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C-SCOPE debate at UT Tyler

Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 9:54pm

     You could hear the boos and cheers from outside the Ornelas Activities Center at UT Tyler. Everyone in attendance seemed to have really extreme opinions on C-SCOPE. Either loving it -- or hating it.

C-SCOPE is an optional curriculum of on-line lesson plans designed to help teachers adhere to state academic requirements. Basically, it is a guideline for teachers to follow as they plan their year.

It is used in 877 school districts across the state, nearly 80 percent of Texas Schools.

One of C-SCOPES biggest critics is State Sen. Dan Patrick.

"This is bigger than a lesson plan," Sen. Patrick said. "It is bigger than calling tea party patriots terrorists. This is about an entity that was set up illegally, an entity that has spent millions of dollars of tax payers money. This is about the quality of lesson plans so we have the best for our students."

Thomas Ratliff supports C-SCOPE and says he is fighting for the teachers in East Texas who need C-SCOPE.

"I'm here to defend C-SCOPE and I'm here to defend local districts ability to make that decision for themselves not have the Texas senate make that decision for them," Ratliff said.

One local principal says C-SCOPE is extremely important for the teachers at her school.

There have been rumors that C-SCOPE is 'un-American.'

"It doesn't expand on American exceptionalism," said Ginger Russell. "It expands more toward one world globalization and definitely anti-American."

But Ratliff defends it saying they are merely exaggerations. Senator Patrick says the problem with C-SCOPE is that it is not transparent. That it was hiding information from parents -- which is against the law.

"No one should want to support a program that hid everything behind a wall where you needed a password to get in," Sen. Patrick said.

Ratliff responded saying that the parents were more than welcome to look at the curriculum; they just could not have their own copy without paying for it and the reason the teachers were asked to sign a non-disclosure was because there are competing companies.

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