"The State Board of Education never had any oversight over the CSCOPE curriculum"
POSTED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 7:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 4:10pm
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — -- The controversy continues about CSCOPE, a curriculum used by 70% of school districts in Texas, reaching roughly a third of students.
In a recent interview with District 5 Representative, Bryan Hughes, he told KETK, “The State Board of Education didn't have any oversight over the CSCOPE curriculum.” We found that interesting since CSCOPE has been implemented in our school since 2007. In fact, KETK learned from Mason Moses, the public relations liaison from the Texas Education Services Center, ESC, also the creators of the CSCOPE curriculum, that the State board of education has never had any meeting with the ESC about CSCOPE until November of 2012.
Hughes tells KETK in the interview that the role of the Texas State Board of Education is to “approve textbooks” and “adopt curriculum” for our schools.
So, how did the long-standing CSOPE curriculum get by the state for so long without review? Hughes says, “We believe in local control.” School districts in Texas use Education Services Centers or ESC’s to create curriculums which they can purchase and use as tools to incorporate in the classrooms. There are 20 ESC’s in the state. (see picture below)
(Courtesy of the TEA website)
During the 2005 – 2006 school year all 20 ESC’s collaborated and created CSCOPE, and by 2007 CSCOPE was in Texas classrooms.
The State Board of Education does have requirements called “TEKS” or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills” requirements that must be met by the ESC’s plans. But, the board has never moderated the content of the lessons within the CSCOPE curriculum, until now. Leaving the moderation of lesson content to the locally controlled ESC's’s.
In lieu of the recent negative publicity about CSCOPE; claims of the curriculum being “Anti-American” and “Pro-Islamic.” (Those claims were denied by a CSCOPE spokesperson), the State Senate Committee on Education held a hearing in January about CSCOPE, and they have finally decided to take action. The Board of Education plans to take a closer look into the actual content of the lesson plans.
In February Senator Dan Patrick called for changes to the CSCOPE curriculum, those changes are currently being put in place. The State Board of Education and the ESC plan to have a joint review of the CSCOPE coursework. No date for that meeting has been set, however KETK will keep you updated on any further changes that will be made to CSCOPE.
If you have any questions about this story please feel free to email Nvowell@ketknbc.com