Parents Have Rights
by Donna Garner
Much scrutiny is being directed at CSCOPE, used by 80% of Texas public school districts. Those who control CSCOPE are running roughshod over Texas teachers and parents alike by trying to operate CSCOPE under the radar and out of public view.
Two recent articles have shed light on CSCOPE:
10.12.12 – “CSCOPE: Texas Teachers Given Gag Order” – written by concerned Texas educators — http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/cscope-texas-teachers-given-gag-order-by-concerned-texas?xg_source=msg_appr_blogpost
10.12.12 – “CSCOPE Horror Stories” — http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/cscope-horror-stories-10-12-12?xg_source=msg_appr_blogpost
Thankfully Texas has an easily accessible Texas Education Code which contains the statutes passed into law that govern education issues. Parents do have rights in this state over their children’s education. They do have a right to see what their children are being taught in Texas’ public schools.
This is the latest version of the Texas Education Code (effective July 2011) and contains the excerpts that should help parents to gain access to the CSCOPE materials and to make sure that students are allowed to bring the materials home.
Link to latest version (effective July 2011) of Texas Education Code: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/?link=ED
Link to 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:
Sec. 26.006. ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS. (a) A parent is entitled to:
(1) review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent’s child; and
(2) review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered.
(b) A school district shall make teaching materials and tests readily available for review by parents. The district may specify reasonable hours for review.
(c) A student’s parent is entitled to request that the school district or open-enrollment charter school the student attends allow the student to take home any instructional materials used by the student. Subject to the availability of the instructional materials, the district or school shall honor the request. A student who takes home instructional materials must return the instructional materials to school at the beginning of the next school day if requested to do so by the student’s teacher. In this subsection, “instructional material” has the meaning assigned by Section 31.002.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 805, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2001.
Amended by: Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 6, Sec. 12, eff. July 19, 2011.
DEFINITION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN TEC, SEC. 31.002
Link to latest version (effective July 2011) of Texas Education Code, Title 2. Public Education, Subtitle F. Curriculum, Programs, and Services, Chapter 31. Instructional Materials, Subchapter A. General Provisions, Sec. 31.002, Definitions, Instructional Material:
Sec. 31.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
“Instructional material” means content that conveys the essential knowledge and skills of a subject in the public school curriculum through a medium or a combination of media for conveying information to a student. The term includes a book, supplementary materials, a combination of a book, workbook, and supplementary materials, computer software, magnetic media, DVD, CD-ROM, computer courseware, on-line services, or an electronic medium, or other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means, including open-source instructional material.
(1-a) “Open-source instructional material” means electronic instructional material that is available for downloading from the Internet at no charge to a student and without requiring the purchase of an unlock code, membership, or other access or use charge, except for a charge to order an optional printed copy of all or part of the instructional material. The term includes state-developed open-source instructional material purchased under Subchapter B-1.
(2) “Publisher” includes an on-line service or a developer or distributor of electronic instructional materials.
(3) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 6, Sec. 67(1), eff. July 19, 2011.
(4) “Technological equipment” means hardware, a device, or equipment necessary for:
(A) instructional use in the classroom, including to gain access to or enhance the use of electronic instructional materials; or
(B) professional use by a classroom teacher.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.
Amended by: Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 679, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 6, Sec. 19, eff. July 19, 2011.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 6, Sec. 67(1), eff. July 19, 2011.