Patrick/Campbell SB #1406

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AUSTIN— Senator Donna Campbell has joined Senator Dan Patrick as author of SB 1406 that will enact significant reforms of CSCOPE.

CSCOPE, is a teaching management tool with lesson plans that have come under scrutiny with parents, teachers, and legislators over the past year. In February, Senator Patrick conducted a Senate Education Committee hearing with CSCOPE representatives that exposed problems including a lack of management oversight, a lack of transparency, questionable lesson plans, and troubling legal documents.

Since the hearing, Senator Patrick was able to get CSCOPE to agree to the following:

1. Begin the process of closing down the non-profit corporation controlling CSCOPE.

2. Immediately open up all meetings to the public.

3. Begin the process of turning over lessons for review by the SBOE. The first set of lesson plans will be social study lesson plans

4. Begin to put lesson plans on the CSCOPE website and make them easy to locate and read.

5. Establish an oversight board comprised in part by both parents and non-parents.

Senator Patrick and Campbell have filed SB 1406 in order to ensure these reforms are placed in statute. “The agreed-to reforms were a step in the right direction, but they still have much to do and need to do it sooner than later,” said Senator Patrick.

“If they don’t get their act together soon, they run the risk of having the entire program shut down,” said Senator Campbell.

“No educational curriculum should ever leave parents in the dark. This bill ensures parents have access to the material and that it’s correct, credible, and consistent with what Texans want taught in our schools,” Sen. Campbell said. “CSCOPE must go through the same rigorous review process as our textbooks.”

“My recommendation is that CSCOPE remove itself from supplying lesson plans to school districts and go back to the original mission of the supplying a management tool for teachers to keep them on pace to teach the TEKS as required,” said Patrick. “If they continue to supply lesson plans that are flawed, incorrect, or raise concerns about content, they risk closure of the entire program.

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Texas Legislature Online – SB 1406 – Sen. Donna Campbell, Sen. Dan Patrick:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB1406

By: Patrick, Campbell S.B. No. 1406

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to State Board of Education oversight of regional education service center services and products concerning student curriculum.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subchapter B, Chapter 8, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 8.0531 to read as follows:

Sec. 8.0531. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION OVERSIGHT OF CURRICULUM-RELATED SERVICES AND PRODUCTS. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter or Section 8.001(c), the State Board of Education shall maintain oversight and direction of the activities of a regional education service center, acting alone or in collaboration with one or more other regional education service centers, concerning:

(1) any service or product related to student curriculum, or;

(2) integration of instructional materials with curriculum management materials for delivery of instructional materials and related materials or aids to enable public access, including parental access, in accordance with Section 26.006.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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Comments

  1. CSCOPE in and of itself is not the problem with Texas education. If you feel that it is, then your district is implementing it incorrectly and needs to review their own policies. CSCOPE is is intended to be a scope and sequence, a timeline (YAG) in which to follow so that TEKS are covered at appropriate intervals. CSCOPE does not require that you use the lessons, or even follow the YAG. It is a system intended to provide a curriculum that can be used if no other options are available. The exemplar lessons are only available for use if you, as a teacher, have nothing better in your own collection of lessons. If your district requires you follow the exemplar lessons, they need to realize that this is a flawed idea. Cscope is not the problem, your administrators are mismanaging a system that was not intended to totally replace other viable systems. It was only intended to augment what we have and use. (And btw…your district doesn’t have to buy it if you don’t like it. It isn’t a state adopted curriculum.)

    On the other hand, I agree that this bill will provide something that CSCOPE needs; additional oversight and review (this should not be read that they have done anything wrong, I just feel that any curriculum needs oversight).

    The problem with education lies in policies put in place related to teacher accountability, emphasis on state level testing that has no realistic connection to real world expectations or skills, and budget cuts that have crippled what many schools are capable of doing for our children. We are making test takers, not real world contributers. We need policy makers that understand that our children are not a resource that can be measured with the same expectations across the board. We need an education agency that understands that the testing we require of our children now is out of hand in more than just quantity. It is beyond the scope of what brain development research has proven most children are even capable of doing. We need voters that understand that not funding education is cutting out the foundation from us all. You will one day depend on the children in school for your own survival.

  2. That’s great…but reform isn’t the answer. CSCOPE has to go away, if we are to have any chance at fixing Texas education.