Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs)
Some of the present and past employees of the Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs) want the public, the Texas legislatures, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General as well as the Governor to know the truth about the ineffective use of money poured into the ESCs each year.
The ESC employees providing answers include directors, specialists, consultants, and general staff representing many of the ESC regions. While remaining anonymous in this report, those providing answers assure me they will gladly speak directly to state legislatures, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General as well as the Governor. The Commissioner of Education is not on this list because he as did his predecessor, Robert Scott, supports the actions of the 20 ESCs directly or indirectly by allowing these agencies to govern themselves.
Not everyone who works at the ESCs is involved in the misappropriation of funds or the creation and promotions of Anti-American instructional materials. Many ESC employees would like the Commissioner of Education and the state legislatures to cut off all funding to the ESCs. When the “chee$e” is removed, the rats will look for “chee$e elsewhere. The ESCs can then return to being Service Centers, instead of vendors with a monopoly over instructional materials.
When action is taken against the ESCs, school supervisors will no longer have any reason for not doing their jobs. They will no longer have the “common core” look-alike programs produced and sold by the ESCs promoted by TASA. WOW! I remember how wonderful Texas education was before TASA and long before TEKS and TAKS and STAAR. Texas education was modeled by other states. The textbooks that Texas selected were also selected by other states. Now few Texas schools have real textbooks and the education standards are at rock bottom. How can our Texas Commissioner of Education show his face when students can pass state math assessments by only answering less than 40% of the questions, yet many students fail?
Q1 & Q2 refer to CSCOPE, which the ESCs now refer to as TEKS Resource Service (TRS). The ESCs have been banned from selling CSCOPE lessons.
What was the objective of the CSCOPE conventions (now called the TRS conventions)?
The ESC staffers who actually present CSCOPE workshops that have been describe them as cheer-leading sessions to build support for CSCOPE or provide general overviews that use ppts that are within the CSCOPE site.
The ESC staffers who present CSCOPE workshops generally are not invited to the CSCOPE conventions. Instead, mostly the ESCs send about a dozen ESC consultants who do no CSCOPE support work with schools using CSCOPE. These are Special Education and other specialists that never work with districts in regard to CSCOPE. We did ask why they were going and got no answer.
FYI: There is a lot of unnecessary money spent sending ESC specialists to conventions and workshops that have nothing to do with the area they work with. No one confirms that money spend on travel is necessary. No one confirms that training, even in other states, is ever used to train educators.
ESC staffers are basically kept in the dark, but are supposed to do CSCOPE workshops as well as our regular ESC workshops. No compensation is given for the extra work. As previously stated, many who attend the CSCOPE conferences do not present CSCOPE training to educators.
When the ESCs were banned from selling CSCOPE lessons, were the ESC staffers aware that the CSCOPE lessons were to be given to school districts? Also, were staffers aware that the gutted CSCOPE instruction material would continue to be sold to Texas schools?
We get few to no answers when we ask about CSCOPE. This program was brought in and we were told that it would be used. No questions asked. I can tell you that what we know about CSCOPE in-house is different from the verbiage given to the public. We get little to no clarification about what is going on —basically we know to just keep our mouths shut and don’t ask questions.
Project Share– Is this something established by TEA?
FYI: Project Share is a website where Texas teachers should be able to find free instructional materials for all grades and subjects. The first materials mandated by the 81st legislature in the Rider 42 grant to be posted on the Project Share website were TEKS transition materials. These were professional development materials that compared the old TEKS for TAKS with the new revised TEKS for STAAR. Academies or teacher professional TEKS training were to be given free and the training materials were to be posted in the Project Share website. $150 MILLION dollars was given to develop materials for the Rider 42 grant math, science, ELAR, and social studies academies as well as create the Project Share website. To this day, 2/18/2015, there are Texas teachers and Texas school superintendents who are not aware that Project Share exists. Few Texas teachers attended or even knew about the Rider 42 PD academies.
Ervin Knezek was an ESC employee when CSCOPE was developed as well as when the Rider 42 grant of $150 MILLION dollars was being spent developing the Rider 42 academies and “Project Share.” Knezek resigned from ESC 13 in June, 2010 and established the company Lead4Ward in Washington, State in June, 2010. What was suppose to be part of CSCOPE and wasn’t is on Knezek’s Lead4Ward website. What was suppose to posted on the Project Share website can be found on Knezek’s Lead4Ward website.
