Tx Renowned Science Author Banned

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Janice VanCleave, renowned science author.

As a science writer, I work with many educators and online curriculum companies. I’ve written 50+ science activity books for kids and educators, thus I can say without being immodest that I understand the basics of science. Since the content of my books cover all the topics taughtin elementary science, I can with confidence claim to be an expert in elementary science.

Some of my books are translated into fifteen different languages. Google my name and you will find over one hundred thousands sources.

I am not much on tooting my own horn, but the CSCOPE directors are not taking me serious. They have banned me from viewing the CSCOPE lessons. This has made me even more curious about what this group, called the TESCCC, is hiding. What are in the CSCOPE lessons that not even parents can view.

Teachers are anonumously supplying me with copies of the CSCOPE lessons and assessments because they are concerned about the education of their students. They have good reason to be concerned. The CSCOPE lessons are poorly written and many are incorrect or misleading.

Since CSCOPE lessons are not transparent, how do you know they align with the TEKS.

  • CSCOPE lessons do not align with the TEKS.
  • CSCOPE lessons do not have the rigor required by TEA. I say they do not.

Parents: Your school administrators are not telling you the truth about CSCOPE. This is an unapproved supplementary material. It has nothing to do with the state. It is all about the money. Text book funds are being used to RENT CSCOPE each year. Listen up! CSCOPE is online and your superintendent is paying $7.00 to $10.00 per student each year just to view the material. NOTE: CSCOPE has never been evaluated.

I’ve reported errors in the CSCOPE lessons, such as how gravity affects the motion of objects.

When it comes to the effects of gravity, I have more experience than most educators. Few have had the opportunity to investigate changes in gravity due to the flight path of the NASA’s “Vomit Comit,” a plane that had been used to train astronauts and later was used for zero gravity investigations.

Prior to and after this flight, I spent time researching the effects of gravity and have a very good understanding of its effects.

NASA's astronauts train in what some call the Vomit Comet, an airplane that via its flight path simulates zero gravity.

But, what do I know?

CSCOPE has mystery authors as well as mystery science experts who are never identified. The CSCOPE science experts make the decisions about the science being taught to Texas children in CSCOPE schools. They use no science books, so kids are at the mercy of CSCOPE mystery science experts.

The CSCOPE assessment are the worst example of testing I’ve ever viewed. Not only do the questions often not relate to the lessons, but the answers are incorrect or there are no answers.

For example, the fifth grade lesson on forces has no investigation related to gravity. But one of the assessments is all about the effects of gravity of an object on a ramp. As is too often done, the assessment question is not grade appropriate. See for your self the errors in a CSCOPE 5th grade force assessment for two consecutive years. This give you proof that  CSCOPE directors do not improve the CSCOPE instruction material— Not even when errors are pointed out to them.  While I am not wasting time sending in errors, I will do what I can to publish the errors and corrections.

If CSCOPE directors were interested in education they would be encouraging veteran teachers and experts in education to identify errors in the CSCOPE instruction materials. Instead, veteran teachers as well as experts in specific subjects are vilified by the administrators and CSCOPE directors.

CSCOPE proudly gives credit to Hummanist, Linda Darling-Hammond as being one of CSCOPES Professional Developers. Actually I am being nice. I was courted so to speak by CSCOPE directors and encouraged to work with them. I could have been a CSCOPE consultant, maybe even have my name listed along with atheist Linda Darling-Hammond and Marxist Lev Vygotsky     —YIKES! For this degradation of my name, I had to sign a gag-order promising never to reveal the content of CSCOPE. After viewing some of the CSCOPE lessons, I can understand why authors of CSCOPE material do not want their names published. I passed on this offer. Instead, asked and received from teachers CSCOPE lessons. They are much worse than I ever thought possible. It is understandable that the CSCOPE directors do not want the public to view this material. It does not align with the TEKS and was never designed to do so.

As to rigor, not even TEA knows what this means, but CSCOPE claims to have it.

I originally requested copies of the CSCOPE lessons to help tutor elementary kids in Marlin ISD. This was about 14 months ago and these elementary kids still have no science or math text books. Nothing has changed. The school still uses CSCOPE, which provides no instructions for students. Technology–HA!!! CSCOPE has nothing for students except a list of websites, many site that parents would not allow their children to access at home.

How could I tutor kids when I had no clue what they were studying. Note that the Marlin elementary school has no failed the state tests six consecutive years. One would think help would be appreciated. Not so. In fact, Marsha Ridlehuber  the interim superintendent at the time was most unpleasant when I met with her. This woman looked me in the eyes and said that CSCOPE is copyrighted, thus CSCOPE lessons cannot be viewed by the public–not even parents.

