State Board of Education

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Both sides of the CSCOPE argument spent hours testifying before a State Board of Education Committee on the social studies component of the online lesson plans.

Friday's meeting was to provide CSCOPE schools public input before a 170 member review committee begins looking at the online curriculum and makes necessary edits.

Once an edited version of the lesson plans is complete, CSCOPE will then be renamed the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skill Resource System.

Flickr user Corey Seeman (cseeman) / cc

The Texas Freedom Network say book review teams for the State Board of Education are pressuring publishing companies to change how climate change and evolution are presented in next year’s biology textbooks.

The SBOE set up several groups to review different textbooks and this week their comments and suggested changes have been made public.

Texas Freedom Network's Executive Director Kathy Miller said they suspected that the review teams would go after evolution and climate change.

Director Scott Thurman

In the first segment:

The process for screening Texas science textbooks has been contentious to say the least. Whether kids should be taught the "other" theories of creation in science textbooks is at the heart of the controversy.  

Professor Michael Soto, a former State Board of Education member, explains how the board operates with reviewers along with documentary filmmaker Scott Thurman, whose documentary "The Revisionaries" took a critical look at the SBOE process a few years ago.

Christopher C. Leonard / cc

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has sent Texas school districts a legal advisory letter reminding them that they must hold public meetings in order to adopt any curriculum provider, including online lesson plan provider CSCOPE.

Williams said his letter is not meant to discourage use of CSCOPE, only to point out the law under SB 1474, which requires a public meeting about a district's choice in curriculum.

Williams said this step creates local control and transparency.

State of Texas

Sparks flew on and off the stage in Tyler, Texas, during the debate about online lesson plan provider CSCOPE between State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff and lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick, both Republicans.

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