Oh my goodness!! Only 9-weeks of school left! So much to do and so little time to get it all accomplished. The most important task at hand is to make certain that we cover the educational curriculum/Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) left to cover before state assessment time and before the end of the school year. Speaking of assessment, if you follow the legislative happenings then you know that it is likely that the state assessment requirements will be changing. Currently, the state assessment is in grades 3 - 8 and in each of the four core classes in 9th, 10th and 11th grades. This works out to be reading and math in grade 3; writing, reading and math in grade 4; reading, math and science in grade 5; reading and math in grade 6; reading, writing, and math in grade 7 ; and reading, math, science and social studies in grade 8 and possibly Algebra I if a student is enrolled in Algebra I as an 8th grader. As well, in 5th and 8th grade students must pass reading and math assessments to be promoted to the next grade level. Once at high school students have to take a series of tests depending on what course they are enrolled in for the school year. Over the life of a high school student under the current assessment system, the student must take 15 tests to graduate from high school. The 15 tests are comprised of 3 math, 3 science, 3 English, 3 writing, and 3 social studies.
How in the world do students and teachers prepare for such a demanding assessment program? Since the state assessments are comprised of the TEKS, it would seem plausible that a program that organizes the TEKS in a manner that is logical and a system in which TEKS are bundled together would be a beneficial product to use. San Saba ISD does have this product called a curriculum management system and that curriculum management system is called CSCOPE. CSCOPE is a comprehensive curriculum management system complete with lessons, assessments, and resources. Schools can use as little or as much of the curriculum management system as they want. Basically, the State Board of Education(SBOE) provides schools with the approved TEKS for each subject area, teachers at SSISD use CSCOPE to organize the TEKS in a manageable and bundled format to instruct students. If products like CSCOPE were not available teachers would be faced with organizing, ordering and trying to bundle as many as 150 TEKS per subject to teach. The TEKS/student expectations cannot be taught in isolation, a bundled approach is the best approach and the only way to get all the information covered in a logical manner and before assessment time.
Schools use many curriculum management products. The Margaret Kilgo product that some schools use and what San Saba used previously is a scope and sequence/bundled approach much like CSCOPE. Regardless if a school purchases a curriculum management system or they are lucky enough to have the number of staff to write their own scope and sequence, schools use some sort of order or approach to instruction. San Saba ISD uses CSCOPE and we require only the use of the assessments and the Instructional Focus Document (IFD) which is the scope and sequence or bundled approach to the instruction. Teachers may use the lessons and all the other products that are included in CSCOPE but it is not required by the District.
Basically, the State of Texas and the State Board of Education provides schools with a set of standards called the TEKS, schools have to make certain students master the TEKS as measured through the state assessments or the schools suffer accountability sanctions. So it is easy to see that CSOCPE and other similar curriculum management systems were constructed to assist schools in providing a sound instructional approach to master the curriculum and ultimately meet the state accountability measures. What seems to be lost in most of this state assessment and accountability mandate is the need of the student. In meeting the TEKS mastery, the state assessment mastery and the state accountability mastery, the individual student need, choice and interest is lost. An assessment program is necessary, but an assessment program that is student success oriented and promotes student choice and student future career interest is one we should all be working toward. Hopefully, our legislators are working to this end and we will see a positive student oriented assessment and accountability system in the future.
Please take the time to read the articles that are being published regarding CSCOPE on both sides of the CSCOPE argument. Do not limit yourself to a one-sided inflammatory review. Please read all sides and speak to educators and come in to the District to have a look at the curriculum management system first hand. Not all teachers like CSCOPE, but they do appreciate the organization provided by the product. Any campus principal or anyone at the central office will be glad to logon to the CSCOPE site and provide you with a look at what is available through this curriculum management system.
Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! Please check the website at www.san-saba.net for school information and follow us on Facebook, too! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3771 or email me at email@example.com .