Yes, TEA rolled Project Share out and every school district is supposed to have access.
But there are levels of access to the Project Share website. ESC staffers used Project Share like a linked-in account to share ideas or materials. This was the original idea for Project Share. Not only were the Rider 42 academy PD materials to be available, but teachers were to be able to publish materials that they found successful. Also, teachers were suppose to be able to have accounts where they could share ideas with other educators.
Interestingly, some of the ESC staffers have now been blocked to our share boxes. We had access to these share boxes last year, but now there is a public outcry about the CSCOPE lessons, a lot of information is no longer available. We are not sure why except that there is such paranoia in all the ESCs. If what is being told to the public is true about the CSCOPE lessons, why has the ESC leadership become so secretive about files that were freely accessible last year? What was open is not very hush hush and private. The directors of the ESCs seem to be concerned about information shared on the Project Share website. They must be trying to keep up with the answers they are giving about CSCOPE since they give different answers depending on who asks the question.
Overall, most consider Project Share, like the Rider 42 PD academies expensive projects that have been very ineffective. This is due to the ESCs not developing the website and TEA not following up to see that they do. Like all grant money, once the money is gone regardless if the project is not complete, the ESCs are on to doing what ever brings in more money.
The “jig” will be over if the ESCs are ever thoroughly investigated by someone who doesn’t benefit in some way from the actions of the ESCs.
Did State Education Commissioner Robert Scott initiate the idea for Project Share?
The plans for Project Share apparently have been bubbling for a while. Scott was so focused on internal issues that we are not sure he was very aware of Project Share, sad to say.
The Rider 42 grant provided the initial money for Project Share, thus the ESCs were to develop the content posted on this website. Project Share is affiliated with Epsilen, which is a Common Core company. Why is TEA and the ESCs using a Common Core Company when Texas is forbidden to implement Common Core? Has everyone just turned a blind eye to what grant money is used for?
We totally agree with this– No one asks or even watches what the ESCs do. As to Common Core, TASA promotes Common Core and TASA and the ESCs work together. In fact, wha ever the ESCs sell, Texas school superintendents generally buy it because TASA promotes what the ESCs sell. TASA is after all the Texas Association of School Administrators.
Comment from Janice
Think About This!
1. The ESCs provide superintendent certification training as well as training required for School Board Members. Thus, school superintendents and school board members are indoctrinated with constructists (common core progressive) education philosophy used in creating the CSCOPE instructional materials as well as the “Vision Learning” materials sold by TASA. Of course Common Core education philosophy is used in Texas Schools, but it has different titles, such as CSCOPE a.k.a. TRS Instructional Material, and Vision Learning.
2. Texas School Superintendents and School Board Members use district school taxes to pay for their personal membership fees into private organizations (TASA/TASB) who lobby for different education bills that benefit the primary objective of TASA/TASB, which is to TRANSFORM TEXAS EDUCATION.
Yes, our Texas legislatures are swayed by TASA lobbyists as well as the Microsoft lobbyist Thomas Ratliff (illegal member of the State Board of Education) to pass bills that promote Transforming Texas Education so that it is comparable to common core.
This is part I of a series of Questions from me and Answers from ESC # 1-20 staff past and present. The following will be addressed in following parts of this series on the “Unpacking of the ESCs.”
1. In Nov. 2011, Marlin school superintendent Marsha Riddlehuber and the district instructional director, Jamie Johnson would not allow me to view the content of the CSCOPE lessons used in Marlin ISD. Becca Bell the CSCOPE director also refused me access to the content of the CSCOPE lessons. Why? What were they hiding?
2. During the time that CSCOPE lessons were being sold to Texas public schools, the state comptroller, , allowed the ESCs to write their own evaluation. This is obvious since the wording of the comptrollers evaluations were word-for-word the same as publicity written by the ESCs to promote the CSCOPE materials. Did the comptroller ever ask anyone about the CSCOPE product that was not benefiting in some way?
These questions and many more will be coming soon.
Add comments if you have questions you would like answered about the Education Service Centers.