Jan 28, 2013 by

donna_garnerThe Texas Senate Education Committee has not posted this officially; but from credible sources, it appears that the public hearing on CSCOPE in front of the Senate Education Committee members will be Jan. 31 at 9:00 A. M. in E1.028. We won’t know until the public hearing is posted tomorrow whether the full Senate will meet at 11:00, at 2:00, or will adjourn until next week.  Hopefully there will be sufficient time given for the CSCOPE hearing.

The official scheduling of the CSCOPE public hearing should be online tomorrow at this link:

From what I have been told, there will be four separate panels chosen by the chair; and there is supposed to be time for the general public to testify also.


  • Arrive at E1.028 at least by 8:30 in order to register to speak.
  • Pick up and fill out a testimony card which should be on a table at the rear of the room. Make sure you write on the card that you oppose CSCOPE in our schools. Then turn your card into the clerk at the front of the room.
  • If you are chosen to speak, I am guessing that you will probably get from 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Xerox 30 copies of your speech and put them in a folder. Take the folder with you to the microphone and place it beside you on the desk.  At the end of your speech, ask that your written testimony be placed in the record; and hand the folder to the clerk.  If you hand out the copies before you start speaking, sometimes the Senators will say that you need not testify because they already have your comments.  Also, you want the Senators to be listening to you and not reading the Xeroxed copies.
  • When you start to speak, the clock starts ticking. Do not waste time giving “flowery” statements but instead, introduce yourself (perhaps tell how far you had to drive to get to the meeting if it is a long way away – this shows your passion and concern to be there), briefly state your position, and give your fact-based — not emotion-filled — statements.
  • DO NOT READ YOUR TESTIMONY. Nothing is more boring to the Senators. Write your three main points on a half of a 3 x 5 card; and then look the Senators right in the eyes to deliver your remarks, glancing only occasionally at your three main points written on the small card.
  • Senators may or may not ask you questions at the end of your testimony. It is up to them.

If you do not get to testify, please do not be discouraged because the testimony cards handed into the clerk will most likely be shared with the Senators.

Normally public hearings are not held until a bill(s) is filed. So far, there do not seem to be any bills on CSCOPE; but I have been told that some are in the pipeline and will be introduced later in the Session. I am very excited about one CSCOPE bill in particular, but the authors are waiting until exactly the right time to file it.


I have not been able to verify this; but from past experiences, I believe that people who come to testify and/or protest at a committee hearing can identify their position by wearing T-shirts with signage such as “CSCOPE Stinks,” “No to CSCOPE,” “CSCOPE Bad for Kids.”  I would suggest using sticky tape to affix signage onto the front and back of your T-shirt or else have a T-shirt made, making sure that the message is clearly visible by printing it in big, black, block letters on a light background.  If by some chance there is a rule in the Senate Education Committee against identifying your position visibly, then the sticky tape could easily be removed; and the T-shirt could be turned inside out.

I believe that big lapel buttons can be displayed on your person.

No picket signs with sharp sticks affixed to the back of the signs can be carried into the Capitol Building because of security concerns; and I am not sure that signs can be brought into the Capitol Building at all.  If you make a sign for outdoor display, I would recommend that you hold it up with your hands to display it.  Of course, nothing is to be affixed to government buildings.


The Texas State Directory is an excellent online source.  If you click on “Online Directory” in the middle of the page, you can gain get free access to a complete list of the Senate and House members along with their contact information and legislative office locations:

While you are at the Capitol,  please stop by as many Senate and House members’ offices as possible.  Each office has a ledger where you need to register and voice your position on CSCOPE.  Even if you are unable to speak to any of the Legislators, you can still be effective by filling out the various ledgers because Legislators and their staffs do keep careful records on constituents’ concerns and attitudes as posted on the office ledgers.

I would suggest that you write on the comments side of the ledger something such as:

  • Get rid of CSCOPE.
  • CSCOPE does not teach math systematically.
  • CSCOPE’s lack of public transparency is very troubling.
  • Schools do not need CSCOPE.
  • CSCOPE is indoctrinating our children.
  • CSCOPE is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
  • CSCOPE curriculum is full of errors.
  • CSCOPE does not systematically teach children phonics, grammar/usage, correct spelling, and cursive writing.
  • As a statewide curriculum, CSCOPE should be required to go through the same SBOE public adoption process as textbooks.

Here is a link to the Senate Rules for the 83rd Legislative Session:  — When you get to this link, you will see that Article XI gives the Rules for Committees – pp. 78 – 90. On page 82, it states:

(c)  It shall be the duty of the committee clerk, with the assistance of other committee staff members, to keep a permanent, accurate written record of committee proceedings and to transcribe the magnetic tape recordings of  committee hearings as ordered by the committee or subcommittee.  It shall be the responsibility of the committee clerk to see that one copy of the transcript of proceedings and one copy of the permanent record be kept in the committee files, one copy of each be given to the Secretary of the Senate, and three copies of each be placed in the Legislative Reference Library.  Such records shall be a matter of public record.

Link to Frequently Asked Questions — tells how the public can access both Live/Video and Live/Audio:

Link to Senate Real/Media Live Broadcasts:

Link to main website for the Texas Legislature:

Link to information about the Texas Senate Committees:

Link to Texas Senate Committee Assignments – 83RD Legislative Session:

Link to Texas Senate Committee Hearings:

Link to sidewalk protests and demonstrations:

Donna Garner

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