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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,672

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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.

I call BS.

1. "Making a mess on the sofa." What mess? Piss? Poop? Vomit? Muddy paws? Really vague, but I can tell you that a 4 year old animal that is not sick nor injured does not do the first three, and the last one is hardly a capital crime.

2. The owner is in his 20s. This means that he has probably bought into the pit stereotype as a "mean vicious" trophy animal, and has treated the dog as such, hardly the dog's fault.

3. "Swatted" the dog. With what? Hand, bat, club, foot, what? If a dog is puking, pooping, or pissing, why would anyone interrupt that with physical force? Tell you what - burst in on your spouse this afternoon while they're doing any of the above and give them a "simple" swat and see if you get an angry response.

4. Then when the immature and perhaps cruel owner sees that his imaginary world is untrue and that abused animals will defend themselves, what is his loving reaction? First a steak knife and then Euthanasia. I sure hope this stupid couple never has children, and they should never be allowed to own an animal again of any kind.

5. So, in short, an incapable, stupid owner mistreats an animal until finally, as we all would, the end comes and defense is attempted, and then the animal is put down and somehow the stupid owner is seen as a victim, and the "bad dog" got his due.

I will bet a hundred dollar bill that dog fighting goes on within ten minutes of that place, and I'll bet that stupid couple knew about it, and wished to participate, or did.

I do hope "Stubby Finger" never wants to own another animal, because I'm sure that he will not be banned, seeing as how stupid many people are about this topic.

Actually, a few facts need to be added.

This is an 18 year old sophomore, two years behind age level, one year because he dropped out, the other year apparently due to failing enough classes. His mother teaches in another district. One would suppose that because he came back, he has some internal motivation. But apparently, he thinks it is someone else's job to provide that for him.

Duncanville High School is a huge school and is rated Academically Acceptable by the state of Texas, which is a lot harder than people might think for a large school with a big minority enrollment and extensive free and reduced lunch students.

The teacher he's picking on is a Ms. Phung, who not only has her school web page up to date, she also has a youTube channel and a Pinterest site for her students to access for help anytime 24/7. She's in her 40s, been teaching a couple of decades, and teaches 5 classes of World History, a 10th grade class with two of those sections being inclusion classes, which means anything from special ed students to those on criminal probation, suspension from another school, 504 students which could include autistic, wheelchair-bound, deaf, or otherwise physically challenged students.

She also teaches an Asian studies class.

So the school has a good rating on state assessments, she obviously teaches multi-modally, he's in a class full of 15 year olds while he's 18, yeah, I'll just write him up as wanting some attention and having picked up some jargon from mom, all to cover up his embarassment at being so far behind where he should be.

I have a MAEd, so anytime a student actually challenges me on methods, I ask them if they have had fillings installed in their teeth or any other dental work, extractions, anything? When they say yes, then I remind them that they were there all along while the dentists worked on them, and so they wouldn't mind extracting or filling their own tooth next time, would they?

Protests. Then I have to point out the obvious: simply being around an educated practitioner does not mean that you can do any part of their job, that you are a consumer, and when consumers go against professional advice, they cut their toes off underneath lawn mowers, they poison themselves by leaving raw chicken on the counter, and they shoot themselves in the foot trying a quick draw.

Ms. Phung will be lucky she doesn't get fired, because teachers are lowest on the totem poles at schools, just a little below the janitorial staff, pretty far under the cafeteria staff, and only a speck to administration and central office personnel.

And that's too bad. Because then they can get a newbie who will need three years just to be able to have confidence that they are calling on children in a non-gendered, non-ethnic sequence, never mind all the rest of it.

I've noticed that cycle in our town for the last decade.

We're supposedly in a "boom", but what I see is great business in restaurants and stores on the 1st-3rd, and 15-17th, paydays. Then I see many many garage sales on the week between - the 10th and 20th, and what people sell are things like headboards, their dryer, not the washer, the dishwasher, electronics, things not absolutely needed.

Big lines at Redbox and all the video rental stores are out of business. Only two movie theaters left. 85% of the kids in the high school where I teach qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Young women with two or three small children walking carrying their bags from the Dollar Store, no car of their own, and very limited bus service here. For shopping, it goes to the mall, but these folks are not going to the mall.

Yes, when you're poor, everything takes longer, costs more, and is not as good as you wanted it to be.
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