, educators and conservatives in the room. Control from the federal and state government with respect to school accountability was key. If the schools are held hostage to the funds they receive from the federal and state government then they are financially tied to what and how they teach. So what are the solutions?

We are calling for superintendents and principals in Carthage ISD and in districts across the state to assume leadership in schools by putting a stop order on CSCOPE, effective immediately, until a thorough investigation can be conducted into the allegations against CSCOPE.

How will a school function without CSCOPE?

In the interim, school officials are asked to model high performing Texas schools that have opted to forego CSCOPE. In those schools, there are certain common factors that contribute to their high performing status. Commonly, teachers are part of planning teams that are allowed autonomy to plan for student success by exercising a voice in instructional material choices. Teachers are encouraged to plan lessons that teach at a high level, rather than lessons that “cover the TEKS,” as is the case with CSCOPE. The TEKS are considered to be the lowest denominator involved in mastering the overarching material being taught in the curriculum.

How will a school assure teachers are covering the TEKS without CSCOPE?

A free copy of the TEKS for every teacher can be downloaded from the Texas Education Agency website. Currently, Texas CSCOPE students are wasting one out of every five school days being assessed, cumulatively two months of the school year. Teacher use lesson plan systems online that include checking off the TEKS they are teaching to assure they are covering all of them.Image

How will students have the rigor to prepare for the STAAR test?

Teachers are reporting that CSCOPE lessons are full of time wasting cut/paste, foldables, and students getting into groups to exchange information when they don’t have the background information. Teachers have reported that CSCOPE lacks rigor and stifles their ability to teach at a challenging level. Teachers are able to purchase test preparation material for practice that is STAAR formatted. The assessments in CSCOPE contain open ended questions which are not STAAR formatted anyway.

What materials will schools use if they don’t use CSCOPE for content?

CSCOPE does not contain content. In other words, there are no novels or stories in reading and no reading material in Science, Social Studies, etc. Teachers are left scrambling to find material all over the internet which is time consuming. This leaves parents vulnerable as their children are exposed to content that is not grade leveled and that has no oversight. We are asking for textbooks that have been purchased by local taxpayers to be taken out of school bookrooms and used to conduct quality instruction.

Now is the time for Texas Moms, Dads and community tax payers to take our schools back and remind the administrators they work for us and we will hold them accountable by electing school board members who will replace them if they do not listen to the taxpayers instead of TASA and the ESCs.

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One thought on “CSCOPE: The illusion of helping Texas school children

  1. So so happy ya’ll are dealing with this horrible curriculum. I am trying to help my daughter here in West Columbia, Texas to get this out of the schools. Everywhere we go its the same song and dance. Superintendatnt, school board members and principles are all in this together. Very hard to penetrate. Any help will be appreciated.

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