CSCOPE Is Alive and Damaging

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CSCOPE’s Nasty Fingers are Still Squeezing the Life Out of Texas Schools

Cscope squeezes life from schools
The very worst academic district in Texas is Marlin ISD. The elementary students have failed the state science and math test for seven consecutive years.

In 2011 the State TEA Conservator, Elizabeth Rowland, was assigned to the Marlin ISD approved the implementation of the CSCOPE Managing System. Rowland had been the special education director at ESC-Region 11 from 2000-2010, during this time the ESCs decided to work together and create CSCOPE, a one-size fits all curriculum to be used in every Texas School. The objective of the 20 ESCs is to provide materials that meet the needs of students in the 20 different regions of Texas.

The one-size-fits all CSCOPE instruction material  negatively affected the scores of the Marlin Elementary Students. One would think that the TEA Conservator would come up with a better improvement plan, but not so. Instead, Rowland gave a positive report for the Math scores since there was an improvement from 30% to 32%. Rowland gave false reason for the 6% drop in the science grades. Rowland explained that it was the first year that the elementary students were in a separate science class. DUH! First of all science has been a separate course for several years. Second, have science as a separate class is suppose to be better. but not if teachers are forced to use the inaccurate CSCOPE lessons and inaccurate CSCOPE assessments.

Marlin State Test Summary 2007-2013
Following is only one test question example, but more examples will be in the next publication. Remember that this example is for 4th grade students. Note that the TEKS are written in a form that gives an example of how rigorous the information is to be presented. The CSCOPE/TEKS Resource assessment question is asking students to know that recycling paper results in conserving trees. I guess recycling glass conserves sand. The question does not align with the TEKS listed.  

Unit 5 assessment #4 Answers TEKS


Comment from a teacher in a CSCOPE School—School that is still paying the local ESC for the flawed CSCOPE, now called TEKS Resource material that TEA is promoting and advising low performance schools to use. Now sure what the conservators will do if a school already is using CSCOPE, such as the one where this teacher works.

I have gone from being a teacher having the confidence that I could accomplish anything in the classroom to a teacher that no longer knows which end is up. Metaphors are our montra…a ship without a rudder, a kite without a string, a compass without a needle.

How sad that education in our district wears the mask of deceit. I just wish that sanity could return to our classrooms.

Isn’t it interesting that this conflict has never been experienced over a textbook adoption?

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  1. The last I checked, plastic was made from petroleum (oil), which is a natural resource! Paper is made from trees…? This makes me wonder if they have an incorrect key.

  2. Scott Klump says:

    I will defend CSCOPE because it has helped our school be successful!

  3. to Neva Kelly from a real teacher says:

    As a science teacher, I have been forced to use these so-called assessments. They are a complete waste of class time. The poorly designed questions are demoralizing to students. Surely, you can’t, with any good conscience attempt to defend these assessment questions! I am so proud of my students who have mastered enough science in my classroom to point out the weakness in the question and/ or the answer choices. Even my fifth graders can point out why the question isn’t worthy of assessing or preparing a student for the STAAR. You talk like a paid “consultant.” You have all the right buzz-words…but none of the real life understanding of teaching/learning. Please, if you do anything, stand up for the real, live children that sit in classrooms every day taking these pathetic assessments and producing worthless data for data-driven assessment in a sad game of profits and power. Stand for the children.

  4. DONNA GARNER says:

    1.9.14 — Marlin ISD vs. Elizabeth Rowland – “CSCOPE Is Alive and Damaging” –

    If Elizabeth Rowland, Texas Education Agency-appointed conservator, tried to prove academic improvement at Marlin ISD by using test data from both the TAKS tests and the STAAR/End-of-Course tests, then that is like comparing apples to oranges. No comparisons can be made. Those two tests are completely different.

    STAAR/EOC’s have been developed over many years, have been piloted, have been designed by psychometricians, and are structured to test what is in the “new” Texas curriculum standards (TEKS). The “new” TEKS (passed from 2008 – 2012) are fact-based, academic, grade-level-specific, and measurable.

    The “old” TEKS (passed in 1997) were generic, not specific to each grade level, mushy, subjective, and representative of the same philosophy as is found in the Common Core Standards. The TAKS tests were poor tests because they were based upon poor TEKS standards.

    Then, too, If Rowland tried to justify the use of CSCOPE (now called TEKS Resource System) in Marlin ISD using the CSCOPE assessments, then that is bogus data also because the CSCOPE assessments are horrible. They are full of errors; and because the CSCOPE lessons are so helter-skelter and “hit and miss,” then the CSCOPE assessments are the same. CSCOPE lessons do not build through a competency-based method in which students learn a concept today and have that same concept reviewed repeatedly in the future as new concepts are tied to it. This is what leads to long-term memory. The CSCOPE assessments are not closely aligned with the “new” TEKS; and, therefore, should never be used to prove any type of academic achievement.

    Janice VanCleave, a true science expert, has shown that the assessments from the new brand name for CSCOPE (TEKS Resource System) are faulty also. No school district should waste taxpayers’ dollars on anything tied to CSCOPE and the TEKS Resource System. Local citizens should assertively make that clear to the local administrators who make purchasing decisions.

    The STAAR/EOC’s can be used to prove (or disprove) academic achievement, and Texas now has two years of data (2011-2012 and 2012-2013). Because of the passage of HB 5 in the last legislative session, Texas will no longer have STAAR/EOC test data from each grade level/course; but the public can still utilize at least two year’s worth of the STAAR/EOC data (2011 – 2013). That is what Elizabeth Rowland should use to prove whether the students in Marlin ISD have improved their knowledge/skills.

    According to the latest STAAR/EOC (2012-2013), Marlin ISD is rated Improvement Required as well as Marlin Middle School and Marlin Elementary School. Out of 9 Distinction awards in which Marlin ISD is compared with 40 like-comparison group of campuses, Marlin received only 1 Distinction award (Top 25% – Marlin High School). Improvement Required is a very serious situation for a Texas school district

  5. Neva Kelly says:

    While I can see why you are concerned with Marlin’s 5th grade scores, you have left out an important bit of information that should accompany the chart provided. The 2011-12 school year marked the first year of STAAR rather than TAKS. School districts across the state saw their scores fall. To conclude that the drop in scores is due to CSCOPE implementation is not statistically sound.

    You also say that the sample test question does not align with TEKS 4.1B “because it is not an investigation.” In a classroom setting, it’s true that the teacher would need to provide students with hands-on investigations in order to teach this standard. However, for a teacher to adequately prepare students for the state assessment, s/he would have to provide students with samples of how a process standard such as 4.1B could be tested on STAAR. Please see the released Science STAAR questions on the TEA website: . You’ll see, for example, that 26 of the 44 questions on the 5th grade Science STAAR were dual coded to include both content and process TEKS. In fact, question 30 assesses 5.1B (which is vertically aligned to 4.1B). This is an example of what makes the STAAR much more challenging than TAKS. Students must apply knowledge to answer the majority of the questions. The question you posted aligns with the TEKS when you view both the content standard (4.7C) and the process standard (4.1B) together.

    • Janice VanCleave says:

      The question has nothing to do with an investigation. Thus, it does not align with the science process skill (4.1B). The knowledge needed for the question will be learned in 5th or even 6th grade. Why are you defending CSCOPE?