Copyrighted? Was this woman crazy? No! She actually was getting away with this stupid answer. Of course she added what has been coined as CSCOPE Educanese, which are terms that have been made up by the CSCOPE directors. Basically, the CSCOPE Educaneze is used in an effort to intimidate some parents and make the news media think CSCOPE really has substance. But it doesn’t.

 All the Educaneze floating out of Ridlehuber’s mouth brought to mind Shana Twain’s song, “That Don’t Impress Me Much.”

 At this point I was not sure what was going on. Had the superintendent really said text books were not used because they don’t provide the rigor  required by the state standards? Instead, the online program called CSCOPE was being used and it had secret lessons because they were copy righted.  Thankfully the program director of Faith, Hope and Charity, an after school program, accompanied me to this meeting. Someone else heard this absurd conversation.

I asked Rhidlehuber how parents could find out what was being taught to their children. Ridlehuber said parents could visit their children’s classes if they wanted to know what was going on. What a pompous, rude response.

Having parents visit classroom in order to know what was being taught was a stupid suggestion, but one that I was happy to make happen. Thus, I ask what procedure parents needed to follow to schedule their visits. Obviously, Ridlehuber had made a tongue in cheek comment and now was forced to resend it. The answer was that parents have to have a FBI clearance to visit their children’s classrooms.

I was no longer interested in vollying stupid ideas around, but had every intention of viewing the CSCOPE lessons. I contacted the local Region Service Center, ESC-12 and spoke with Becky Bell, the CSCOPE director. Same response with a little extra added. As a published author, I am considered a vendor and can view the lessons if I sign a non-disclosure document stating I’ll not reveal what I see. Are these people crazy?

I felt liked I’d stepped in the Twilight Zone. “Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here.”

Janice is listening to President George Bush. Had I actually discussed Texas education with President George Bush? Yep! I was not sold on his idea of “No Child Left Behind.” It is not realistic to think that teachers can provide individualized instruction for every students. Especially now that children of all ability levels are mixed together in one class.

Obama’s Education catchy phrase is “Race to the Top.” CSCOPE and common core standards have embraced both slogans. With CSCOPE, a mandatory schedule is dreamed up by some unknown author. Teachers are forced to stick to this timeline. They are even rated low on performance if they don’t. CSCOPE directors have no clue if the schedule is doable. Education is not the objective. Instead, the objective is control. Control over the teachers so that they will do what they are told. Teach what they are told to teach, no questions asked. CSCOPE directors train administrators to view veteran teachers as being negative instead of listening to their constructive criticism of CSCOPE. Young teachers with no experience are easier to mold.

CSCOPE directors train administrators to view veteran teachers as being negative. A power point slide at an administration conference is shown.

The CSCOPE schedule is much like a race and many students fall behind. But, there is no time in the schedule to reteach. Stranglers are not left behind, instead teachers just carry on with the next lesson. According to CSCOPE directors, kids that don’t understand will eventually figure it all out and all the kids will cross the finish line together. YEA! This is the CSCOPE and TASA vision that all kids are equally educated.


Yep! The accelerated classes and basic skills classes will in time be one happy group, all functioning on the same level. Since CSCOPE promotes that education is more about experiences and how students feel about things than facts, this could happen. The US students would all be equally under-educated and easily controlled.

Are we there yet? Is this what you want for your children and grandchildren?

It didn’t make sense that public school lessons were not transparent to anyone. I contacted the state board of education, Commissioner of Educaton, Robert Scott and about everyone I could think of including Rob Eisler, who was chair of the state education committee.

In late January, 2012, Wade Lebay and Ed Vera, CSCOPE directors at Region 13 drove from Austin to Marlin, Tx to meet with me. Along with Becca Bell, Region 12 CSCOPE director, Rhidlehuber and the Marlin curriculum director, the five of them had planned for me to come alone and they would convince me how wonderful CSCOPE is.

I arrived with Ginger Russel, my daughter, and Earl Johnson, both members of the Woodland’s Tea Party. The CSCOPE group were shocked that I was not alone. They repeated several times, “We thought you would be alone!”

The CSCOPE grouped refused to allow the meeting to be video taped.

Ed Vera had brought a copy of one of my books and he asked me to sign it for a friend.  Soon after this meeting,  Ed sent a petition To the Texas Attorney General, TAG. In the petition Ed was asking the TAG to protect CSCOPE from me and other vendors who might write a competitive product if allowed to view the content of the CSCOPE instruction materials.

