CSCOPE May Live Free
(Austin) – Many Texas school districts have unsuccessfully inquired about and filed state assessment waivers due to the removal of the CSCOPE lesson plans as a result of intimidation tactics by tea party activists and officials headed by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Clearly, the politically driven removal of this locally controlled tool is detrimental to many Texas school districts and educators. Statements by Texas Education Agency attorney, David Anderson, and Commissioner Williams have clarified that the CSCOPE material will no longer hold a copyright which places it within the “public realm.” Furthermore, there seems to be no legal mechanism to prevent the use of this or any other assistance tool if chosen by a local school district. Those conversations, as always, should remain on the local level.
State Board of Education Member Marisa B. Perez, D-San Antonio, had this to say following yesterday’s meeting, “Although, I remain disappointed at how the entire CSCOPE process was handled by our elected officials and some of my colleagues, I am glad we have clarification on the topic and future of the lesson plans. This is a crucial topic and alleviates concerns for the upcoming school year expressed by many Texas school districts. ”
“The choice and implementation of lesson plan tools and execution falls upon the responsibility and jurisdiction of local school districts. Local control has always been a pillar of Texas education but some forget that support of local control must be absolute. There is no place for selectivity in remembering, supporting and touting the sovereignty of local school districts,” stated Perez. “I keep hearing a call for less government oversight by elected officials, yet, they then proclaim themselves the Academic Tool Czar online,” stated Perez in response to Sen. Patrick’s Facebook post calling for citizens to notify his office of school districts who continue using CSCOPE. “The continued attack on CSCOPE and more importantly, on local control is reflective of the disconnect occurring between educators and policy makers and between Austin and our local school boards,” stated Perez.
She concluded by stating, “I continue to support the formal SBOE review of CSCOPE as it was the proper and equitable way to address the issues and dispel many of the “stories” that have fueled the opposition. I refuse to believe that Texas educators or service centers are looking to ruin Texas scholars. As I have said before, and will continue to say, the stronger, smarter Texas we can be only lives within the road map forged by the collaborative vision of legislators and educators. There is no place for elected officials who think they can build a stronger educational system without respecting and consulting educators. ”