Wylie Citizens Group To Hold CSCOPE Meeting

Last week a meeting was held on CSCOPE hosted by several tea party organizations around North Texas.  I have attached my notes from that meeting below.

As you may have heard on national news lately, there is controversy about what appears to be a radical curriculum spreading all over Texas at the moment.  Wylie ISD decided to purchase this curriculum called CSCOPE last year without any citizen input or scrutiny, and appears to be renewing it again this year. 

A group of concerned citizens have come together regarding all of the controversy about CSCOPE and are demanding that WISD stop using CSCOPE immediately.  They are attempting to put together a meeting of concerned parents and intend to invite WISD superintendent Dr. David Vinson to come answer questions.  

One must ask that if CSCOPE is so highly controversial at the moment, and there is proposed litigation on CSCOPEs intimidation as well as their known plagiarization, plus several house bills currently in the Texas State Legislature, why does WISD insist on renewing the curriculum and possibly wasting a lot of taxpayer money if there is the potential that CSCOPE might be stopped?  From my calculations, the district spends roughly $100K annually on this.

If you are interested in joining, please send a message to my blog email (without the extra spaces) and I will put you in touch with the organizers of this group.  You may also watch my blog for announcements on the meeting location and time.

Notes from CSCOPE Meeting (My notes along with text pulled from Voices Empower noted below in sources)

Mrs. Mac is an educator and well known opponent of CSCOPE who has been traveling Texas and speaking with concerned citizens over the past year.  She provided meeting participants with a great deal of insight into CSCOPE, the curriculum that Wylie Independent School District purchased for use and which our Superintendent, Dr. David Vinson, calls a “curriculum enhancement so teachers don’t have to spend their time writing curriculum”. 

CSCOPE is a non-profit organization formed by a band of 11 (progressive, liberal and even radical) education superintendents in 20 Region Centers.  It is being sold to the smaller school districts and is currently in 877 in Texas.  CSCOPE hopes to expand into other states soon.
It is believed that curriculum was prime for the picking because every state was mandated in Obama’s K-12 Initiative to put into place a system which mines data and reports back to the Federal Government.   A perfect storm represented itself and CSCOPE is the offspring.  Though investigation is still taking place, it is believed that Linda Darling-Hammond, a radicalist educator strongly tied to radicalist and terrorist Bill Ayers and the Obama Administration has peddled a curriculum called Common Core across the country.  Interestingly enough, CSCOPE has recently changed its bylaws in order to sell it to the Federal Government, so you can see how it all appears connected.

Many states, such as Georgia, are kicking this Common Core curriculum out because it is failing the students.  CSCOPE is thought to be an extension of Hammond’s Common Core.  At a cost of roughly $7.00 of taxpayer dollars per student for CSCOPE, it is a highly secretive equal outcome curriculum produced on taxpayer time and with taxpayer money but despite that, it does not fall under the Texas State Board of Education scrutiny or oversight. There are currently a couple house bills in the State Legislature requesting to defund CSCOPE as well as bring it under the State Board of Education oversight. 

The main thrust of CSCOPE is ‘educational equality’ and they make claims to be teaching at a higher rigorous level of thinking.   It requires a need of others in order to succeed – no individual success stressed, only a greater good for the group. Total equalization.

Current test scores for students show massive failing grades because the tests do not match the material presented. Tests are often written several grade levels ahead of the material taught. Have you heard your student come home and tell you that tests and work grades are being adjusted as far as what percentage they contribute to your student’s overall grade?  Teachers must somehow make up for the failing test scores.

Example of dumbing down instruction:
CSCOPE lesson on Sedimentary Rock – It’s like rubbing two pieces of dried macaroni noodles together – it is a clear dumbing down of this lesson. 

Seven Areas of Concern In Regard To CSCOPE:   
1.      Philosophy of Social Constructivism Ideology of Progressive/Liberal/Radical Theories based on ideology of Marxism (Lev Vygotsky), Humanism (Linda Hammond), and Socialist.  It promotes progressive education over direct instruction. (Google some of these names to see their radical contributions).  It breaks down the individual, they may only act as a group.  Sometimes taking group tests and the consensus answer is the answer everyone must enter on a test or worksheet, even if a student knows the answer is incorrect.   No answer is incorrect in a lesson, yet this doesn’t exactly jive with the tests being given and students are failing.

