CSCOPE Inhibits Parent Involvement

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Dr. Dave Stoval

One  question including in CSCOPE’s FAQs  list from parents is about schools not providing text books. This question is there because as the title of the list indicates, it is a frequently asked question.

The fact that this is even a question, much less a frequently asked question, should raise some serious warning flags.
As a parent with children in a CSCOPE school, it was one of the many questions that my wife and I asked the school. Yes, there was a classroom set of textbooks that parents could check out, much like a library book. However, upon further discussion, we were told that the test questions would only come from the online teacher portion of the CSCOPE website, not the textbook.
I have since discovered that CSCOPE is only for teachers. There is no CSCOPE technology for students. Teacher in elementary can use projectors to show websites to the class. But, CSCOPE provides zero technology training for students. To make matters worse, the CSCOPE handouts are mostly pages with empty boxes to be filled in, this is called organization. Or blank papers are folded into three parts and students write on the parts, this is considered a tri-fold activity and counts as a science discover activity.
Questions not found on the CSCOPE FAQs but most likely are frequently asked, include:
  • “Why is there content being taught to our students that is not accessible to their parents?!” 
  • Why is the CSCOPE material students are tested on not designed for direct student access?
  • Why are students expected to write class notes as if they are in high school or college. Keeping a notebook is one thing, expecting students in elementary school to keep comprehensive notes so that is all the information they have about concepts being studied is a premeditated plan meant for failure.
When we raised these concerns with our school district, we were directed to the “Parent Portal,” with the idea that it would provide access to the materials our children were studying.
Notice in the section of a CSCOPE Parental Portal shown that the CSCOPE directors have the misguided opinion that a school district and classroom teachers know what is best for students to learn.


A copy of a section from CSCOPE's parent portal, which confirms just how useless this is. False transparency.
School districts should be embarrassed to provide a link to the Parent Portal of the CSCOPE website, as it is definitely an example of symbolism over substance.
Most units in the Parent Portal only provide at best a two sentence summary of the topic being covered.  It offers a false sense of transparency and access to parents, while leaving the majority of the curriculum inaccessible.
It’s one thing to say that CSCOPE encourages the use of textbooks, but it is my direct experience that that is not reality.
Openness and transparency with parents about a child’s curriculum is non-negotiable.
No one has the right to teach material to a child while at the same time withholding that material from the parent’s oversight.
Parents are the ultimate authority when it comes to their child’s education.
CSCOPE either fails to recognize this, or worse, intentionally ignores it.
Direct access to all of the curriculum inside CSCOPE, needs to be made available immediately, not only to parents, but to all taxpaying citizens of Texas. The CSCOPE material needs to be evaluated by everyone so that they are made aware of what happens when one agency, such as the Texas Education Service Centers are self governed. They have taken advantage of their ability to sell products and make money and forgotten their code of service.
CSCOPE directors have created an instructional program and management system  that inhibits Parent Involvement/ Bans Parents from viewing instructional materials.
I encourage parents to help rid our schools of CSCOPE.
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  1. Two points:
    #1-With respect to the statement that says teachers know best what their students need to learn, I believe that is an implication that decisions should be made at the local level (for example, the district or campus), rather than at the state level (perhaps the SBOE or the legislature), and that CSCOPE makes that possible. However, it is my understanding that teachers who are expected to follow CSCOPE are given highly scripted lessons to follow, and they are not allowed to use their own creative skills to write their own lessons.
    #2-When I looked at mathematics lessons available through the Parent Portal, I felt that they were written in such a way that make them VERY confusing and overwhelming to anyone other than an educator. Even if a parent can follow and understand the lesson, they are unlikely to find information that would enable them to help their child. In my experience, parents have relied on their child’s textbook to understand WHAT is being taught, as well as HOW it is being taught. Given that many adults are not terribly confident in their own mathematics skills, textbooks are a very important (and indispensable) resource.

    • Janice says:

      I 100% agree with you and am trying to get textbooks back into our schools.

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