Why is Thomas Ratliff fighting for CSCOPE?
An inferior Curriculum product!
Texas Children and their Teachers deserve better!
It is interesting to see how Thomas Ratliff attacks those who question CSCOPE.
Please see what was written in an e-mail sent out about the Women On The Wall Communication Team Conference Call.
From: Thomas Ratliff <email@example.com>
Date: August 7, 2013, 7:32:43 AM CDT
To: Thomas Ratliff <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: True Colors
Cyndi Lauper wrote a song called “True Colors” and it comes to mind when I watch Senator Patrick’s activities regarding CSCOPE.First he films his “fireside chat” video talking about all of the right-wing issues he wants the Governor to add to the special session call. It seemed like he spent a disproportionate amount of time on CSCOPE.Now, according to the post below, he’s having a telephone call with a group of extremists to update them on CSCOPE. It’s clear that Senator Patrick’s motives are political, not policy. It’s hard to imagine how he has time to be a state senator and chair the Education Committee when he’s so busy campaigning.I’m still waiting for you to keep your word Senator. It’s time to have a POLICY debate on CSCOPE so everyone can see your true colors on this issue. If you don’t want to have a “mano y mano” debate, simply have an interim hearing of your committee, that way you can sit at the big desk and I’ll sit down with the people you are trying to rule with an iron fist.If you’re interested, here’s the link to tonight’s call with Senator Patrick. If it doesn’t re-direct you, you may have to copy and paste it into your browser.
T. RatliffState Board of Education, Vice Chairman(903) 717-1190
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CURRICULUM STANDARDS AND CURRICULUM
By Donna Garner
Curriculum standards are the TEKS that the Texas State Board of Education members adopted. They tell teachers WHAT to teach. Curriculum is HOW teachers choose to teach the curriculum standards. Curriculum means lessons, teaching units, exemplar lessons, visual/auditory/kinesthetic presentations, textbooks, at-risk strategies, instructional materials, daily quizzes, unit tests, final tests, learning activities, workbooks, packets, online websites, online instruction, etc.
I remember when the CSCOPE personnel kept telling us early-on that it was not a curriculum; but because of the work done by Colleen Vera (posted below) in getting copies of the contracts between CSCOPE and Harris County Dept. of Education (attached), we were able to show by the actual wording that CSCOPE was not just a curriculum management system but was also a curriculum. The CSCOPE lessons, exemplar lessons, and assessments are all considered to be curriculum.
Because assessments drive what is taught in the classroom, it is imperative that the CSCOPE assessments not be used by Texas school districts. We have had testimony from Texas classroom teachers who have stated that the assessments are faulty, have incorrect questions on them, and are poorly aligned even with the CSCOPE lessons.
Because the CSCOPE lessons are not aligned with the SBOE-adopted TEKS, then the inferior CSCOPE assessments certainly should be dropped from use.
EXAMPLE: The CSCOPE Scope and Sequence binds the teachers into following a particular timeline to teach the curriculum. For instance, the CSCOPE Scope and Sequence document might say that I as an English teacher have three days to teach complete sentences; but for me to make sure students can locate a complete sentence, they first have to be able to:
Find the verb and its subject(s)
Include the parts that “stick” to the verb and its subject(s) such as objects/predicate nouns/pronouns/adjectives
Differentiate between phrases and clauses
Pull out the independent/dependent clauses
All of this is involved with teaching a complete sentence and takes months of hard work to teach.
If the CSCOPE Scope and Sequence were to limit me as a teacher to three days to teach complete sentences, then CSCOPE would successfully be dictating to me what I can and cannot teach.
This explains why the CSCOPE Scope and Sequence does end up driving the curriculum. The Scope and Sequence timeline itself basically dictates to teachers whether they have the time to teach a thorough Type #1 unit or a hit-and-miss Type #2, dumbing-down type of presentation.
I hope this helps to clarify the issue of “curriculum” and makes it clear that the CSCOPE lessons, assessments, Scope and Sequence, and all of the other parts of CSCOPE are out of step with the state-adopted TEKS which are mandated for every public school classroom teacher in Texas to teach.