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What CSCOPE Ban Means For Teachers And School Districts

Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC)

On Friday a Burnet County judge will decide if Llano ISD can continue to use the CSCOPE lesson plans for the start of this school year.

The decision could have an effect on what happens in school districts across the state as educators and districts struggle with how to meet state standards for education without a curriculum framework that was tailored to meet those marks.

Louis Malfaro, the secretary treasurer for the Texas AFT,  the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, said banning the use of CSCOPE will severely handicap a school district’s teaching staff.

"A little school district, even a mid-sized school district, doesn’t have the resources to be able to develop an entire scope and sequence for the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)," Malfaro said.

TEKS are the state standards for what a student should know and be able to do in Texas public schools.

Malfaro said for the most part teachers use CSCOPE as a framework to make sure they can meet those standards, but some teachers have complained that their districts don't allow them to deviate from the lesson plans because of the hard benchmarks.

He said there has always been a tension of teachers wanting the freedom to teach in their own way, but with a need that there is an outline of what should be taught according to the state standards.

"This tool that has been developed, now you are not allowed to touch it, you're not allowed to use any element of it," Malfaro said. "And to do it at the last minute where districts have come to rely on this as a framework has left a lot of districts really scrambling."

Malfaro said school districts may soon be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop their own curriculum.