Tag Archives: Thomas Ratliff

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.

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.