86% of Texas school districts use the C-SCOPE, a curriculum management system. The WFISD implemented it in 2011. But in the last several months, many have been criticizing the C-SCOPE.
The curriculum has been called "anti-American" and has been under scrutiny because parents are unable to access the lessons because it is an electronic system which only teachers and schools can access. Today WFISD curriculum specialists presented for the school board. Despite all the criticism, the WFISD believes the C-SCOPE is still the best resource for them to use in their classrooms.
WFISD curriculum specialists demonstrated why the C-SCOPE is the best resource for their teachers to use at the WFISD School Board meeting. School officials say their mission is to prepare all students to become lifelong learners who are productive, responsible, and participating members of society. They also need to prepare them for assessments like the STAAR exam and the best way they believe they can accomplish those goals is by teaching with the C-SCOPE.
Assistant Superintendent Tim Powers said, "When there is a triangulation between the curriculum standards which are the TASK and the curriculum management system, which is how you deliver or teach that information as well as the assessment system then what you have is a greater opportunity for students to be successful."
More than one hundred people sat in on the presentation and though the presentation was thorough, still many had issues.
Dana Mills, a professor at MSU said, "They never really addressed the content that they are implementing. They are implementing a program that was never vetted on any level prior to be used in the school system."
Content like the lesson on the Boston Tea Party which was suppose to teach about terrorism. School officials say it was to teach about viewing events from different perspectives. Since the controversy, that lesson is no longer a part of the curriculum. And while school officials agree some things need to be changed in the C-SCOPE, they say they have to cover it.
Ward Roberts, Secondary Math Curriculum Specialist for Wichita Falls said, "Those are things that school districts all across Texas have to cover, if you don't cover them and you leave them out you are really in violation of Texas Education Code."
School officials say though the C-SCOPE has been said to limit teachers, it is actually very flexible and teachers have the ability to control their lessons. The C-SCOPE is only a resource and teachers are able to pick the lessons that they choose. They also say the curriculum gives their schools uniformity when they are battling a high mobility rate in Wichita Falls. "It makes it easier to help a kid who has moved from place to place because in a certain time frame we know that they would have covered a certain amount of material."
The WFISD says they still plan to use the C-SCOPE and that new improvements to it will make the curriculum strong but for some them say it's too late.
"My trust in CSCOPE is broken, they broke trust whenever they prevented free access to the content before implementing it to the classroom."
Because of scrutiny of the C-SCOPE, Texas Senator Dan Patrick demanded change to the curriculum. All future meetings of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum collaborative governing board will now be public and will post meetings according to open meeting requirements.
The TESCC will also begin joint review process of all C-SCOPE lessons starting with social studies. All terms of agreements documents signed by teachers and districts will no longer have civil or criminal penalties associated with the release of C-SCOPE content.
And all teachers and school districts will have the ability to post and and all C-SCOPE lessons they deem necessary which the WFISD plans to do on there website.