Hudson’s Superintendent , Mary Ann Whiteker Attacks Texas Education Patriots.
Texas Education Patriots, made up of teachers, parents, and other patriots have been investigating CSCOPE. This group has found enough evidence that has warranted the senate education committee to investigate the CSCOPE lessons and to have the Texas Attorney General investigate any illegal actions by the TESCCC, the group responsible for CSCOPE. The following is an article written by Mary Ann Whiteker attacking these patriots. The indented bold type are comments that I made in response to Ms. Whiteker’s statements. Janice VanCleave
The Attack Against CSCOPE
By Mary Ann Whiteker
Apr 10, 2013, 08:35
Ms. Witeker says:
Wikipedia defines McCarthyism as the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence.
It also means “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism”.
Is Whiteker referring to complaints about the CSCOPE lesson of having students design a socialist flag for a new socialists country?
Or maybe the lesson in which the CSCOPE script calls for the teacher to identify the Boston Tea Party as an act of terrorism?
What is unfair about trying to view lessons being taught to students in public school?
The superintendent of Decatur ISD sold access to the CSCOPE lessons online to a parent for $92.00. How fair is this?
Its origin (McCarthyism) , known as the “Second Red Scare” was characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions.
Whiteker is making reference that parents and those in her community as well as others in Texas as being overly concerned about the communist references in CSCOPE. Whiteker and all other superintendents who purchased the unvetted supplementary material called CSCOPE did not review the CSCOPE lessons prior to the purchase.
These superintendents guarded the lessons and did not allow parents to view them until forced to do so by the senate education committee. Why? Why are these superintendents defending this curriculum? If parents are not happy with CSCOPE, why not use the FREE Statewide Professional Development Initiatives that were developed by TEA and the 20 ESCs in 2009. Thirty Two million–yes, $32,000,000 dollars was provided for the development of instructions that aided teachers in understanding the new K-12 TEKS in every subject. Teachers were even paid to attend these workshops. Some teachers were required to attend. Why didn’t every superintendent require teachers to attend these meetings, then with textbooks, teachers would have the tools to prepare their students to understand all the TEKS concepts. Teachers attending these PD workshops could with their school schedule design their own scope and sequence. Instead, superintendents purchased CSCOPE.
“McCarthyism” soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations.
Whiteker is spending time researching Wikipedia when she should be meeting with parents and teachers to address their concerns. If parents have accusations about CSCOPE, instead of searching through Wikepedia, I suggest that CSCOPE lessons be made available so that they can be reviewed and discussed. It is the lack of transparency that sets off alarms that superintendents, such as Ms. Whiteker are trying to hide something.
There is nothing unsubstantiated about TASA’s objective of implementing common core in Texas schools when the governor turned down the federal government’s money linked to common core. It appears that Ms. Whiteker and other TASA members have an agenda that doesn’t align with the education direction of TEA.
American history reflects an earlier similar episode known as the Salem Witch Trials. This was one of the most notorious cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of extremism, false accusations and lapses in due process.
Is Ms Whiteker accusing the TAG, the senate Ed committee, and the SBOE of lapses in due process?
Ms. Whiteker and other superintendents are refusing to respect parents who have been made aware of potential problems in the schools where their children are spending a large % of their waking hours. It is the fault of Ms. Whiteker and others with comparable lack of respect for teachers, students, parents and the community by not having the courtesy to listen with an open mind. Like the CSCOPE parent portal, which states, “The administration and teachers know what students need to learn.”, Ms. Whiteker’s comments indicate that she makes the decision for her staff and wants no input. I hope that parents and others in the Hudson community are able to convince Ms. Whiteker that the most successful superintendents are those who seek advice from others and encourage parent and community involvement.
But at this time, Whiteker is lumping everyone that has concerns about CSCOPE under one heading–Extremist. Whiteker and other superintendents standing back to back defending CSOPE have to have some purpose for this loyalty to a curriculum product. According to Wade Lebay, the state CSCOPE director, CSCOPE is just an example for school districts to use in writing their own scopes and sequences. This voids the idea that CSCOPE is saving school districts money. Schools have access to the FREE Statewide Professional Development Initiatives that give descriptions for K-12 TEKS in every subject. Why not use this free material instead of CSCOPE? The CSCOPE lessons are under investigation. Why would Whiteker take the chance of defending CSCOPE, have teachers use the CSCOPE lessons that have errors when this makes her legally responsible for any and all children that do not pass the STAARs?
Why are superintendents putting themselves in such a position? Is the reward for superintendents great enough that they risk the possibility of being discredited in court?
I begin my article with these two events due to a similar hysteria that has targeted our twenty Education Service Centers (ESCs) of Texas over a curriculum management system known as CSCOPE.
