Superintendents Have Taken Control of Texas Schools
School board members are being trained by TASB (a private organization that your school board members use school taxes to pay their dues.) to bow to the wishes of school superintendents.
Many superintendents are being controlled by TASA, a private organization that your superintendent uses school taxes to pay his/her membership fees. (Ask about the amount of school taxes paid to TASA and TASB.)
Assuming this is true for your school, in the most positive way possible, inform these administrators about CSCOPE. If nothing else, ask that this curriculum not be purchased until proof that it is the very best instruction material available.
Following is a letter filled with information to introduce to your community. Then, encourage them to contact the school superintendent and each school board member. Assume these people have been deceived and need information about CSCOPE.
Originally sent: Monday, April 8, 2013 11:20 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor,Perhaps, as I have over the last several years, you’ve had the “ain’t it awful” discussionwith family and friends, about the fact that schools are not teaching multiplication tables,but are teaching “fuzzy math”, and that they are not using phonics, the proven system forteaching reading, but are using “sight reading”, and that teaching cursive writing is “oldschool” and no longer necessary in this modern technical age.I have many friends and family members who are teachers or have retired from the teach-ing profession. I have seen the many extra hours and effort that dedicated teachers put intopreparing interesting and effective lessons that enriched and complemented their textbookswhich, while not perfect, were written by experienced educators, geared to grade level,and approved by our elected State Board of Education.CSCOPE HAS Contributed to Failing SchoolsAccording to the Texas Education Agency, 315,000 students are attending failing schoolsin Texas. Why, since CSCOPE was introduced in Texas, has the number of AcademicallyUnacceptable schools nearly doubled, from 267 campuses in 2006, to 496 campuses in2011?Why have MFISD schools gone from “Recognized” in 2010, to “Acceptable” in2011, according to Americans for Prosperity’s “Red Apple Project”? All this has occurredwhile total educational spending in Texas has risen at a rate five times as fast as enrollment
between schools years 99-00 and 08-09 according to the Texas Comptroller.
CSCOPE isbeing used by 80% of Texas public schools, and the average cost is $7 to $9 per year per
student. See more information on the first Senate hearing on CSCOPE atThe second hearing by the Texas Senate Education Committee on April 2nd, dealt withCSCOPE and SB1406 which would give the elected members of the State Board of Educationoversight over CSCOPE. Many observers believe that the introduction of CSCOPE is an“end run”, used to get around it’s forerunner, Common Core, which was wisely rejected byour Governor. Common Core would have transferred control of Texas school curriculums to theU.S. Department of Education, which most observers agree has over the years spent tons of moneywhich could have been better spent in the classroom.After watching nearly 6 hours of testimony from dozens of witnesses testifying pro and conon CSCOPE, I came away with an evaluation of CSCOPE that is basically the same as wasnoted by veteran Texas teacher Donna Garner, who now writes for Education Views. Sheposted a very concise summary of her notes from the six hour hearing entitled“CSCOPE HEARING: Two Sides of the Coin”.Mrs. Garner concludes, “Basically two groups of people testified today. One group was madeup of school administrators and school boards who think they cannot live without CSCOPE.They claim that it is a much-needed management tool and that their districts cannot possiblyafford the expense of writing their own curriculum. Hence, CSCOPE is the answer to all oftheir problems! Never mind that qualified teachers have always been able to write their ownexcellent lesson plans for eons.”The other group was made up of the parents and the citizens of Texas who are concernedwith the many very troubling aspects of CSCOPE, such as is Mary Bowen, a 30 yearmaster’s level teacher, with a specialty in curriculum and instruction. Mrs. Bowen insiststhat CSCOPE can’t be fixed, and sites the growing number of failing schools in Texas. Shesays “It’s a paper factory, with all lessons printed in black and white. With a textbook, ourcontent is written by professors in the subject, and geared to the specific grade level …they are packed with beautiful graphics and illustrations that the children love.”Mrs. Garner continues. “The first group seemed more concerned about CSCOPE givingthem a system to micromanage classroom teachers while the latter group talked about theirconcerns over what their children and other Texas children are actually learning in the CSCOPE lessons.In other words, the first group was concerned about control, while the latter group was focused on students’ learning and the damage done to children’s vulnerable minds from being taught erroneous and sometimes biased CSCOPE lessons. (Emphasis added.)It is important to point out that all of the many school administrators who came to testifywere getting paid for their mileage, meals, time away from school, and overnight accom-modations. The parents and the public who came to testify did so on their own dime. Theytook off work or left their families to drive to Austin. If I were a Texas Senator, I would take muchmore seriously the concerns of those people with no vested interests.”Most of the school administrators had been misinformed about the bill and thought it was abill to take local control away from their districts.State Senator Donna Cambell explained that legislators appropriate tax dollars for educationand are accountable:( 1) to make sure those funds are spent efficiently and(2) to see that an adequate education is provided for Texas’ public school students.Senator Campbell also said that since CSCOPE is fraught with many errors and had been so shrouded in secrecy, a light needed to be shined on it. She said “SB 1406 does not take away local control.It makes sure that legislators are held accountable for the funds that are entrusted to them by the taxpayers”.In conclusion, if CSCOPE was misrepresented to them, or if any school board members and/oradministrators were unduly pressured into using CSCOPE, those things need to be dealt with afterthe use of CSCOPE is discontinued, and before more hard-earned taxpayer money is spent on aproduct of very questionable quality and motives. More information at;has-foisted-on-public-school-
students/We cannot put personal egos ahead of what is best for our children. They are our country’s future.Elaine BandyKingsland