By Jessica Feuz Kern
CSCOPE is not right for Rockwall schools. I am the parent of a kindergartener (with 2 more kids who will one day attend Rockwall schools) and I have a master’s degree in secondary English Education from Columbia Teacher’s College, where I studied several of the names brought up in arguing against CSCOPE. I also taught 9th grade English for several years in New York City’s public schools.
Here’s why I don’t like CSCOPE:
1. The money flow. It is paid for with tax dollars, yet we must lease it every year? And what exactly do we get? My friend and neighbor wants to help her son struggling in math, yet there is no textbook and she has very limited access to the curriculum.
2. CSCOPE is poor in quality and substance. From the grammar mistakes to tests and “assessments” not aligning with the material that the students are taught, this curriculum or curriculum management system is a waste of money. Our students (my children!) deserve better.
3. CSCOPE is rife with misrepresentations and secrecy. Why do we need HB 760 to force it to be transparent?
4. It is harmful to students. The poor quality and scripting ignores the needs of students who are struggling. Even students who are not struggling may mentally “check out” when presented with tests and other curriculum materials full of errors.
5. The ideology. Now, I am fully aware that we live in a large, diverse world, and our students need to know about it. My concern here is the timing. My friend’s 5th grader had a lesson where he needed to design a communist flag. I think students need a solid foundation in US history in elementary school before they expand their worldview in the higher grades.
6. CSCOPE devalues our teachers. Scripted lesson plans and frequent evaluations disrupt the many wonderful things that happen in our classrooms. We have good teachers and we need to let them teach.
I thank those of you who have kept reading. (And this is the BRIEF list of why I don’t like CSCOPE!) Now I am not going to complain without proposing a solution. I think we need to give the power back to the teachers in our community. If we really need a curriculum management system, let’s create our own like the Highland Park ISD. It may cost more money in the short run, but in the long run it will save money and improve the quality of education in Rockwall ISD.
CSCOPE is here, it was a mistake, and now it is time to correct the mistake. I am voting for school board candidates that I believe will correct this mistake and move Rockwall forward.