CSCOPE’s New Deal

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A Cow branded CSCOPE gives money instead of milk.
Despite protests, Hays CISD keeps CSCOPE

Parents of Hays ISD–Your school administrators and school board are not concerned about the education of your children. They have voted to pay for CSCOPE even though lessons are no longer provided. But this isn’t really the whole truth. Schools have until Aug. 31, 2013 to copy the CSCOPE lessons to a special safe place on the CSCOPE User Website. As long as they keep paying for CSCOPE they have access to the CSCOPE lessons. This comment by Janice

Article in Hays Free Press

The beleaguered school curriculum, CSCOPE, created by a consortium of Texas regional collaborative, will be back at Hays CISD next year, despite concerns by Texas legislators, teachers and parents both here in Hays and across the state.

Comment by Janice

Let’s be clear about the creators of the infamous CSCOPE curriculum.  A consortium of Texas regional collaboratives is very vague. There are 20 regional education service centers (ESCs). These 20 state agencies receive multi-millions of dollars of education grant money for the development of FREE PD materials and to Present FREE Professional Development workshops for Texas Educations. While the duty of each of the 20 ESCs is to provide educational services to the  school districts in their region, there are few to no free programs offered and the quality of those offered do not all meet the standards of the grant providing the funding.

The ESCs are providing fewer services to school districts and developing more products to sell. In other words, the 20 Texas Education Service Centers have employees paid by the state, but are functioning as vendors. Their primary “Money Cow” product is CSCOPE. What hold do the ESCs have over school districts like Hays ISD that they continue to pay the ESCs for CSCOPE when Texas Senator Patrick announced that the CSCOPE lessons are to be deleted–gone forever?

Lessons contained in the system, which is completely online,  raised a flag with legislators and others last year when they learned those lessons were not reviewed and approved by the Texas State Board of Education. All school textbooks are required to undergo an extensive review process. CSCOPE lessons, which about 75 percent of Texas public schools use, were not subjected to that kind of review.

Comment by Janice

The 20 Texas Education Service Centers know all the loopholes in Texas Education codes. Thus, by getting someone at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to classify the CSCOPE instruction material  as a supplementary material, the CSCOPE Instruction Materials  did not have to be reviewed by the Texas State Board of Education. Yes! The Texas Education Service Centers managed to put instruction materials that not even parents were allowed to view into about 75 % of Texas Schools. Why would any school administrator risk their careers to continue to purchase such controversial materials?  

Knowing all this, Hays ISD is subscribing to CSCOPE again. Why? 

However, new state rules for CSCOPE prevent its subscribers from using the product to function as a district’s curriculum. Instead, CSCOPE can only be used as a curriculum management tool, which was its original intent. The lessons will no longer be included. As a result, the cost of the subscription went down from $113,000 to $60,000 for Hays CISD. Last school year, the district paid $96,000 after discounts and credits.

Comment by Janice

There are no state regulations that prevent school districts from using the CSCOPE lessons. You can confirm this with Barbara Cargill, chairperson of the State Board of Education. The bills passed only affect the 20 ESCs, not school districts. The ESCs pulled off a very cunning and premeditated deal with Senator Patrick. Since the senator chose not to seek counsel during the bargaining meetings and the very crafty ESC CSCOPE representatives made a deal comparable to selling the senator lakeside property in the Sahara Desert.

The CSCOPE Curriculum management tool has always included lessons. The management tool amounts to training administrators to be monitors. Superintendents in the past had a doctorate degree, I guess one doesn’t need the extra schooling if they are only monitors.

The  CSCOPE Curriculum Managing System original promotion was for all Texas Schools to have a common language. This doesn’t mean English—instead the objective was for each teacher to be doing basically the same thing as all other Texas teachers for a specific grade and subject. Thus, a 5th grade student moving from Dallas to El Paso would leave one school and enter the other and be on the same page as students in his new school.

A Slide from a CSCOPE administration training that vilifies veteran teachers. Veteran teachers reported this idea as unrealistic and that teachers were being micromanaged and encouraged to be scripted CSCOPE robots. Do you recall these teachers being labeled as being lazy and not wanting to get on board with the NEW 21st Century technology education? 

The Number 5 slide for a CSCOPE Managing training session for school administrators identifies veteran teachers as being negative and resistant to the CSCOPE program. Many veteran Texas teachers have retired early and resigned. But its not just veteran teachers who are fleeing CSCOPE schools. In Marlin ISD, twenty five of the thirty high school teachers resigned in May, 2013. A Marlin school board member explains that the new superintendent told the board to expect resistance to his new program. DUH! Does anyone remember a historical figure who killed those who resisted his new program–That what was that little guy’s name. You know, he had a goofy patch of hair under his nose. He had some kind of contagious disease, much like tourettes. The whole country was infected. The symptoms were to have the right arm raised and extended and a curse screamed—-What was it they said? …. I remember it was HELL! Hitler! 