What is a curriculum management system?
This story should be a success story of how 870 public school districts , average enrollment of 2000 students, working together created a 21st century curriculum based on the state mandated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
Ms.Whiteker is not revealing the fact that she and other administrators in the 870 schools bought Cscope when there was a free PD prepared by the same 20 ESCs that produced CSCOPE. Rider 42 provided $32 million dollars to develop this material.
What part did Whiteker have in the development of CSCOPE?
What part did the 2000 students have in the development of CSCOPE?
The CSCOPE 21st century curriculum is online and until recently not available to be viewed by parents. Because the senate education committee demanded that the CSCOPE lessons be made available to parents, after four months, a few lessons in each grade and subject are now online. But to see all the lessons that are being taught in each specific grade, parents are being asked to pay $515.00 per grade for copies of CSCOPE lessons. Online access to CSCOPE lessons costs $91.00 per grade.
CSCOPE curriculum/lesson plans were created by master “Texas” teachers, not a textbook company, not a testing company, and not a private, for-profit vendor.
Ms. Whiteker needs to identify these master teachers. Why are textbooks vilified?A testing company is used for the CSCOPE assessments. The TESCCC was created to be a private vendor.
How is it that Ms. Whiteker knows that master teachers wrote the CSCOPE lessons when Wade Lebay, state CSCOPE director doesn’t know who wrote the lessons.
Multiple resources, including digital resources, were integrated into the curriculum, with suggested lessons that proved to be extremely beneficial to less experienced teachers.
Ms. Whiteker is not as familiar with CSCOPE as she should be. This seems to be true of most superintendents. They purchased CSCOPE instead of using the free Statewide Professional Development Initiative programs that would provide teachers with information to develop their own scope and sequence. This PD program was developed and ready by the summer of 2009.
Since the ESCs also prepares the scope and sequence for CSCOPE, when were they able to work on CSCOPE? Is it possible that the CSCOPE scope and sequences are the same as those prepared for the Statewide Professional Development Initiative programs?
The (CSCOPE) framework allowed districts and staff to integrate localized lessons within the scope and sequence of the system.
What is this framework that is better than the free information provided by the State Professional Development Initiatives so that teachers would have the tools to develop their own scope and sequences.
Approximately 50% of the charter schools (i.e. KIPP Academy, UT Charter School, Bannockburn Christian Academy and the Texas School for the Deaf) also use CSCOPE. Private schools, such as Catholic Diocese of Austin, Wichita Christian, Hyde Park Baptist and Cornerstone Christian Academy use SCOPE.
Since only superintendents made the decision to purchase CSCOPE. Now that parents are finding out what is being taught to their children, superintendents are trying to discredit those revealing the content of CSCOPE.
What is my point??? CSCOPE and our ESCs have been accused of promoting non-Christian and unpatriotic values based on a couple of lessons that were taken out of context, the targeted lessons were based on state standards created and approved by the State Board of Education. Due to several districts refusing to purchase another “new” curriculum, the creators of this “new curriculum” began a mass media blitz misrepresenting two lessons that addressed the state required curriculum standards.
When school superintendents had higher standards, they would not have purchased anything that had even one lesson promoting non-Christian values or even one lesson with unpatriotic values. Now, Ms. Whiteker is excusing these types of lessons since there were on a couple of lessons expressing non-Christian and unpatriotic values. She explains that these were taken out of context. With higher standards, these lessons would not be acceptable even if TEA expressly dictated that such concepts be taught. CSCOPE is in our schools because those posing to be state employees created and sold CSCOPE to the schools they were hired to provide a service to. But the bottom line is that CSCOPE is in a school because superintendents purchased this K-12 supplementary material that was never vetted.
Districts are mandated to teach the major religions of the worlds and the beliefs of those religions.
Ms. Whiteker, I’ve reviewed other social studies lessons on religion and they do not have the biased views presented in CSCOPE.
Districts are mandated to teach heroism and terrorism.
Ms. Whiteker no one objects to the teaching of American heroes, and the terrorist acts on the US. The problem is that CSCOPE presents the reverse. American as terrorists? Our students need to view everything from the point of being an American.
CSCOPE curriculum units have designed lessons that explore these standards, allowing students to investigate, compare/contrast, and analyze perspectives based on cultural influences. Example, the Boston Tea Party was perceived as an act of heroism from an American’s point of view; however, patriots of England considered this an act of terrorism.
Ms. Whiteker, as previously stated, American students are to see everything from the point of being an American. If we have made mistakes, then recognize it. But do not teach our children to view 911 or the Boston Tea Party through the eyes of our enemy.
