CSCOPE Directors Against Textbooks
Before the CSCOPE supplementary instructional material used in many Texas Schools was exposed to the public, CSCOPE was promoted as being inexpensive because it was such as comprehensive, vial, online curriculum program. Superintendents supported their purchasing CSCOPE instead of text books because textbooks were considered not to be rigorous enough to prepare students for the Texas State Yearly Exams, STAARS/EOCs.
The video shows one of the CSCOPE directors from the Texas Education Service Center, Linday McCulloch Region 6. Ms. McCulloch, is contradicting a statement made to the Willis ISD school board by Ginger Russell. Mrs. Russell and her husband, Calvin Russell attended the school board meeting to report their concerns about a CSCOPE lesson. The CSCOPE lesson in question had been removed from the CSCOPE website after Ginger reported it to the state CSCOPE director, Wade Lebay. The point was that CSCOPE can removed offensive lessons when reported, but since there are no checks and balances on this material, the lessons could also be posted again. The lessons in question contained a power point with proselytizing Islamic lessons including verses from the Qua’ran.
Ms. McCulloch was not concerned about the lesson, instead, she was angry that CSCOPE had been attacked. No doubt it was embarassing for the director, since Willis is the school her children attend and the fact that she sold CSCOPE to the school. This CSCOPE director had recently given from CSCOPE an award to the superintendent for being the superintendent of the year. Were superintendents in non-CSCOPE schools eligible?
Make note that Ms. McCulloch confirms that CSCOPE schools do not use text books. Students in CSCOPE schools are able to discern for themselves which websites are acceptable. I question this ability as do most parents who are attentive about websites their children are allowed to view.
Technology Forcing Us to Turn A Page
Nov. 2012 by Ann Work Times Record News
CSCOPE Executive Director, Anne Poplin, from Region 11 explains why textbooks should be on the shelf instead of assigned to students. Comments in Red Type are made by Janice VanCleave
When you live in a world that generates 4 exabytes of data annually — the equivalent of 4 billion billions, or 4 quintillions, or more than the all the data generated in the previous 5,000 years — that textbook on the classroom shelf outdated itself before it even rolled off the printing press, say local educators.
Absolutely not true. Older text books by far have more foundational content than do more recent books. This is because there has been push to add “fluff” to text, such as information about scientists and careers, etc….. While this is part of learning, it is now included in curriculum content in place of facts –the cement –that connects all the bits and pieces now being taught. For example, in the CSCOPE 3rd through 8th lessons on forces, there is an attempt to relate forces to living cells and incorrectly describe osmosis as a force. Incorrectly list “push” and “pull” as types of forces instead of description of forces. Incorrectly identify average velocity as final velocity and never identify acceleration as being the results of unbalanced forces.
Yes, you may have rolled your eyes while reading the previous paragraph considering these flaws in CSCOPE to be insignificant. But they are examples that CSCOPE science has major flaws. It means that students are being taught incorrect science information.
Anne Poplin, Region 9 executive director and director of TESCCC, says “The classroom textbook can no longer dictate the pacing or subject matter in today’s classroom as it did decades ago, and teachers are told to put it back on the shelf for use as supplemental material when needed, educators say.”
Since CSCOPE is classified as a supplementary material by the Texas Education Association, CSCOPE schools are using a supplementary material instead of text books.
“If they’re sitting in a classroom with a textbook, that’s not the world anymore,” said Anne Poplin, Region 9 executive director.
In CSCOPE schools, elementary students are sitting in the classroom with copies of CSCOPE fill in the blank handouts and teachers are using projectors to flash the answers on a screen. Students are transferring information from the screen to their handouts. In a high school Algebra 2 class, since no books are used, the teacher has to make transparencies of the information needed and students copy it. This takes 2 to 3 classes and then students use the information to work algebra problems. The “old school” traditional method would be for the teacher to have students turn to the information in their math books, and discuss each step. Having students working through a math problem. Then on their own, using the text book work a second problem. With their text books they would do a few additional problems as homework. But, with the CSCOPE plan, using text books in the math class or any class is forbidden.
According to the video presentation called Did You Know 4.0, “the world” in 2010 gave the typical student access to 1 trillion Web pages, 65,000 iPhone apps, 10,500 radio stations, 5,500 magazines and more than 200 cable TV networks. The amount of new technological information doubled every two years. Textbooks can’t keep up, Poplin said.
This is an absurd reason for not having text books. Students need to have the fundamental foundation facts, which were in older text books. Then they can use technological tools to find enrichment. As an author of children’s science experiment books, I spend hours, days, etc… searching the web and text books for information. All the sites on the web are not correct. And yes, text book and resource books have errors. Granted, online materials can be corrected while the print of a book cannot. But online materials are not changed as often as CSCOPE would like one to believe. Teachers who recognize an error in a text book point it out to their students, so it is no big deal. The errors that one might find in a text book would be minuscule compared to the errors in the CSCOPE science lessons.
Children are sent to school to be taught. If teachers are to be mentors of classroom discussions, what is the point of having public schools?
According to Poplin, If she saw a class of students hooked to a textbook — and only a textbook — it would actually be a warning flag, she said, that a student is not receiving the type of instruction he or she needs.
Remember that Poplin and other CSCOPE enforcers (teacher observers), pop into classrooms for about 3 minutes to make their observations. Thus, if students were using an Algebra 2 book to do practice problems during this 3 minute “flash-through” observation, the teacher would receive a lower evaluation score. Part of the CSCOPE evaluation for teachers is how much fun students are having when the CSCOPE enforcer makes a visit. Check out this link for an example evaluation of a teacher for three consecutive years. Notice that his grade was decreased when students were seriously working.