Category Archives: CSCOPE

TEA releases CSCOPE review panel findings

In 2013, the State Board of Education launched an informal review of the content of social studies lessons offered through the curriculum management system CSCOPE. SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill appointed an ad hoc committee to conduct the review, and SBOE District 15 member Marty Rowley chaired the committee. Other SBOE members serving on the committee were Mavis Knight from District 13, Patricia “Pat” Hardy from District 11 and Tom Maynard from District 10.

The committee took input from approximately 140 stakeholders, and their reports are now available online at The website includes a statement clarifying the purpose of the review as follows: “The Ad Hoc Committee was not charged with the responsibility to approve or disapprove of these lessons, and it makes no recommendations nor does it reach any conclusions in that regard. It is intended that these reviews will serve as a resource for those who are considering using these lessons, and for those who are interested in learning what a cross section of Texas educators, parents and citizens have to say about them.”

Read today’s press release from the Texas Education Agency for more information.

Ratliff says response to CSCOPE hearing underwhelming

The public tiff between Sen. Dan Patrick (R–Houston) and State Board of Education (SBOE) member Thomas Ratliff over the use of CSCOPE continued this week when Ratliff announced that public response to an SBOE hearing on the subject was far from overwhelming.

CSCOPE is an online curriculum management tool used by many Texas public schools. Patrick lead an effort to cease production of CSCOPE lessons and is using the issue to drum up attention prior to election season.

Patrick’s Senate Bill (SB) 1406, approved during the last legislative session, requires SBOE to conduct the same review process for CSCOPE as it does for other instructional materials. That process includes a public hearing, which will take place this Friday, Sept. 13.

In his “Cry Wolf” press release, Ratliff states, “Given all of the legislative attention, outrageous claims, and heated rhetoric, you might assume that hundreds, or even thousands, of concerned parents would come to Austin to testify about this ‘controversial’ curriculum. As of the filing deadline yesterday, there were a grand total of eight people signed up to testify, and not all of them are opposed to CSCOPE lessons.”

Patrick has yet to respond.

Teach the Vote will be on hand for the hearing.

Stay tuned for updates.

SBOE to hold public hearing on CSCOPE lessons

The State Board of Education (SBOE) is seeking public input on the CSCOPE social studies lesson plans. The board will hold a public hearing Friday, Sept. 13, to hear public testimony from anyone who wishes to attend.

Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes and testifiers are asked to focus solely on specific
recommendations pertaining to identified current CSCOPE social studies lessons
as they appear at either or

Those wishing to testify can register here Sept. 3–6, and Sept. 9. Written testimony may also be submitted.

Here is the official notice from the TEA web site.

Statement From ATPE State President Ginger Franks on CSCOPE debate

Vice Chairman of the State Board of Education Thomas Ratliff and Senate Education Committee Chairman, and now candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) will debate on education policy issues, including CSCOPE, on Saturday in Tyler, TX.  The following is a statement regarding this debate from ATPE State President Ginger Franks, a special education teacher who represents the association’s 100,000-plus membership across the state.

“This is not really about the merits of CSCOPE. It’s about the fact that a politician is trying to take away educators’ right to decide which lesson plans to use for purely political reasons. Tools like CSCOPE help teachers manage lesson plans and many districts, especially smaller school districts, rely heavily on this tool. It would be a shame to deny access to a tool that many teachers find helpful, especially when there isn’t a readily available replacement for it. This is a violation of educators’ right to teach the students in the way they feel is the most efficient and effective method, whether it is CSCOPE or not.”

The debate will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Texas -Tyler Ornelas Activity Center. ATPE encourages all educators to attend.

For those that can’t attend, the debate will be live streamed. The feed will be posted here on the TeachtheVote blog when it becomes available. Be sure to check back.


Patrick-Ratliff debate update

Sen. Dan Patrick and SBOE Vice Chairman Thomas Ratilff have agreed to terms for their upcoming debate on CSCOPE and education policy. Here is a joint press release with the details:

For Immediate Release                                                             For Information Contact:

August 9, 2013                                                                                             Thomas Ratliff

(903) 717-1190


Patrick & Ratliff Agree to Details for Education Policy Discussion

Senator Dan Patrick and SBOE Vice-Chair Thomas Ratliff agreed to the details for their upcoming education policy discussion.

WHERE:          UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center

ACCESS:          Arrangements are being made to stream the event online.  Details to follow.

WHEN:            August 24th, 6:30 PM

FORMAT:        Scott Braddock, Quorum Report – moderator

Mary Ann Whiteker, Superintendent of Hudson ISD – panelist

JoAnn Fleming, Grassroots America – We The People – panelist

  • Each speaker will have 2 minutes for an opening statement.
  • Each panelist will be allowed to ask 4 questions. Questions can be directed towards one speaker or both speakers.  The first speaker will get 2 minutes to answer followed by 3 minutes of dialogue in which both speakers and the panelists can participate.
  • Each speaker will have 2 minutes for a closing statement.
  • Questions will not be taken from the audience

Both parties are looking forward to a polite, professional and open discussion about important policy decisions for public education in Texas, specifically as they pertain to the issue of CSCOPE.


Sen. Dan Patrick to debate Vice Chair of SBOE Thomas Ratliff on CSCOPE

Senate Education Committee Chairman, and now candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) will debate Vice Chairman of the State Board of Education Thomas Ratliff on CSCOPE, an online curriculum aid used by many Texas schools.

Patrick recently led a push to end production of CSCOPE lessons, which some conservatives believe promotes a liberal agenda. However, although no new lessons will be created, there is nothing stopping schools from using lessons that are already in existence. This issue has become a hot topic for both Patrick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who are using it to drum up attention prior to election season. Patrick issued a public challenge that he would debate anyone of the merits of the system. Ratliff accepted Patrick’s challenge.

As of press time, the two sides were wrangling over the details of the event, which will take place Aug. 24 in Tyler.

Stay tuned for updates.