Education News

State Sen. Dan Patrick: ‘The Era Of CSCOPE Lesson Plans Has Come To An End’

Over the last seven years, more than 800 school districts in Texas have turned to an online system for help with lesson plans. The program is called CSCOPE and was developed by the state. But its lesson plans have been controversial and subject to debate in the Texas Legislature. Now those lessons are over.

Some classroom lessons plans from CSCOPE have made big headlines.

One asked students to compare members of the Boston Tea Party to terrorists. Another asked sixth graders to draw a flag for a socialist nation.

Kyle Wargo is part the education coalition in charge of CSCOPE. He announces in Austin it will shut down its lesson plans.

“When you think about the subjectivity, those lessons, every lesson, needs to be developed at the local level, by the teacher, who understands the values and needs of that community. But I do want to be clear today, CSCOPE is no longer doing lessons. Period.”

Wargo says the board will officially vote later this week.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, says the program will go back to its original purpose, a management tool for teachers to stay on schedule.

He says just like textbooks, classroom content needs oversight.

“I don’t think the Legislature wants to be in a situation in the future where we have parents and teachers and others coming to us with a question or a complaint or a problem that is in the curriculum, the lesson plans or online lesson in a large number of schools.”

Not everyone is pleased with the decision.

The Texas Freedom Network is a liberal watchdog group. Its president Kathy Miller says the move amounts to political bullying.

She says now school districts have to figure out how to replace the curriculum from CSCOPE.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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