The 20 Texas Education Service Centers are still working as a united team providing a one-size fits all program called CSCOPE for Texas Schools. Some School Superintendents have agreed to pay for another subscription to CSCOPE. FYI: Instead paying a fee schools now are said to pay for a CSCOPE subscription.
The New CSCOPE Managing System has these components: Vertical Alignment Document, Information Focus Document, Year at a Glance, and Assessments. I will be posting information about each of these components so that you can be more informed about them.
Comment from a Teacher: As far as using CSCOPE assessments, make sure you check them over. I have been required to use them for two years, and I have yet to see one that had no errors in either the questions or the keys. And, look at them BEFORE you plan the lessons, since they seldom have much in common with the “exemplar” lessons.
Comment from a Teacher–Tests should not be given as a punishment, but that is what the CSCOPE Test are. The CSCOPE tests punish teachers because they know the test discourage students. This is because the test doesn’t relate to the unit lesson content. The school is punished if the CSCOPE test grades are sent to TEA. TEA swoops in like a vulture seizing the school and adding more busy work for the teachers to do.
CSCOPE Unit Tests Do Not Match the Unit Lessons
Teachers are aware that the CSCOPE unit test do not assess a students knowledge about the lessons in the unit. But administrators continued to require that the tests be given and grades recorded. Unfortunately the CSCOPE test grades lowered student grade average. I discussed this problem with Wade Lebay, the State CSCOPE Director and his responses were startling.
[I’ve never seen school administrators and school board members risk their careers and reputation to defend instruction materials]
According to Wade Lebay—–
The CSCOPE Unit Tests were not designed to assess a students knowledge of the lessons in the unit.
WHAT!!! Pat Harding, a member of the State Board of Education praises the CSCOPE tests. It is all very confusing because the information about CSCOPE changes often. Its surprising at the lengths educators are going to defend this instruction material. I think the question asked by a previous state board of education member may be on target–What is the reward for such positive support of CSCOPE?
Do School Administrators know that the tests are not to be used to access CSCOPE lessons? Has this information been kept secret from school Administrators? If school administrators know this, why are they forcing teachers to give the CSCOPE tests and record the grades.
Following is my conversation with Mr. Lebay about the CSCOPE Assessment:
Your explanation of the assessments is very important. Administrators have been led to believe that the CSCOPE assessments evaluate what students learn in the lessons. But you explained during our phone conversation, 3/19/13, that the assessments ARE NOT to be used to evaluate what students are taught in the lessons. Instead, the assessments are examples of how the information in the lessons might be tested on the STAAR. You said that teachers could give their own tests to assess student comprehension of the lessons.
WL: I think the key here, as with a lot of the items we covered in our phone conversation, is to always look at the difference between CSCOPE development (or design) and implementation. I can only tell you how something is designed, but it always comes down to individual districts making decisions on how they ask teachers to use CSCOPE content (including unit tests). I do understand that unit tests are used in a variety of ways for a variety reasons in districts.
So, unit tests are designed to provide districts with a variety of sample test items, including some intended to reflect the type that might be administered on STAAR tests.
Items on CSCOPE unit tests are designed to assess the specified student expectations (TEKS) listed on its correlating unit of instruction (IFD).
Since many schools are not necessarily using CSCOPE lessons, unit tests are meant to only align with the IFD.
With this explanation, no CSCOPE assessment should be used as part of a student’s grade.
In fact, CSCOPE assessments should be used as an example so that teachers can prepare students for the type of test questions on the STAAR.
If teachers are mandated to give CSCOPE assessments, it is a decision made by the school district, but this is not a directive given by TESCCC,inc or ESCs to school district administrators.
Am I correct, that if CSCOPE assessments are being used as part of a students unit grade, this is a decision made by the school district, but this is not a directive given by TESCCC,inc or ESCs to school district administrators.
To be continued with samples of CSCOPE assessments for you to evaluate for yourself. ———————————————