FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/12/2013
BELL COAUTHORS CSCOPE REVIEW LEGISLATION
Austin, TX -- State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. (Magnolia) is a coauthor of legislation designed to increase accountability over the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (CSCOPE). House Bill 760, relating to State Board of Education oversight of regional education service center services and products concerning student curriculum, would bring CSCOPE digitized materials under the same publicly vetted process that the State Board of Education (SBOE) currently uses for its textbook adoption process.
"There is growing concern by educators, parents, and interested individuals surrounding the online curriculum program that 70 percent of Texas school districts are utilizing," Representative Bell noted. "We owe it to our Texas school children and their families to closely examine what has formally been a less than transparent curriculum program created by our regional educational service centers."
A collaboration of twenty Education Service Centers, under the auspices of the Texas Education Agency, created the CSCOPE curriculum. Its intent is to help districts align their daily lesson plans with the state's education standards. The Education Service Centers provide programs and services for school districts in their regions so that districts are able to concentrate their resources in classrooms.
The Senate Committee on Education, chaired by Senator Dan Patrick (Houston), held a hearing on January 31 to investigate allegations against CSCOPE. To view a recording of the hearing's proceedings, visit http://www.senate.state.tx.us/bin/live.php. Since the hearing, CSCOPE has agreed to make it clear that lessons are not intended to be used verbatim and instead should be used as a resource; lessons will be reviewed through a collaborative process with the SBOE, involving parents, teachers, school administrators, and CSCOPE board members; lesson content will be made public on its website and penalties associated with releasing content will be removed; and CSCOPE board meetings will be public, meeting all notice requirements.
"If districts want to use SCOPE, we need to ensure that Texas parents are comfortable with the curriculum and that Texas values are included," said Representative Bell.
Jessica Lynch, Chief of Staff