Note: CSCOPE is a vertically aligned scope and sequence used by hundreds of school districts.

Today is Part 3 of our rational response to the irrational critiques of CSCOPE. For the record, I am not an agent for CSCOPE nor do I have any financial connection to CSCOPE.  However, I am an advocate for providing teachers with the resources necessary to be successful in their endeavors.  CSCOPE is one of those resources.  I recognize it for what it is, a screw gun in a world of screwdrivers. Now back to the debate.

Anti-CSCOPE Argument Number 7: CSCOPE doesn’t give unlimited access to anyone who requests it. What are they hiding?

Response: Yes, CSCOPE has limited access to its resources.  And yes, it is hiding something… its intellectual property.  Open access would allow its competitors to steal and then profit from its work.  We can argue the legal merits of this; there are precedents on both sides.  And honestly, I have argued both sides.  But ultimately, in the current financial environment (created by Perry and our Republican legislators) I see CSCOPE access as a toll road issue. You pay for access, you get access.  You don’t pay, for whatever reason, your access is severely limited.  P.S. – One of the original and primary anti-CSCOPE Loonies, got mad and began her crusade when a district chose CSCOPE over the product she was trying to sell.  Interesting.

Anti-CSCOPE Argument Number 8: School leaders across the state praise the value of CSCOPE, so obviously there must be a greater conspiracy/agenda at work.  Otherwise, why would they keep harping on cost-savings, collaboration, ESC/school district partnerships, teacher support and student performance, if they weren’t trying to cover something up?

Response:  The reason why an ever-growing majority of school leaders (at all levels) praise CSCOPE is because it actually delivers what it promises.  A vertically aligned, TEKS correlated scope and sequence, with extensive instructional resources at an affordable (essentially free) cost.  The product has improved every year and CSCOPE personnel have been responsive to the needs of districts, campuses and teachers.  If there is a bad guy in this equation, it is the state (see Bush, Perry, et. al.). It has held a gun to the head of schools in the form of accountability driven sanctions while simultaneously reducing per pupil school funding.  In this environment, the only viable curriculum solution has been to adopt CSCOPE as a survival tool.

Anti-CSCOPE Argument Number 9: Some parents and teachers don’t like CSCOPE. So, obviously it is bad.

Response: I must admit that I don’t know how to counter this argument with a group of people who believe that CSCOPE is the precursor to the U.N. Black Helicopters showing up to take over the country.  Yes, there are parents who don’t like CSCOPE. So what?  CSCOPE follows the prescribed state curricular standards (TEKS).  Public schools can’t opt out of teaching the TEKS. If they do, sanctions soon follow. For parents who don’t understand this, home school remains a viable option. As for the teacher half of the argument, it depends on the teacher.  CSCOPE is simply a tool.  A tool that is better than any individual teacher can create on his or her own.  The teacher who has concerns about the sequence of presented content has avenues to address these concern. The teacher who has concerns about the pacing of CSCOPE (of which there are many) doesn’t actually have a CSCOPE issue: that teacher has an accountability issue (see Bush, Perry, et. al.).  And the teacher who just doesn’t want to be told what to teach, sorry, but that teacher needs to quit or move to a different state.  The simple and brutal truth is, like it or not, the rules of the game have been changed.

Tomorrow, we’ll conclude the initial salvos of this discussion.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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