2.      The Implementation of  Intimidation, Fear, Guilt and  Covertness
a.     Establishes a fear:   Fear of STAAR Test failures used to sell curriculum, just as it was to the WISD Trustees. Main selling point to combat failing STAAR test grades is that test scores and grades will get worse before they get better.  There exists intimidation of public dissent by labeling and publishing CSCOPE opponent citizen names on state-wide materials. (possible lawsuit coming over this).
b.     Establishes guilt:  Accommodating children who move; Failure is someone else’s fault, the student, the teacher, the school, but never an inadequate curriculum. Requires teaching on topic in sequence. If your student is behind, they will not get individualized attention as the teacher will be required to move on in the sequence. If your student is ahead, they will remain bored because of the lack of individualization.
c.      Disrespects, intimidates and isolates teachers: implements a three-minute walk-through (Fenwick English) to enforce what they call “best practices” which disturbs the classroom.  These spot checks made by administrators are designed to make sure the teachers are in precisely the proper rigorously enforced teaching sequence required by CSCOPE and if they are not at that same moment in time as all over CSCOPE districts, they are written up.  Any teacher who refuses to use CSCOPE is fired for “not being a team player”. Names of critics have been placed on CSCOPEs presentation material which opens them up for litigation.
d.     Contract /Disclosure Agreement/ULA: though I have heard that WISD teachers were not required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, an NDA is a required component of CSCOPE, making WISD in direct violation.
e.     Covertness: NDA signed under duress all over Texas, teacher contributions are confiscated, threat of on-line monitoring of teacher activities, and promotes a public display of failing work.  Removes input and feedback from and influence of parents – no parent group was put together to investigate CSCOPE prior to its purchase by WISD. Parents cannot access actual lessons, only limited information through parent portal, though as a result of recent litigation, parents can now demand to see the curriculum which is why Dr. Vinson claims parents may have any access they want (as if he is granting some specific modification due to his self-promotion as a ‘conservative’) by contacting their teacher, but if you are not in education would you know what to look for?  Removes the importance of textbooks, relying on photocopying worksheets and strictly online curriculum.  Removes the importance of homework since assignments are completed in groups. Trains administration how to minimize criticism &/disarm complaints using Delphi Technique to shut down dissent.
3.     The Cost, Financial Accountability, and Public Relations: CSCOPE is a sales and marketing vendor versus a governmental agency.  CSCOPE is establishing  a monopoly on curriculum. It was developed on taxpayer time and with taxpayer money- Taken over by TESCCC another non-profit.  CSCOPE has a highly Questionable Relationship With (NER) National Educational Resources, Inc. another non-profit as well.   No Contract, No Bids, possible kick-backs. Though several organizations sought legal action to receive access to the curriculum for review, CSCOPE petitioned Attorney General to protect themselves from exposure to competitors and public scrutiny – RED FLAG!
4.     Quality and Substance of Materials: Incomplete use/alignment of TEKS. Progressive indoctrination of students through questionable internet sources, asking leading questions on tests. Has an Anti-American, Anti-Christian slant, inappropriate readability levels, grammatical and factual errors.
a.     Buzz words to watch for: Authenticity (Wiggins), Rigor, Culturally-Relevant, Deeper Understanding,  21st Century Skills, Scaffolding, Personal Relevance; Concept-Basis (Erickson) vs. Topic; Inch-Deep/Mile Wide, Education  Equity; Collaboration, Social Justice, Big Picture, Reflective Teaching, Backward Design (McTighe)
5.     Misrepresentation:
b.     Parent Portal:  Actual material is not available on the portal.  Superintendents are now programmed to regurgitate back key talking points on CSCOPE that parents are allowed to view the curriculum, however a parent must complain to a teacher in order to go view it.  By the time a parent figures out something is not right, there is no easy way to trace back to a specific lesson plan.  Still, no group of independent parents was ever given the opportunity to study CSCOPE in-depth prior to the agreement to purchase it.
c.      Philosophy/Ideology/Differences in Methodology: Not openly explained/revealed to public
d.     Connection to Common Core Standards:  Google Linda Darling-Hammond to read about her alliance with Bill Ayers.  Edugate/Hammond
e.     Confusion:  curriculum?  Curriculum–management? An auxiliary product? A living curriculum?
f.        Plagiarism: Teachers report seeing lessons elsewhere/material not sourced or referenced. There have been several documents circulated on direct plagiarized lesson plans and possible litigation to come on this :  MacGraw-HillChemisty Book  
g.      Sources Of Lessons Not Revealed: Who wrote the lesson plans? Experts?  Authors?  Editors? References? Credentials?  CSCOPE is not a static curriculum such as published, reviewed books where an ISBN number exists.  Because of this, the writers can change the materials and resources for the materials continually.
h.     Terminology (Just New Paint):  YAG (Year At A Glance),VAD (Vertical Alignment Document).  IFD (Instructional Focus Document), 5E -John Dewey- (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate).
6.      Inefficiency:
a.     Results Bad before good-   70 is the new 100!
b.     Teachers’ Time and Energy: According to WISD Superintendent Dr. Vinson, teachers don’t have to spend time writing curriculum which is why WISD purchased CSCOP, yet in his blog post he states that teachers are now “allowed to add to or change the curriculum”.  If the CSCOPE lessons are so controversial such as calling terrorists Freedom Fighters, how is it saving teachers time if they still have to re-write the curriculum anyway?  This sounds like a phenomenal waste of time and money. Since CSCOPE is designed to save districts money by negating the need to purchase books or write curriculum, the time teachers have to spend photocopying worksheets and tests alone still takes time away for them.  Because of this, teachers are finding themselves overwhelmingly taxed by CSCOPE.
c.      Mind-Control: All across Texas on the same lesson at the exact same time.  This is failing students. What about comparing college future and success of CSCOPE v.  Non-CSCOPE students?
7.     Hurting Students
a.     Withdrawal from schools; crying, stress; drastic change in grades; demonized
b.     Repeated tests finally given answers to tests (Teaches delayed effort/cheating OK)

What to expect 
Lawsuits!!!  Plagiarism lawsuits and against targeting and intimidation. 
Bills in the 83rd legislative session:
HB 760 - CSCOPE Transparency Act - State Rep Steve Toth
SB 1406 - Defund and Review CSCOPE- State Senator Dan Patrick

What Can You Do? 
1.      Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE
2.     Sign the Petition at Women on the Wall

3.     Support State Representative Steve Toth on HB 760 by contacting your House members and insisting that they support HB 760. 

Sources and great articles & Videos: