Aug 19, 2013 by

“Judge Halts CSCOPE on Basis of Procedural Issues”

by Donna Garner


Please notice that the judge did not issue a judgment about whether school districts that use CSCOPE lessons are breaking the law (SB 1406).  The judge avoided that issue.  He seemed to base his decision on the fact that the plaintiffs could not prove they would be in eminent harm if the CSCOPE lessons were used.  Of course, it is actually their children’s minds that are in “eminent harm” if they are exposed to the indoctrination and lack of fact-based, academic content in CSCOPE’s lessons!


All of the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit against LLano ISD were citizens and/or parents/grandparents in the district. They all care about these students and want to make sure they are taught the Type #1 TEKS instead of the Type #2 CSCOPE lessons, which will not get students prepared for the STAAR/End-of-Course tests (Type #1 vs. Type #2 chart — )



However, the halt to the restraining order in no way means local parents should be satisfied if local school administrators decide to use CSCOPE lessons.


Nothing has changed with this ruling: CSCOPE is still a bad “brand” and because of its many deficiencies that caused the Texas Legislature to vote against it, local school districts are foolish to keep using any part of CSCOPE.


Parents, the public, and concerned citizens are going to be watching students’ CSCOPE lessons like hawks.  When and if they see a questionable lesson and/or a lesson that is not aligned with the curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education (which by law must be taught in every public school classroom in Texas), these concerned people are going to call out individual teachers publicly and force them to justify their use of CSCOPE.  That would be very hard to do since early analyses of the STAAR/End-of-Course test results indicate that CSCOPE districts/schools showed increasing – not decreasing — gaps in academic achievement.


Donna Garner




Judge halts challenge to CSCOPE curriculum

Posted: 7:31 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2013



Excerpts from this article:


Burnet —


Conservative activists’ efforts to stop the use of controversial classroom lessons in a Central Texas school district hit a legal roadblock Friday.


State District Judge J. Allan Garrett, speaking to a courtroom audience filled with teachers and administrators from the Llano school district, ruled that a lawsuit over the lessons could not proceed due to procedural issues.


The judge did not elaborate on his ruling. Nor did Garrett address the question of whether using the lessons known as CSCOPE would violate state law, as the plaintiffs argued in the lawsuit they filed last week.


Conservative activists and parents say that the CSCOPE lessons, which have been used by hundreds of mostly small and rural school districts, advance an anti-American and pro-Islam bias. Districts say CSCOPE is a cost-effective way to ensure state standards are addressed in the classroom, and many plan to continue using the lessons despite the legal and political controversy around them.


The basis of the lawsuit was the Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 1406, which gave the State Board of Education the authority to review the CSCOPE lessons. Plaintiffs sought to prohibit the school district in Llano, about 75 miles northwest of Austin, from using the lessons when classes resume in about a week.


“We have what we believe is a threat of imminent harm contrary to legislative intent,” said Tim Cowart, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs…



He [Richard Morris, lawyer for LLano ISD]  also argued that the plaintiffs lacked the right to bring the suit because they would not suffer any particular harm if the lessons were used and that they should have pursued other avenues, including an appeal to Education Commissioner Michael Williams, before heading to court.


Plaintiff Bill Hussey, a past president of the Llano Tea Party, said no immediate decision had been made to appeal the judge’s decision. But he said the lawsuit would inspire parents across the state to ask questions about CSCOPE…



The political stakes surrounding CSCOPE were on full display in the courtroom Friday when state Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, showed up ready to testify for the plaintiffs. The judge denied the request to testify.



Earlier this week, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeared with the Llano plaintiffs at a Capitol news conference. Dewhurst and Patrick are both running in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor next year along with Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.


The CSCOPE lessons, which have been in use since 2007, were not subject to state oversight until the Legislature this spring extended the authority of the State Board of Education with SB 1406…


Donna Garner


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