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Mon May 20, 2013, 05:48 PM

AFP-Texas: Ending CSCOPE a tremendous victory for parents and students


AUSTIN -- Senate Education Chairman Dan Patrick on Monday (May 20) announced an end to the controversial CSCOPE curriculum.
In a press conference at the Capitol, Sen. Patrick said all 20 members of the CSCOPE Board (the Texas Regional Service Center Directors) signed a letter stating they will notify their 875 school district and individual school clients that they cannot use any lesson plans beyond August 31, 2013.

“CSCOPE curriculum content was controversial, but our biggest issue was with the action the Regional Education Service Centers (ESC’s) took to cloak the CSCOPE project in secrecy. ESC’s created a non-profit shell corporation (TESCCC – Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative) which had no employees, no money and no address, but was used as a shield for ESC staff to claim they were not subject to open records or open meetings.

“The Regional Education Service Centers may have agreed to end CSCOPE knowing that they were under intense scrutiny by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott; Lt Gov David Dewhurst was asking for a state audit; and legislative leaders including Senators Patrick, Donna Campbell and Rep. Steve Toth were intent on going through financials and lesson plans and making it all public.

I'm personally glad to see this gone. You had to sign a secrecy agreement not to reveal any content or lesson plans to parents, other teachers, or anyone outside your own department, subject to criminal prosecution. They had something to hide from the first - crappy, unworkable lessons that must have been pulled from free sites, new student teachers, or someplace similar. The whole robotic instruction movement has gotten a black eye. Now maybe districts can use their existing curriculum experts - their teachers - to write plans.

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