Mon May 20, 2013
Political Pressure Too Much For CSCOPE, Cancels Services In Texas
After heated political pressure that included proposed legislation this session, the group running the online lesson provider CSCOPE has canceled their services with the state.
According to the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, 877 Texas school districts use the online lesson plan known as CSCOPE.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, said there have been problems with the content provided in the CSCOPE lesson plans since their introduction:
"There was a lesson where Tea Party Patriots were called terrorists, there was a middle school lesson where middle schoolers were told to design a flag for a communist country. Those grabbed headlines, but beneath the headlines we started to look at the structure of CSCOPE and the operations of CSCOPE," Patrick said.
Patrick went on to say there were also problems with how CSCOPE’s education content was being developed from an accountability perspective.
Dr. Kyle Wargo, who works with CSCOPE, acknowledged Patrick’s concerns and then announced that the group is ending the online lesson plan program as of May 24.
"You may ask me why. Well, two reasons: One, maintaining the lessons and developing lessons is not practical. The second thing I would say why we are not going to be in the lesson plan business is those lessons have a lot of subjectivity to them. Those lessons, every lesson, needs to be developed at the local level," Wargo said.
The CSCOPE announcement comes after a review from the state attorney general’s office.
Patrick said multiple curriculum groups will be vetted for the chance to be the next curriculum provider, including the testing company Pearson, who currently handles the public school system end-of-course exams.
Texas Legislature - Education