HB 3571 and SB 1711are Useless

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Below is a copy of HB 3571 and SB 1711. The objective of these bills, which are carbon copies of each other, is for Texas public schools to purchase instructional materials that if reviewed by the State Board of Education would be approved.

Senate Bill 6 (2011)  gave Texas school districts permission to purchase any instruction material with money from the state. Thus, more than 800 Texas school districts brought the CSCOPE lessons instead of textbooks. The Education Service Centers (ESCs) sold the CSCOPE instructional material below the cost of other K-12 Instruction Materials. Thus even the state comptroller praised school districts for saving money by purchasing the CSCOPE materials. It took a grassroots movement to investigate and discover that the content of the CSCOPE instructional materials was not good.

There are rules now about instructional materials, but they are not followed. Who is checking to see if rules are being followed? When money can be made and there are no checks and balances, rules are insignificant. The Texas State Auditor reported that the ESCs, who are non-profit groups, could not account for over $6 Million dollars and yet the ESCs continue to sell to schools as usual.

The section of HB 3571 and SB 1711 below marked in red type describes the patch that is suppose to force schools to buy instruction materials that abide by rules set by the State Board of Education. I really do not understand why such a bill is even written, but I am finding that many bills are absolutely useless because they do not include information of how and who will be the judge and exactly what are the consequences for breaking the rules.
HB 3571 and SB 1711 will have little or no effect on the instruction materials purchased by Texas school districts.

HB 3571 and SB 1711  basically allows the State Board of Education to make rules which schools may choose to follow or not.
Who will decide if  a school district has broken the rules?

RULES MEAN NOTHING UNLESS YOU HAVE A JUDGE TO DECIDE IF A SCHOOL DISTRICT IS GUILTY AND SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES ARE SPELLED OUT.

Please contact Senator Campbell and Representative Bohac and ask them to please add some “TEETH” to this bill.

 Dwayne.bohac@house.state.tx.us.     donna.campbell@senate.state.tx.us.

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to rules which insure that local independent school
district selection of non-state adopted instructional materials to
be purchased with state funds, is as accountable and transparent as
the State Board of Education approval process for state-adopted
instruction materials.
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
       SECTION 1.  Section 31.003, Education Code, is amended by
designating the current rule as Subsection (a) and adding
Subsections (b), (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), (b-4), (b-5), and (b-6)
to read as follows:
        (a) The State Board of Education may adopt rules, consistent
with this chapter, for the adoption, requisition,
distribution, care, use, and disposal of instructional
materials.
        (b) The state Board of Education may by rule set minimum
  standards for local procedures selecting non-state adopted
instructional materials to be purchased with state funds only
in the areas of:
             (1)public notice, access, and input;
             (2) review by independent panel to determine coverage
of the essential knowledge and skills;
             (3) prevention/correction of factual errors;
             (4)coverage of essential knowledge and skills in the
student version as well as in the teacher version of
instructional materials, pursuant to TEC 31.023(a);
             (5) compliance with the stated purpose of TEC
28.002(h); and
             (6)safeguards against corruption.
             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, 2015.
Please! Please! Ask for HB 3571, SB 1711 to be revised. They are of no value as written.
As written, The SBOE will make rules–So what?
There is a rule now that all IMs have to be aligned with the TEKS. The SBOE was asked about this. a lawyer for the SBOE informed the group that without specific guidelines for who would determine that the IM was not aligned with the TEKS and no consequences specified, NOTHING COULD BE DONE.
READ HB 3571, SB 1711 AND YOU WILL FIND IT ONLY GIVES THE SBOE TO MAKE RULES.
1. WHO WILL DETERMINE THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS PURCHASED IM THAT DOESN’T FOLLOW THE RULES? 
2. WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE? SPELL IT OUT. WILL THE SCHOOL DISTRICT LOSE ALL IM FUNDS? IS THIS FOR EVER OR JUST ONE YEAR?
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Comments

  1. GayColbert says:

    Could you tell me if Success Maker is the same as CSCOPE?

    • Janice VanCleave says:

      Success Maker is a product by Pearson Publishing. While I do not like the test questions from Pearson, I have read
      some of the science materials from this publishing company and like it. I cannot give an evaluation of Success Maker
      materials because I have not seen any of them.

      Materials prepared by publishing companies are generally reviewed many time for content errors and edited for grammar etc… before publishing.

      CSCOPE
      is not produced by a publishing company. Instead, CSCOPE is an instructional material designed by Directors of the Texas Education Service Centers. The ESC directors admitted that the CSCOPE materials had never been reviewed for content nor edited as or materials from book publishers. Know that most if not all of the ESC directors were superintendents of school districts. Most Texas school superintendents were athletic directors who had little or no background in writing or publishing instructional materials.
      Past and present Texas Commissioners of Education have allowed the 20 Education Service Centers to govern themselves. Thus, the ESC directors whose college training and teaching experience was in physical education were in charge of writing CSCOPE.

      Books have errors even though the materials may have been reviewed and edited many times. CSCOPE instruction materials was never edited or reviewed for content errors. Some of the CSCOPE lesson content had been taken directly from different websites as well as published textbooks. The Texas State Senate Education Committee was shown samples of the errors in the CSCOPE lessons, but when asked if the CSCOPE materials could be fixed the State Board of Education chairperson said, “Yes, the errors can be fixed.”
      What she didn’t say was that to fix the errors the entire CSCOPE instruction material would have to be rewritten.

      BTW– You may find errors in spelling and grammar on this website— I take the blame for this. Yes, I do write science books and my publisher has the material reviewed and edited many times. But, I post material on this website without having it edited. The materials is free—– Material that is sold –especially sold as instructional materials for teachers–should be reviewed and edited.