Thus, 5th grade science teachers had the opportunity to copy and save the Vertical Alignment Document that compares the Science TEKS for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.
The ESCs as well as public school administrators who purchase CSCOPE claim that Texas teachers need the VADs. Take a look at the portion of the 5th grade CSCOPE VAD shown below. The black type are the TEKS, which can be copied from the TEA website. TEA provides more helpful information for alternative testing. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/special-ed/staaralt/vertalign/
Why? Because parents of children with special needs, make the most noise. These parent fight harder to provide a good education for their children. Thus, more grant money is provided for these children. Inclusion is the result, which means children of all ability levels are in the same class. The teacher is expected to meet the needs of all the children. This is not easy. To make it an even more difficult task, school districts with and without CSCOPE are adopting the constructivist/progressive teaching philosophy that changes the roll of teachers. The ESCs have aptly described this with a poem:
Teachers should not be SAGES on Stages
Teachers should be Guides on the Side
A Sage Teacher is one who makes wise choices, such as how to teach children at different ability levels.
A Guide Teacher has students in groups that that students teach each other. The Guide Teacher gives input, but a Guide Teacher is not “in charge” of the content, instead, the students are. This means that students with learning disabilities are being taught by other students.
How does this fit in with providing lessons for different ability levels?
The section of the 5th Grade CSCOPE VAD compares the TEKS for grades 3, 4, and 5. The Blue Type is added by CSCOPE and is said to provide teachers with more understanding of the TEKS. In fact, CSCOPE directors refer to this as TEKS Specificity. I asked how the TEKS and the CSCOPE Specificities differed other than one was in sentence form and the other was the same content in outline form.
The answer was that the CSCOPE Specificities provides the answers to the following three questions. I have used TEKS 5.5A in the VAD chart as an example.
1. What does the TEKS instruct the teacher to do? Classify (The ESCs and school administrators insult teachers by insisting that teachers cannot figure this out for themselves. .
2. Classify what? Matter Based on Physical Properties (If teachers cannot answer this question, they should not be teaching. This brings up another problem, the ESCs are writing curriculum for teacher certification courses. Are the teachers being certified by the ESCs not capable of answering these three questions? If CSCOPE is an example of the abilities of the ESCs to write curriculum, what are teachers being taught?)
3. What are these different physical properties? The list of properties is in the TEKS. (The ESCs are also writing curriculum for administrative certifications, including principals and superintendents. Again, how qualified are these ESC certified administrators? How many superintendents, principals, assistant principals, etc…. are certified by the ESCs. I forgot to say that the ESCs also certify School Board Members. What part of Texas Education isn’t controlled by the 20 ESCs?
A more important question is—Who controls the ESCs? My research indicates that the 20 ESCs govern themselves.
What does TEA and the SBOE do? Give grant money to the ESCs. Write the TEKS and State tests. [The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) has been working to undermine the authority of TEA and the SBOE since 2006 and maybe before. But in 2006 TASA made a public declaration to Transform Texas Education. On the TASA website is a detailed list of the New Vision Learning being promoted by TASA. Even though TASA openly works against TEA and the SBOE, the state Commissioner of Education, Robert Scott made a statement at a TASA convention that he supported this new vision, which is basically to take out the STAAR tests. Robert resigned soon after this announcement. The new Texas Commissioner of Education was quick to speak at one of the TASA conventions. Why?
The Vertical Alignment Document for 3rd through 4th grade science can be found here— Science_Grades_03-05_VAD