10.7.12 – From Donna Garner:
I just had a teacher friend tell me tonight that the students who check into her high school and have been under CSCOPE do not have a clue as to the new terms and concepts found in the English / Language Arts / Reading curriculum standards (adopted in May 2008). She and the other English teachers are having to take these CSCOPE students and completely bring them up to speed, teaching them expository/persuasive writing, grammar, usage, literary analysis, etc. – all the concepts that are now found on the new STAAR/End-of-Course tests.
10-12-12 From a frustrated teacher
CSCOPE rigor amounts to foldables and posters for performance indicators. Students love crafts, but making posters and foldables in almost every class is boring. Plus, the performance indicators are just an easy grade and do not access what students have learned.
10.2.12 – From a teacher and taxpayer in Ector County ISD
Here is a month old newspaper article that says that Ector County spent $1.7 million to expand CSCOPE this year. They couldn’t find the pennies necessary to provide the students with Zaner-Bloser handwriting books, but they were able to come up with over a million for something for which they have absolutely no need, or worse yet, something positively harmful. On top of that, the classrooms are full of textbooks that no one is using! More money wasted.
Sent to Donna Garner from a parent 9.29.12:
Many of the teachers I have spoken with have also expressed their dissatisfaction with CSCOPE. In our district, they no longer write the test for their kids. The district actually delivers tests to them on test day and this is the first they see of the test.
The problem then becomes that they post the teachers name, along with an average of how their kids performed, in the teacher’s break room. This is supposed to put pressure on teachers to make sure they are covering all of their objectives, etc. The result however, is that my daughter’s teachers are actually giving the kids the answers to the test before they hand them out! (again, not that it matters, but she is in GT classes)
Since they had decided to end the use of text books, I asked to have access to the CSCOPE website so that I could help my kids study at home. I was denied a number of times, saying that they would have to purchase a license for me to gain access. I persisted, and they eventually opened up a parent portal. The parent portal is absolutely worthless, as I’m sure you know. I’ve asked many times to see what exactly the teachers are using to prepare their lessons, and they say they cannot allow access to that portion of the curriculum.
10.6.12 — Note from Texas Educator – CSCOPE thread at http://www.txcscopereview.com/ —
I wanted to thank all of the people that are chatting on this thread for being so concerned about all of the students in our Texas schools who are being exposed to CSCOPE.
I am an experienced, veteran teacher who is distraught over the use of an unproven curriculum on such a wide spread basis. Any curriculum materials affecting so many children should have undergone public review through our Texas State Board of Education.
I wanted to share some thoughts from the vantage point of a teacher who is currently being forced to use CSCOPE. Moms, please do not count on your classroom teacher to protect your child. Teachers today are fearful for their jobs in economic times where jobs for experienced teachers are hard to come by. Teachers are told that they must use CSCOPE or risk the accusation that they are not a “team player.” Teaching jobs are political in nature and teachers who have attempted to speak out publicly before the school board have been fired.
Teachers are so overworked with new mandates that many don’t have time to scrutinize the lessons. We owe a debt of gratitude to Ginger and Janice Van Cleave who have taken the time to pore over lessons to find the blaring propagandization of our students.
My experience is that the lessons are riddled with errors. The lessons are not developmentally appropriate for the age student, and they do not spiral properly up through the grade levels. We now have students who have gone through elementary school using CSCOPE who are now deficient in platform skills such as basic geography, recall of mathematical facts, and the ability to write cohesively. These students will never reclaim their formative years.
School districts should be forced to public accountability on this issue by parents.
The reasons given for CSCOPE implementation usually involve the need for a scope and sequence, which simply means that the teacher is told a timeline of what to teach and when to teach it.
Texas schools had a scope and sequence for years, much better than CSCOPE. CSCOPE lessons are overly heavy in cut and paste activities and putting students into discussion groups to discuss topics that students have never studied before.
The school claims that if a student moves from one place to another they can fall right in place with CSCOPE. When you send your child to school you expect your child to benefit from the the teacher’s unique creativity and passion, right? Well, that is deadened by the boring script we are expected to deliver using the bland CSCOPE lessons. Yes, we are all supposed to be saying the same thing on the same day as if we are robots.
There is no way for our students to achieve excellence in education with the widespread forced use of CSCOPE across our state. As a taxpayer, the saddest fact is that while schools are throwing money to the wind purchasing CSCOPE each year, students are often going without field trips and instructional material that has quality and substance.
Comments by researcher, Ms. Mac, sent to Donna Garner on 10.6.12:
Recently I was asked, as a researcher, to gather information about C-SCOPE, an educational program stated to be in over 800 Texas public school districts (Out of approximately 1200). What I discovered is disturbing.
The founding experts for this program, as revealed on administrative training materials, include Humanist, Linda Darling-Hammond (who has signed a pledge to be good without God) and Marxist, Lev Vygotsky.
Lessons reflect a positive bias toward Islam and a negative bias toward Christianity. Homework is discouraged so parents do not see the material. Textbooks are also discouraged so there is no consistent reference to support or question. Because this program is not reviewed by the State Board of Education, content is not scrutinized for quality or accuracy.
Ask your parishioners, who have children and grandchildren in the system, to demand clarity and explanation from school board members. Sadly, teachers and parents are often not informed about the philosophy and radical foundation behind this program. They have not been given an informed choice. Do not take my word for it. Investigate. Dig. Be persistent.
A new website entitled Texas CSCOPE Review http://www.txcscopereview.com offers a venue to post your thoughts and findings as well as to read reports from other concerned Texans.
Currently there are multiple attacks on Christianity. If we do nothing….we lose positive standing with our youth and the community at large. If we do nothing…we give our stamp of approval.
All Level Certified Teacher
Author bio: www.fortword.com
From e-mail sent to Donna Garner on 10.4.12:
This link from Texas Education Service Center 12 clearly shows a CSCOPE presentation (copyrighted 2012) that stresses balanced literacy and Lucy Calkins. Under the newly adopted English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) curriculum standards (adopted in May 2008), Texas public schools are supposed to be teaching phonemic awareness and phonics (i.e., decoding skills) – not whole language and balanced literacy:
Lucy Calkins is behind much of the writing workshop, personal essay, whole language, balanced literacy, social justice approach. Read more about Lucy Calkins at: http://educationnext.org/the-lucy-calkins-project/
These two links can be valuable tools to show how far off base the ESC’s are leading our Texas school districts – not emphasizing the direct, systematic instruction of phonemic awareness/decoding skills of Type #1 in the new ELAR/TEKS/STAAR-EOC’s but instead “the same old, same old” of the old TEKS/TAKS/Type #2.
I believe that CSCOPE is not going to prepare our Texas students for the new STAAR/EOC’s because of misdirecting educators right back to the “old” TEKS.
Please go to these articles to gain a full grasp of the differences between Type #1 and Type #2:
8.31.12 – “Better Days Lie Ahead for Texas Public Schools,” –-http://libertylinked.com/posts/10062/better-days-lie-ahead-for/View.aspx
5.13.12 — “Texans: Must Keep STAAR/End-of-Course Tests on Schedule”
by Donna Garner —
5.24.12 — “City on a Hill Radio Program – “Two Philosophies of Education with Two Different End Games” — Interview by Diana Crews with Donna Garner
3.29.12 — “STAAR-EOC Tests: Picking Alpha’s and Beta’s Brains” — by Donna Garner
3.26.12 – “Two Education Philosophies with Two Different Goals” – by Donna Garner —