If your school is using CSCOPE Assessments, ask for a comparison between grades on class work, including tests, and grades on CSCOPE Assessments. Note that in order to continue to misinform parents, the 20 State Education Service Centers have given the CSCOPE lessons to schools, but are charging the school district the same fee as when the lessons were part of the CSCOPE Curriculum Management System purchased at a rate of $7.00 per student per year plus many other fees.
To further misinform and mislead parents, the 20 ESCs are no longer using the CSCOPE name. They have discarded the name CSCOPE because of all its bad publicity.
Assistant Superintendent and director of curriculum, Jamey Johnson of Marlin ISD, stated at a recent Marlin School Board Meeting,
“The CSCOPE program, which has drawn some scrutiny in the past, is now renamed as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Resources.”
That is all Johnson had to say about the product that she was responsible for implementing in the Marlin ISD K-12 and which she continues to support and provide the “CSCOPE Lessons” to the Marlin teachers. A change of name didn’t change the content of the CSCOPE lessons. Nor has it changed the content of the assessments that Jamey Johnson forces Marlin teachers to give to the Marlin students. These assessments are now being presented to teachers under the guise that they are created by curriculum directors, but I have viewed many of the assessments and correspond with teachers who know ahead of time which of the assessment questions students will miss. Since the assessments have not been revised and still have the same errors reported to the Texas Senate Education Committee, the State Board of Education, miscellaneous TEA representatives as well as the TEA group who is responsible for the STAAR science exams, the state representative of CSCOPE, Wade Lebay, the CSCOPE public relations representative, Mason Moses and broadcast on national TV programs (Glenn Beck), national radio, newspapers, etc……
PLEASE GIVE ME A CLUE WHAT I NEED TO DO THAT WILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO ASK WHY YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT PASSING THE STATE TESTS?–WHY YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT PASSING THE “CSCOPE ASSESSMENTS?”
Ask yourself how changing the name “CSCOPE Curriculum Management System” to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Resources” affected the content of the product being sold.
Ms. Johnson gave the incorrect name, it is close but the new name for CSCOPE is TEKS Resource System (TRS). The acronym TRS has been used for Teacher Retirement System in Texas for many years. So the new name for CSCOPE is another way for the ESCs to misrepresent and confuse the public. But, what ever the name, the content of the product has not changed.
A Waste Management Systems may sound better than A CRAP Sucking System,” but the product is still crap no matter the name.
If you are supporting Dan Patrick for Lt. Governor, ask him why he is not addressing this problem in his campaign. Ask him how he could have been on the Senate Education Committee and not know what was going on in the Texas Public Schools.
If you are supporting Lt. Governor Dewhurst for what ever he is running for, ask him why he had no clue what was going on in Texas education, which is the largest part of the state budget.
In fact, ask every politician why they have allowed the 20 ESCs to take over Texas Education. Ask your state board of education member.
But the group that can really make a difference in how your children are educated is the school board and administrators of the school your children attend. I agree that it is difficult for one parent to make a difference. Difficult but not impossible. Don’t expect those in power in your local district to be helpful not even the leaders in your church. This is especially true in a small town, such as Marlin. The community should be ready to tar and feather the school board and school administrators, instead no one blinked an eye when 25 out of 30 high school teachers resigned at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. In all, about 3/4 of the school district staff resigned. Explanation? What the superintendent says and what those who resigned say is very different.
Know that TEA-appointed conservator Elizabeth Rowland has been monitoring Marlin ISD because of it failure to educate students for the last 7+ years. At a Marlin School Board Meeting, Sept. 2013, TEA-conservator Elizabeth Rowland read a brief letter to the board in her presentation at the start of the meeting. Even after 3/4 of the Marlin ISD staff resigned in May, even after the STAAR test scores showed that the main improvement was that the failing grades were some higher, even after many Marlin parents transferred their children to local schools, TEA representative, Elizabeth Rowland noting that the TEA continued to be satisfied with progress. Rowland also said, “When Dr. Brown (elementary principal) came there, he walked in to a situation where Marlin Elementary had been a low-performing school for seven years,” she said. She said things still weren’t perfect but that they were turning around, and noticeably so.
Progress! Turning around? How could the representative from the TEA give such a statement when she knew the schooled had failed the state tests for the 7th consecutive year? Obviously Ms. Rowland’s report was more for her own benefit than that of the education of the students. So, what ever encouraged the majority of the teachers to resign should be continued. What ever was being done that resulted in student continued failure of the state tests needs to be continued.
You must read the report published in the Marlin Democrat Newpaper about the improvement on the STAAR test scores. http://www.marlindemocrat.com/news/article_c20e08bc-dd26-11e2-968d-0019bb2963f4.html
It is much like listening to TV ads about medicine are advertised as being wonderful even though they could permanently damage every body organ, make you go blind, and even kill you … you just have to be sure and report these problems to your doctor.
You cannot report to your doctor if you are dead, anymore than students can pass the STAAR tests if they are being taught incorrect information.