WHAT! One day I am autographing a book for the CSCOPE Instruction director, the state CSCOPE director, Wade Lebay was inviting me to join the CSCOPE team, and then they report me to the TAG as not being trustworthy.

Speaking of being trustworthy—Teachers are still reporting that some CSCOPE lessons are plagiarized. I was sent a section of a first grade CSCOPE weather lesson that is either plagiarized or someone forgot to credit the website the information was directly copied from –word-for-word. The lesson was quickly taken off the CSCOPE website when it was reported. Must have been time to retire this lesson, like the following Islamic power point.


Neither Wade Lebay, Ed Vega, nor Becca Bell from Region 12 didn’t have a clue what was in the CSCOPE lessons. Becca said other people read the lessons. Ginger pointed out the 25 colored power-point slides used to teach world history students about Allah and the Islamic religion. Lebay seemed genuinely surprised and within weeks I was contacted by Lebay that the slides were removed— Not because of the content of the slides, but as a general clearing out of older materials.

I assume this means that at any time comparable material may be again be part of the CSCOPE lessons for our children.

TASA–The Culprit

One selling point for CSCOPE is that 80% of the Texas school districts have purchased it. The CSCOPE directors point this out and use it as proof that CSCOPE is wonderful. NOT SO!   Our Texas superintendents know little to nothing about education, but they do understand perks if they follow the TASA leaders. TASA stands for Texas Association of School Administrators. With no shame or fear of consequences, in 2006, TASA published its education mission, which aligns with the Federal Governments take over plan for American Schools.

CSCOPE, which has the same socialist education philosophy being promoted by TASA, entered some Texas schools in 2006. At first, schools had to use local tax money to purchase CSCOPE. No problem, school board members are elected with the public thinking these members represent them. But, TASA took care of this problem. Via, TASB, Texas Association of School Boards, school board members have been trained? –coerced?– bribed? or made an offer they can’t refuse to allow the superintendent to make all the decisions.

Decisions, such as using local tax funds to pay for their TASA/TASB membership dues as well as finance TASA/TASB conferences. This amounts to tens of thousands of dollars for each school district.

Since TASA has rob schools of their local school taxes, there is money to pay lobbyists to deceive legislatures into proposing and passing legislation, such as Senate Bill 6. I am trying to understand how this happened. But hopefully giving superintendents the right to use student text book money to purchase unapproved materials, such as CSCOPE will be viewed as not being such a good idea. While superintendents do have to sign a statement that what they purchase provides instructions for every element of the TEKS.

BIG DEAL!! Who checks to see if this is true? NO ONE!

What happens if it can be proven that CSCOPE does not align with the TEKS? NOTHING! There is nothing on the record about punishment. The same is true with Thomas Ratliff who is a lobbyist and is serving on the State Board of Education. The TAG says it not legal. SO WHAT? Ratliff does what he pleases–why? Only law abiding people obey the law. If it is illegal, they don’t do it or if they do they expect to be punished. Not Ratliff. No punishment is on the books. Now this makes a great Texas History lesson for our kids.

Is this Ratliff’s Motto: “Do anything you want to as long as you can get away with it.”

Janice VanCleave is at the Geographic South Pole on a science discovery mission. I have gone to the Geographic South Pole, not because I like snow and ice. Instead, I was there doing experiment designed by students. This was an enrichment activity that any child regardless of where they live, age, ability, etc.. could be involved in. Sadly, if the project were being done now, CSCOPE teachers would not be allowed to be involved. They are being trained to do nothing that is not on the CSCOPE schedule and it must be done within the time frame that is set in stone.

Janice Barrow Alaska Janice snake Janice Screaming Prior to the hostile take over of Texas Public Schools by CSCOPE, authors, such as me presented special programs  to students. Programs that included activities, such as measuring how far the Geographic South Pole moves toward the ocean each year. Note in the picture above the poles in the distance. The first pole is marked with a green flag. This was the pole that marked where the south end of Earth’s axis exits Earth. The position of the axis doesn’t change, but the ice the pole is stuck in moves. A new pole is positioned each year.

The picture to the right shows me at the frozen edge of the Arctic Ocean on the coast of Barrow, Alaska.

I dislike what CSCOPE is doing to our schools. I plan to continue screaming about CSCOPE until someone listens. REALLY! Listens.

I want children to do more than make posters and tri-folds that are considered science investigations. I want kids to have opportunities to really learn by discovery.

CSCOPE and Common Core Standards are the same, just in different wrapping. If you don’t stop your superintendents they will give away our Texas schools to the Federal government.

Someone! Please look Governor Perry in the eyes and tell him that TASA is making him look stupid.