Islam, one of the major religions of the world, believes their God is the only God. These are the 2 excerpts taken out of context of the instructional units that have resulted in mass social media messages from those wanting to sell “their curriculum”, accusing the writers of CSCOPE and the ESCs of treason and promoting the Islam religion! As of last week, a superintendent received threatening emails because the district was using CSCOPE.
Please identify the superintendent and print the threatening emails. This is not the kind of actions that benefits our students.
I will be contacting Ms. Whiteker directly for information about the person, company or group wanting to sell their own curriculum. I personally am not aware of such a curriculum. If there is such a curriculum, then Wade Lebay and other CSCOPE directors gave false information to the state comptroller, Susan Comb. Ms. Comb has reported that according to CSCOPE directors, there is no other comparable curriculum.
Hudson ISD was not one of the first districts to embrace the curriculum; however, the revised state standards and new state assessment system demanded a new curriculum.
Ms. Whiteker is correct. The new TEKS demand a new curriculum. Thus, the 81st legislature provided $32 million dollars via rider 42 for all 2o ESCs to create the Statewide Professional Development Initiatives and to provide face-to-face instructions for K-12 teachers in every subject. Also, online information was prepared for those who could not attend the workshops. According to an instructor of these workshops, teachers left with copies of instructions that teachers could use along with the school calendar to develop their own scope and sequence for the subjects taught. This was free. For the first workshops, as an incentive to attend, teachers were paid a stipend. Some principals required teachers to attend.
Why did superintendents purchase CSCOPE when there was free information that was and still is available?
CSCOPE offers a well-designed curriculum framework that is vertically aligned to the state standards (NOT the Federal Core Standards as inaccurately reported), the state assessment system and 21st century life-long learning goals.
Where are the life-long learning goals in CSCOPE?
CSCOPE insures the appropriate skills are taught in specific grades using multiple resources. The instructional focus is college and career readiness at all levels. School districts have the flexibility of using the curriculum as a sole source or as an alignment framework – CSCOPE lessons/units optional.
Ms. Whiteker, you are really incorrect about the appropriate skills being taught in specific grades. I know that this is not true. Lessons contradicting this were reported to the senate education committee. I will post them on this website so that you will know that CSCOPE doesn’t meet this expectation.
CSCOPE is a learning curve for classroom instruction. It is not driven by one textbook or worksheets. It embraces multiple resources, integration of technology and higher order thinking skills.
Ms. Whiteker, CSCOPE doesn’t provide any technology for students. In fact, CSCOPE doesn’t provide any resource information for students. CSCOPE is only for teachers.
Similar to purchased curriculum there are mistakes within the lessons, those are reported and corrected.
Doesn’t happen. This was part of the testimony given to the senate education committee.
It is a proprietary curriculum and shares the same protection as other vendors’ products; one must purchase to access the content. The cost is based on the enrollment of the district.
Ms. Whiteker is typing part of the CSCOPE promotion material. She is behind. The senate education committee has forced the TESCCC to post CSCOPE lessons on a website that can be accessed by parents. There are only a few selected lessons there now. But, in Decatur, parents are able to purchase copies of CSCOPE lessons for a fee of $515.00 per grade. Or, for $91.oo per grade for online access to the lessons.
Parents can view the content of a lesson at a parent meeting; however, giving parents free access to the lesson plans and tests would destroy the validity of the assessments and negatively impact the intent of the instructional lessons. Districts sign affidavits, comparable to those required by the state for STAAR testing, to protect the integrity of the system.
Ms. Whiteker must have missed the update from CSCOPE. The integrity of CSCOPE is being questioned by the senate education committee.
The attack against the supporters and users of CSCOPE may well become the first step toward the state assuming total control of all curriculum and lesson plans for all districts. A bill has been filed to begin this process. The CSCOPE issue targets the 870 smaller, midsize districts in the state. Urban, suburban districts – your “locally developed curriculum” may be next!
Ms. Whiteker and other superintendents standing back to back defending CSCOPE even though ample evidence has been revealed to warrant them taking another look at what they bought. Why isn’t Ms. Whiteker concerned about the information being revealed? Why isn’t Ms. Whiteker setting CSCOPE aside until it can be evaluated? Why is Ms. Whiteker taking chances with the minds of the children in her school? Why is Ms. Whiteker attacking those who are trying to help? These helpers, such as myself, are spending their own time, their own money to make copies for the senate education committee. We are retired teachers. Some of us are authors and we have been vilified by CSCOPE directors and now by Ms. Whiteker. Not one person that I know of has tried to sell a competing curriculum to school districts. Since this is being repeated stated, I am asking Ms. Whiteker to identify the name of the person, or persons that have offered curriculum that competes with CSCOPE. I will be contacting Ms. Whiteker directly and will report this information as soon as possible.