The Marlin Demonocrat reported that the Marlin elementary, middle school, and high school have failing grades in most of the subjects but in some they did not fail as badly as they did last year. YEA! Now this is really something to celebrate, so says the Marlin ISD superintendent. After all, the failing grades are higher than the failing grades during the last 10 years. This guy is a keeper and most likely will receive superintendent of the year from the ESCs for having the school districts that has the most improved failing STAAR test scores. I will send a note to Region 12 and suggest this prestigious award and nominate the Marlin Superintendent as a candidate.
In the Marlin Democrate newpaper article, TV report being riducled for not being supportive of the Marlin school district was about the massive number of teachers who resigned from the Marlin ISD. How dare anyone report the truth. http://www.marlindemocrat.com/news/article_c20e08bc-dd26-11e2-968d-0019bb2963f4.html
What is the average age of the teachers in your school district? While age is not directly related to being a quality teachers, experience comes with age.
Think about it:
Would you want to have heart surgery by a doctor who just graduated?
Anyone who has worked at any profession know that they made more mistakes when they started the job. New moms rely on those who have had children for advice.
The Marlin ISD administrators have purposely encouraged veteran teachers to resign. This is happening in schools across Texas who administrators have signed a pledge to transform the education in their school district. The transforming guidelines are set by a private organization called the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). Linked at the hip with TASA is a private organization for school board members called the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). While not official state education organizations, Texas public school boards and superintendents are sending local school taxes to TASA and TASB. This is no small amount of money, it amounts to 30 to 50 MILLION dollars every year. Yes, your children are deprived of adequate science equipment because your school board and superintendent are paying for their trips to conferences, their personal membership in these organizations as well as other organizations that benefit them but not your children.
Teachers with experience are not likely to remain in education because they cannot become the robot educators following a script.
I started this blog to show you that the CSCOPE assessments are incorrect. If students are doing well on the CSCOPE assessments they are being taught incorrect science. The following 4th grade science question is a prime example that the authors of CSCOPE science lessons and CSCOPE assessments do not understand the process skills of the scientific method. It is no wonder that the Marlin elementary kids continue to fail the state science tests. These students are taught incorrect science information.
CSCOPE Assessment Question 8 shown is 100% not a valid science question for assessing a students understanding of the scientific method.
The question states that Karen is testing the affect of gravity on the size of an iron ball. In other words, when an iron ball is dropped, does the size of the iron ball change as it falls?
The correct answer given is J, which is that the material used and shape of the object must remain the same in order for the investigation to be valid. Thus, the mass and volume of the ball would be the variables expected to change.
For a valid investigation, only one variable is to be changed. If Karen is to test the affect of gravity on the size of a falling ball, every one of the listed variables would have to be held constant except volume. All Karen would be doing is dropping an iron ball of a specific size and measuring the size of the ball when it lands. The question is just bad and indicates that a trained test writer was not hired. It also indicates that the person who wrote the question did not understand the scientific method.
Since this is a question that affects the grades of every fouth-grade student in about 80% of Texas schools (0r so says the ESCs), then many students
are being unfairly evaluated.
Where is the Commissioner of Education? What exactly are the duties of the Commissioner of Education? The last Commissioner of Education, Robert Scott, supported the TASA plan to transform Texas Education, what is the new commissioner supporting? He has not made any public statements about CSCOPE? Why?
Well, back to the poor science question shown.
Possibly the question was to determine if size has any affect on the falling rate of different sized balls.
If so, the accepted answer, J, is still incorrect. Again, all the listed variables would have to be kept constant except for volume.
This is not one poor question out of many. Instead,it represent how poorly the CSCOPE questions assess
the scientific method. This incorrect question does assess how the scientific method is presented in the incorrect CSCOPE lessons.
Parents, if your children are doing poorly on the “benchmark” tests given by your school, ask to view the questions. Ask to have the questions explained to you. Yes, it takes time to do this for every child and every subject. So, form a parent group so that each parent can evaluate different tests.
You can no longer assume that teachers and school administrators care about your children. If they did they would not continue to use materials that has so many strikes against it. Why take the change when there are many good programs available. Less expensive?
Would you choose a less expensive medication for your child if it had as many negative reports as CSCOPE has?
So, why allow your school to use the controversial CSCOPE materials just because it is cheap. Maybe the school district could reduce the high salaried administrators and use the money to purchase quality textbooks. No be fooled by the propaganda that textbooks are not good. This is the biggest lie put out by the 20 ESCs because they have online products to sell.
The Texas Comptroller has repeatedly reported how wonderful the ESCs are for providing cheap CSCOPE materials to the Texas School Districts. Does out comptroller consider cost more important than quality? It is obvious that the reports of the State Comptroller are not based on personal evaluation because the reports contain scripted propaganda used by the ESCs to promote the CSCOPE product, such as the millions of dollars school districts have saved by purchasing CSCOPE. Part of these saving is due to not purchasing textbooks for students, instead providing absolutely zero resource material other than lists of links on the web. CSCOPE is only scripted materials for the teachers and fill in the blank worksheets for students. I wonder if the comptroller factored in the increase in printing costs for school districts? I am surprised that environmentalists are not marching around schools with “Save the Trees” signs. Many of the worksheets have empty boxes on them and these are called organizers.