The TASA president is in Washington learning how to implement the federal governments Common Core standards in our Texas Schools. Will someone in Austin get the attention of Governor Perry and let him know that TASA has no concern about his statement that Common Core will not be used in Texas Schools. If Governor Perry doesn’t take action, our disloyal school superintendents will have common core filling the CSCOPE framework by fall of 2013. CSCOPE directors have already lined up the online text book and resource materials to sell to schools to support the common core standards.

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  1. I agree with STE about the credibility of the author. I have taught secondary science for grades 6-high school in 6 different districts in Texas for 30+ years and I have never heard of Janice VanCleave. I did google her name and looked at some of her products and didn’t recognize any of them. I even emailed the 623 science contacts that I have across the state and could find no one who knew of her or her work. These 623 contacts were from the elementary and secondary level. Maybe I just don’t know the right folks? However, since I know what is best for the students in my classroom and I carefully review any materials that I use in my classroom to make certain that the materials are aligned with the TEKS, I will review Cscope myself. I do not believe in blindly “following along” with anyone’s opinion.

    • Hi,
      Obviously my credibility as an author is in question.
      My local school district and ESC do know me. They are aware of the number of books that I have published
      and the number of foreign translations. It doesn’t necessarily make me more knowledgeable about science,
      but adding in 27 years of teaching high school science does give me some credibility.

      I hope that you do review the CSCOPE lessons very thoroughly because now that the CSCOPE Vendor is no
      longer allowed to sell the CSCOPE lessons, using them will make teachers very legally responsible.

      I am also very glad that your school allows you to make such decisions.
      WOW! 623 science contacts across the state of Texas?
      Would you and your contacts be interested in contributing science ideas to kids?
      I would like to encourage science teachers and kids to ask questions about science and have
      knowledgeable teachers, such as yourself and science friends help answer them.

  2. I am not certain where the validation for your opinion comes from, STE. Van Cleave does not claim to have been a grammar teacher. I know doctors in many fields, as well as engineers, teachers, etc., who can not spell at all. The typos are an unfortunate distraction, but do not undermine the credentials of the author, which are impressive – if you take the time to check them out.

    I am an educator (and spelling bee winner) who will support everything that has been said here, if spelling is what is most important to you.

    • BS
      Thanks for defending me.
      While I am not the best speller–I too often make mistakes on this website because of the vast amount of work being done in short periods of time.

      Grammar teacher—-HA!!! I am the one that marked words on the teacher test so that I’d not misspell words for the writing section of the exam. I advise students that also have the same problem to do the same. This means that I did not use a dictionary for anything. So I was allowed to keep the exam booklet open. As a science teachers, I was tested over whether I could properly spell, put commas in the correct place. It seemed only fair that ELAR teachers should have to take a science exam–ha. Just kidding. It encourages me to encourage kids to learn as much as possible about everything–especial ELAR.

      Again, thanks for your support.
      Check the new plan. Give me your opinion and suggestions. http://www.txcscopereview.com/2013/action-plan-to-remove-cscope/

  3. If this were a reliable educator giving her opinion, there would not be a multitude of spelling and grammar errors in this article. Sorry, I don’t accept the credibility of the author.

  4. Janice VanCleave says:

    WOW!!! The information in this article would be a great student exercise for copy editing. The who, what, when and where have
    been mixed up.

    I spoke to you for a long time. You really mixed up the info.
    CSCOPE supporters, such as Thomas Ratliff, have some invested interest. Thomas supports CSCOPE because it is an online curricullum. This is important because Microsoft pays Thomas to lobby for online products. Why do you think school board members and school superintendents are fighting parents and the community to use CSCOPE lessons? Have you ever seen administrators stand against parents over what is being taught in every class–every subject–every grade? I have never known superintendents and the school board to select a one-size-fits all K-12 instruction material.

