Adios, Reality

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Reporter Organizes FACTsPatrick Michels’ title for his publication about CSCOPE, a Texas Instructional Material, is so appropriate.Adios, Reality —Good BYE RealityI laughed when I first read Patrick’s overview of how the CSCOPE material originated and what is going on today with the Texas Lt. Governor and the chairman of the state senate education committee working to eliminate the CSCOPE product from Texas schools.The article reads as if Patrick shuffled his note cards,  threw them into the air, and let the cards organize themselves.

The misconceptions that Patrick is deliberately promoting is so wrong that he discredits his own work.

I haven’t become hardened enough yet and naively trusted that being a reporter, Patrick would report the news. But alas, Patrick creates news. I do have to give him credit for his vivid imagination and his ability to add special and at times colorful touches of fantasy.

Patrick’s description of me, my publications as well as why I am involved in the fight against CSCOPE gives you a clue of how dedicated he is to accurate journalism.

Janice VanCleave is all about making science fun for kids. Along with her years teaching science in Texas schools, she’s written dozens of science books for kids,

Up to this point I totally agree. I do love science and enjoy taking complicated science concepts and breaking it down into fun easy to understand bite-size pieces. That is what I did during the 27 years I taught science and that is what I did when I wrote 52 science experiment books for kids and educators for John Wiley and Sons Publishing.

most (refering to the 52 published Janice VanCleave science experiment books) in the wacky ‘90s heyday of the Complete Klutz and …for Dummies guides. She’s sold more than 2 million copies of books like 200 Gooey, Slippery, Slimy, Weird and Fun Experiments or Chemistry for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments that Really Work. Her latest book was a science guide for home-schoolers, but lately she writes on her blog, www.

Amazon has credited me with co-authoring “The Homeschooler’s Guide to Science Fair.” The author of the book is Dr. Claire-Marie Moreau. I wrote a preface for it.

FYI:I have not retired from writing science materials. One would think that being actively involved in science would add credibility to my reviews of the CSCOPE science lessons. Instead, Patrick has joined the CSCOPE directors in vilifying me for being a science author.  Patrick described the articles that I post on www.


as being  –“mostly detailing complaints about science lessons she finds boring or inaccurate.”

There are 286 posted CSCOPE articles on this website and one posted article about my books and science experiences. This one article was written in an effort to identify myself as having the science background to review the CSCOPE science lessons. I do find it interesting that reporters, such as Patrick have no concern about the lack of identity of the CSCOPE authors or that the CSCOPE directors admit that they never had the CSCOPE materials reviewed.

While I don’t recall describing the CSCOPE science lessons boring, but I have and continue to report many of the  science lessons as being inaccurate. I have and still say the CSCOPE science lessons do not align with the Science Process TEKS.

She (Janice VanCleave) posted photos from her lifelong love affair with science, freezing at the South Pole or about to go weightless in the NASA Vomit Comet, with her big grin, curly red hair and Coke bottle glasses. This, she wrote, is the kind of science children should learn to love.

Some of the CSCOPE science lessons parallel Patrick’s description of my published books—“wacky ‘90s heyday of the Complete Klutz and …for Dummies guides.” While many of the CSCOPE elementary science lessons are fun, many of the explanations are incorrect.

Patrick out did himself in messing up the facts as to how CSCOPE originated.

In the mid-1990s, school leaders across Texas were searching for ways to make sure all their teachers followed the state’s new course standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS. There are hundreds of standards in each subject and grade, and even the best textbooks don’t cover them all.

There are bits and pieces of actual facts, but not enough. I am going to comment on a few, but will not repeat the incorrect information he included about other sincere and dedicated people who are –and yes at their own expense –working to improve Texas Education. No, not one of the people campaigning against CSCOPE, to my knowledge are benefiting any way. If anything, we all started and continue our fight knowing that some reporters, like Patrick, report the negative and even add untruths to make it more sensational.

1. The transition from the TEKS for the TAKS tests to the TEKS for the STAAR tests was in the 2010-2011 school year.
2. In 1996,TASA- Texas Association for School Administrators launched their plan to sabotage TEAs education system with their transformation Vision Learning Program. The same year, the ESCs started selling CSCOPE and the TASA superintendents purchased it.
3. The ESCs started the campaign that there are so many standards in each subject and grade that not even the best textbooks cover them all. This is a lie. I am asking Patrick if he looked at the TEKS for one subject and if he looked at a textbook to confirm that there are more TEKS than are covered in the book.

Following is a list of the total TEKS for 5th grade science and when they might be taught during the school year.
Any science textbook regardless of the date of publication will have the information in these TEKS.

Patrick, I challenge you to find one subject at any grade level that has HUNDREDS OF TEKS.
This lie came from the ESCs because it is one they repeat often. First, to discredit TEA and second to promote the idea that textbooks are not useful. The ESC directors created and sell CSCOPE and online
curriculum. Thomas Ratliff, a lobbyist for Microsoft naturally promotes an online curriculum.

Patrick, the remaining parts of your article are so jumbled with correct and incorrect information. I wish you had trusted me. I gave you correct information.

Janice VanCleave

Total TEKS 5th Grade Science

y of Texas at Austin, and is a competitive eating enthusiast.
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