Hays CISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Kimberly Pool asked the board to approve renewing the district’s CSCOPE subscription contract at a cost of $60,000. She brought in four teachers from Simon Middle School and two from Pfluger Elementary School to speak about the benefits of using CSCOPE. No teachers who oppose the program spoke at the board meeting. Pool also said district administrators want to keep CSCOPE.

Comment by Janice

Subscription to CSCOPE? It is no longer a fee per student. Must admit this sounded like counting cattle for an auction. Subscription fee give the false impression that the school district enjoyed and benefited from the product and are subscribing again. Instead, the school board is being railroaded into rubber stamping what the administration wants.

“Campus leaders unanimously said, ‘keep it,’” she said.

REALLY!! Why didn’t they attend the board meeting and speak for themselves?

No campus administrators spoke to the board about their opinions on the curriculum management tool.

Why didn’t this make the Hays School Board question the intent of Kimberly Pool?
Is the Hays School Board being threatened in some way by Kimberly Pool so that they must do what she says?

Board member Meredith Keller asked Pool about those who do not think CSCOPE is the best product.

“We didn’t hear from the detractors – what are we doing for them?” she asked.

Comment by Janice

I’ll tell you what administrators in Marlin ISD did for those who didn’t approve of the CSCOPE lessons and especially the CSCOPE micromanaging–the administration made teaching impossible. So, 25 out of 30 high school teachers resigned. Teachers also left in other grades. 

Veteran teachers are encouraged to leave. Anyone who will not give up thoughts of being a creative teacher must go. Teachers who will not basically goose-step to the CSCOPE pied piper’s tune must go. In time, only teachers who will mindlessly present scripted lessons on schedule will be teaching children in Texas public schools. 

School boards, such as in Hays ISD and Marlin ISD as well as others who could care less about the education of students are at fault. These groups hire superintendents. These groups have the power to make sure children have quality instruction materials, quality teachers, and quality administrators. 

Keller also questioned Pool on whether Hays CISD could purchase another curriculum, from, for example, Fort Bend ISD, the former district of newly minted superintendent Mike McKie. That district does not use CSCOPE.

Comment by Janice

I applaud Meredith Keller for trying. I wish she had voted no. I wish she had rounded up parents to support her. 

Pool responded, saying she thinks staying the course is the best option.

WOW! Will Kimberly Pool be making all the decisions for the new superintendent?

McKie said he wants teachers to be candid in their assessment of the product. “Does CSCOPE add value to the day in the life of a teacher?” he asked. He did not offer a means by which teachers or administrators should provide such feedback.

Comment by Janice

Obviously the teachers do not trust the Hays administration. They have learn that administrators are not interested in the education of students. What reward is there for administrators who continue to “subscribe” to CSCOPE? Ms. Pool has shown that she will do anything to make sure the school continues to subscribe. 

The Hays ISD School Board approved the motion to renew the CSCOPE subscription 7-0.

Comment by Janice

I hope everyone in the Hays ISD community will ask themselves these questions?

1. Why did the Hays school board vote for CSCOPE before getting feedback from teachers?

2. Since Kimberly Pool is the instruction administrator, why did she need to bring teachers to support her? The instruction administrator should be representing the entire staff, not just teachers who agree with her. Were the four teachers the only four in the district that support CSCOPE? 

4. Has Kimberly Pool given orders for the 2012-2013 CSCOPE lessons and other content to be saved prior to Aug. 31, 2013? 

Does it make sense that Kimberly Pool has gone to extremes to have CSCOPE renewed? Did the Hays School Board asked what the school will be receiving for the $60,000.00? No lessons. 
What exactly is the CSCOPE Managing System? Was this explained by Kimberly Pool?

The Hays School Board voted for CSCOPE last year and received lessons that were so bad that the ESC CSCOPE collaborative selling these lessons willingly agreed to deleting this material. It would have cost them a great deal of money to have every lesson in K-12 revised.

The ESC CSCOPE collaborative have fought to keep the CSCOPE lessons, much like Brer Rabbit begged, “Please don’t throw me in the Briar Patch.” Brer Rabbit and the CSCOPE representatives were both using reverse psychology. Brer Rabbit was happy to be in the briar patch and the CSCOPE representatives no longer have the responsibility of the CSCOPE lessons. They are happily giving schools a bargain basement deal for resubscribing to CSCOPE.  

Read more at the Hays Free Press

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