    This may be your chance to write something new—- The media keeps skipping over the fact that the 20 ESCs are to work with the schools in their specific region. The ESCs were created because Texas is so big and student needs so diverse. On their own, a few of the ESC directors dreamed up a way to make money. Legal–yes, but all in all the scheme was definitely in the grey area. The ESCs are established as State Agencies. Thus, if they say CSCOPE is aligned with the TEKS–who would question them? After all, they are a state education agency who is assigned the duty of helping–especially small school districts with a low budget. UUM!!!! The pressure of preparing students to take state tests was great. It was the TAKS test at the time CSCOPE was developed. Was there other incentives? No question about the critical thinking abilities of these ESC directors. Online curriculum was going to be big and in the near future. Were they working with TASA, who “simultaneously” developed a transformation plan called Vision Learning as CSCOPE was being developed. UUM! The ESCs and TASA launched their new projects in 2006. WOW! Wonders of Wonder– The CSCOPE online managing system was the perfect technology framework for —–you are not going to believe this coincidence–Yes! The CSCOPE technology framework is perfect for TASA’s the Vision Learning instruction materials that are ready now. But, keep this information under your hat—– TASA is not pleased with what the Texas Education Agency is doing. All those—I think Thomas Ratliff refers to the mile long and inches thick TEKS– CSCOPE ESC/directors are only trying to rescue poor teachers who do not have enough sense to put a check mark by TEKS they use so they want forget any of them. After all, these poor teacher are said to have hundreds of TEKS (oops! sounds like the results from a politicians poll). TASA has since 2006 been working against TEA–TASA has an army of superintendents and TASB joins in with its army of school board members who are trained to say, “Yes, Sir” to their superintendent. With the combined TASA/TASB armies, Texas education should be easily transformed leaving TEA wondering what happened. But alas, TEA has a ring in school administrators noses—$$$MONEY. So there is a bit of a balancing act—schools are being transformed and the plan was sailing on smooth waters. The ESCs produced CSCOPE –perfect–CSCOPE’s objective was to transform the teaching philosophy of Texas educators from Traditional -reading, writing and arithmetic to the new modern, get on board or get out, 21st Century progressive innovative technology teaching philosophy with the focus on the student. WOW! How could educators have been so dense as to not figure out that students know what they want to learn. Students don’t need to know all that history stuff. All that old people’s stuff. Traditional teachers have been trying to motivate students and of all things–expect students to be respectful and disciplined. Progressive education is more of an
    “Einstein Philosophy,” which means it is all RELATIVE. DISCIPLINE—Relative HISTORY— Relative. Students have rights and traditional teachers have not been honoring these rights. After all, forcing kids to learn to spell, read, and write is no way to motivate them to love and have fun at school. But how can the old foggy traditional teachers be transformed to allowing students to be in charge? UUM!!! Change how these teachers are evaluated. Give the bad marks if their students are caught reading books instead of having fun in groups. This worked for most teachers, but traditional science teachers were still a problem. One teacher even had a physics class outdoor with boxes of rocks. One student moved a box via a rope tied to the box. Another student had a timer. Before taking off, another student measured the angle of the pull rope. The students were really having fun–working in groups–and worst of all this teacher never used the CSCOPE lessons and insisted on students having textbooks. She was a bad influence and had to go. Walkthroughs didn’t intimidate her–instead, she had students pull evaluators into their group to help with their investigation. Once I got caught and was pressured into looking into some contraption she had build with a mirror. Looking into one hole I saw the image of a race track that I was to trace with a pencil. Students observed that as hard as I tried I could not trace that track. My name was added to a list of low achievers on the board. I challenged her to trace the track. To my amazement, she zipped around the track in what because the new record time. This was one veteran teacher that was going to be hard to get rid of. She had every TEKS professionally printed and laminated hanging around the rooms. RATS! No matter how we tried to make her life unbearable, she found a way out. We were positive that taking away the text books would push her over the edge. She created mini-books for her students instead of copying the CSCOPE worksheets. Even though CSCOPE is advertised and an innovative technology product, except for the lists of website in the CSCOPE lessons, students never use a computer unless they want to. But, this was going to be the final straw. Every teachers was required to include technology into their instructions. Before I could blink my eyes she had a technology proposal for her classes on my desk. I thought she was computer illiterate–not so. She wanted class wikis so that she could have control over what was accessed online; so that she could encourage student social development, via assigning them to correspond with other students given permission to write on the wiki; social networking standards were written by the students and controlled by students; students kept all their work on the class wiki and parents were given a password. Students had to evaluate the work of others in the class–constructive criticism was acceptable. The great thing about wikis is that if something is published it may be erased from the page but not from the saved history. Maybe this would be a better way than allowing students to tweet and comment to online facebooks. RATS!! A traditional idea with a 21st Century Twist.

    I got carried away with my story and forgot to add that no one has pointed out that the ESCs managed to create a K-12 curriculum for every subject and it didn’t have to be evaluated by the SBOE. Someone at TEA classified the CSCOPE material as—- SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTION MATERIAL, THUS IT DID NOT HAVE TO BE REVIEWED. —SUPPLEMENTARY????????


  1. […] but lately she writes on her blog, txcscopereview.com. One of her first posts there was a sort of anti-CSCOPE manifesto—the anti-Christian stuff, yes, but mostly detailing complaints about science lessons she finds […]