It was May 20, 2013 when engaged parents across Texas received the news that CSCOPE was no longer in the lesson plan business. Although small, it was an exciting victory for Texas teachers, parents and students.
Fast forward two months, and courtesy of East Texas’ SBOE Member Thomas Ratliff, the CSCOPE lesson plan issue is back again like a chronic rash.
Ratliff is far from bashful in his vigorous support for the CSCOPE lesson plans that “are not consistent with our textbooks.” – Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (WTP, July 18, 2013).
Since late May, Ratliff has been actively recommending school districts download CSCOPE lesson plans. Too, he assures them they need not worry about the copyright contract they signed that hindered teachers from sharing lesson plans with parents. In a voice mail Ratliff left for a Spring Hill woman, he said, “The other thing that a lot of districts are doing is downloading all of the lessons from CSCOPE and saving them to their hard-drive to use later. And CSCOPE is just going to look the other way because they know this is going away and all of those lesson plans are on the public port-hole — on the internet. So my advice is to start downloading and saving all of the lessons.”
Wow! Aside from the possible legal repercussions in taking that advice, I am curious as to how Ratliff can legally make that assertion on behalf of CSCOPE.
It is unclear what drives Ratliff to continue to push this unwelcomed program onto our Texas children. Especially since, according to the Texas Tribune, districts that used CSCOPE saw lower scores on the STAAR tests than districts who did not use the program.
Ask any teacher or engaged parent if the lower scores are a surprise and get a resounding ‘No.’ Why should it be? The lesson plans are a collection of erroneous, feelings over fact, anti-Christian, anti-American material. Hardly inline with the hearts of Texans. On the other side of the issue stands Ratliff who refers to the differences as ‘artificial controversy.’
Recently, through an e-mail exchange, Ratliff and I discussed CSCOPE. He was giddy over the prospect that CSCOPE could be back in our Texas schools. “I think this is awesome!!!“ exclaimed Ratliff.
Ratliff is quick to tell everyone who will listen that he supports ‘local control’ of CSCOPE. However, in reviewing the multitude of articles out there wherein Ratliff discussed ‘local control’, only school boards and administrators were mentioned.
Further, Ratliff stated, “CSCOPE is an online resource and can be accessed by any device that can get on the internet.” Too, “I support 100% transparency for these lessons.” So, as a parent, I requested he forward me a link to review the CSCOPE lessons that school districts are downloading all across Texas. Ratliff responded, “If I find any resources out there that list all of the lessons, I will forward that to you.”
My definition of ‘local control’ is school boards, administrators and parents working in conjunction. It appears Thomas Ratliff’s ‘local control’ definition leaves out one vital component; parents.
Please let SBOE member Thomas Ratliff, as well as the other SBOE members, hear from you before their next meeting of September 18, 2013.