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So CSCOPE Really Isn’t Dead?

Jul 19, 2013 by

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.

July 19, 2013

 

Updated July 21, 2013:

 

Senator Dan Patrick issued a press release on Friday, July 19 saying that he and Texas Attorney Greg Abbott have asked State Auditor John Keel to look into possible illegalities in the bidding process when the Education Service Centers first created CSCOPE: 

“In light of these issues, I am writing to ask you to exercise your authority as State Auditor and determine if the Education Services Centers acted appropriately under state law when they paid NER to produce the CSCOPE materials without a bidding process and without the protections of a legally binding contract.”

The bells tolled across the state of Texas as Dan Patrick announced May 20, 2013 that CSCOPE was gone. CSCOPE had promised they would remove their curriculum lessons from their website on August 31st.

But wait! There are rumblings that CSCOPE is alive and well! It seems teachers are being told to download the CSCOPE lessons and proceed with using them — business as usual.

What is it about CSCOPE that has had thousands of parents across Texas revolting?  The website claims that it is an online curriculum management tool aligned with the Texas Curriculum Standards and is designed for teachers to plan their lessons.  The truth was found to be otherwise.

Teachers who had been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement not to reveal anything about CSCOPE, even to parents, finally came forward with complaints that lesson plans were flawed, incorrect, and seemed to promote socialist, anti-American, and anti-Christian values. 

The veil of secrecy hid the fact that CSCOPE was indeed NOT aligned with the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) Curriculum Standards. 

In fact, there was no way to align the two.  The new Texas Curriculum Standards emphasize Traditional education while CSCOPE lessons promote Progressive education, designed by Marxists to dumb down the curriculum.  This philosophy emphasizes group-think, multiculturalism, political correctness, diversity, and social engineering.  Drill and skill are anathema to Progressive education.

A study was done by a student business class in the Independent School District of Blanket, Texas to determine the effectiveness of CSCOPE.  The study found a 37% higher unsatisfactory performance rate among those students who had been using CSCOPE lessons.

How was CSCOPE able to slip through the cracks?  The Texas 82nd Legislature passed SB 6 allowing school districts to use state funds for the purchase of online educational materials which have not been approved by the SBOE.  These legislators ignored the protests of thousands of Texas voters and caved to the influence of more than 200 technology lobbyists and vendors.

Trying to fix this mess, the 83rd Legislature passed SB1406 to amend the Texas Education Code with 8.0531 requiring any instructional materials developed by the Education Service Centers to be subject to the authority of the Texas SBOE.  However, this affects only CSCOPE, leaving other e-learning products NOT produced by the ESC’s free from the approval process of the SBOE.

Teachers have reported that a number of school administrators intend to continue using CSCOPE while others are turning to TASA iCloud, which will not be subject to the SBOE approval process.  Administrators maintain they need a curriculum management tool, yet ignore free resources available through the Texas Education Agency such as Project Share and many other helpful links on the TEA website.

 

One is hard pressed to find a clause in the new statute (SB 1406) that actually forbids schools to use CSCOPE lessons.  When CSCOPE promised to remove their lessons from their website, the SBOE members canceled their plans to review the CSCOPE lessons so any continuation of this curriculum will still be without SBOE approval.

Pressed for his reaction that schools might continue to use CSCOPE lessons, State Senator Dan Patrick offered that Texas legislators might decide to dissolve the Educational Service Centers (ESC) and take legal action against school districts that use CSCOPE lessons after August 31, 2013. 

Continuing to use CSCOPE means Progressivism will be taught in Texas schools and perhaps beyond. This method of teaching has always resulted in the dumbing down of students.      

Whatever curriculum is used, it must be aligned with the Texas curriculum standards (TEKS) approved by the SBOE and taught without the Progressive slant.

This issue must be kept on the front burner.  Not to do so is tacit approval for a continuing assault by the liberals.  Parents and students must become aggressive watchdogs.  They must take back control of each local school and force educators to eliminate any and all Marxist indoctrination.

It is evident that CSCOPE is far from dead.  But then, CSCOPE—and other such left wing curriculum—is not the problem.  Rather, it is a symptom of a much greater problem…the liberal agenda to turn our nation into a totalitarian regime.  The war is on and the liberals are determined to win it—a mere piece of legislation is not a big deal in their grand scheme of things.

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Carole Hornsby Haynes, curriculum specialist, is a speaker, commentator, and writer of education policy. www.drcarolehhaynes.com

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