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Lumberton ISD responds to end of CSCOPE daily lesson plans
LUMBERTON - The Lumberton school district says a decision by CSCOPE board members to stop offering daily lesson plans won't have a major impact because the district doesn't require teachers to use CSCOPE lessons.
Lumberton found itself in the spotlight earlier this year when some students and parents criticized a lesson they said forced some youngsters to wear burqas and promoted anti-American values. Lumberton ISD released a statement at that time in which it denied the lesson in question was a written CSCOPE lesson. Instead, it said the lesson informed students about the customary culture of the people in the Middle East and was part of the curriculum from the World Geography TEKS.
State Senator Dan Patrick says the 20-member board overseeing CSCOPE will vote this week to stop offering lesson plans amid mounting pressure from some conservatives who claimed it was promoting anti-American values. The Texas Legislature was prearping to pass a $1 million plan to put CSCOPE under strict state oversight.
CSCOPE offers Web-based lesson plans and exams designed to help teachers adhere to state curriculum, especially those working in small districts that have trouble keeping up with Texas' copious rules. CSCOPE is used in 877 Texas school districts, or 78 percent of districts statewide, and is supposed to be flexible enough for teachers to alter content to meet their individual needs.
The system was created by the 20 state-run service centers around Texas which are designed to support school districts. It offers about 1,600 model lessons that districts can access for a fee of $7 per student, though additional training for teachers on how to use the system can increase the per-pupil price.
According to a statement released Monday by the district, "Lumberton ISD does not require our teachers to use the lessons written in CSCOPE; therefore the removal of lessons from CSCOPE as proposed will not strongly affect the district.
Recently a curriculum committee was formed to review the current CSCOPE curriculum and determine the plan for the upcoming school year. The committee has met several times, and has offered several recommendations. The school district would like to extend appreciation for the hard work and dedication each member offered to the committee and the vision of our school district.
The plan will be presented to the District Site Base Committee on Monday, May 20, 2013 with the final recommendation being presented to the School Board on Thursday, June 06, 2013.
The ultimate decision from the committee was for the district to write its own curriculum utilizing the CSCOPE model as an informational guide, and adjusting content to fit the needs of our community and to satisfy the requirements of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). 92% of the committee voted to use the CSCOPE model for a transition period of one year as the district is writing curriculum. CSCOPE had undergone positive changes, with vast improvements in its transparency; now with the elimination of CSCOPE lessons effective August 31, 2013, the district will expedite its plans for transitioning to a new curriculum to begin the 2013-2014 school year.
The decisions recommended will include the employment of curriculum specialist to assist in the development of the curriculum design and content. The specialist will work with teachers from all grade levels to gain insight on the scope and sequence requested, and then will vertically align the content to be suitable for the district.
The district will create and maintain a curriculum framework which is an organized plan that defines the content to be learned in terms of clear, definable standards describing what the student should know and be able to do. In addition, the curriculum will be accessible to parents to understand what will be taught and what students will learn. Curriculum writing is an ongoing process that is designed to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all of our students.
Lumberton ISD prides itself with outstanding teachers and students. In addition, we are proud of the quality scores that are received from the STAAR and TAKS assessments; as well as being one of the few school districts that have achieved meeting AYP this past school year as defined by No Child Left Behind. The school district is committed to excellence in learning and teaching."