“Waco ISD – CSCOPE District – Achievement Gaps Increased”
by Donna Garner
[Comments from Donna Garner: Here is an example of a school district – Waco ISD – that spent $140,982 (2012-2013) in one year alone to purchase CSCOPE. Undoubtedly, Waco ISD has spent that much and more on CSCOPE in past years also. Yet the achievement gap has INCREASED – not DECREASED (see article posted below).
The taxpayers of Waco ISD should hold the administration accountable for purchasing CSCOPE when it is obviously not in alignment with the Texas State Board of Education’s adopted curriculum standards (TEKS) upon which the STAAR/End-of-Course tests are based.
The fact that Waco ISD students’ reading and math skills are getting worse is great cause for alarm; and if those skills are decreasing, then students are definitely not equipped to be successful in all of their other courses.
Ironically enough, Waco ISD is the home of Region 12 Education Service Center; and it was this ESC that treated Janice VanCleave with such disdain and disrespect almost two years ago when she first sought to view the CSCOPE science lessons so that she could tutor the at-risk students in Marlin.
(To read Janice VanCleave’s account (1.20.13) of her experiences with the Waco ESC, please go to -- http://educationviews.org/tx-renowned-science-author-banned-from-cs... )
Janice was told she nor anyone else could see the CSCOPE lessons. When Janice alerted Barbara Cargill, the chair of the SBOE, that CSCOPE lessons were being kept secret from the public and from parents (a breech of Texas law), Cargill herself spent six months trying to get a CSCOPE password.
It is probably very embarrassing for the Waco ESC that has advocated so strongly for CSCOPE to have its largest school district to do so poorly on the STAAR/End-of-Course tests. Supposedly CSCOPE was the answer to raise academic achievement in Waco ISD. Instead students’ academic achievement has gone down.
What a sad day for those thousands of Waco ISD students and the many teachers who have struggled to use CSCOPE only to find out that it hinders students’ academic achievement rather than helping. – Donna Garner]
Gap widens between Waco ISD, statewide student achievement
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 12:01 am
By HOLLIE O’CONNOR
Excerpts from this article:
…Waco ISD set a goal last year to narrow the achievement gap between Waco students’ State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness scores and the Texas average by 5 percent, but that goal was not met.
The achievement gap actually widened on 12 out of the 22 test scores. The biggest increase was on the sixth-grade math exam, which 21 percent fewer students passed in Waco than statewide in 2012, and 34 percent less passed than statewide in 2013.
Other math tests also proved problematic, with the achievement gap increasing in third- and fourth-grade math.
The gap stayed the same in four tests and narrowed on six, though only two tests met the 5 percent goal. The gap on those tests, fifth-grade math and reading, both narrowed from 13 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in 2013.
“It seems like we are, to some degree, implementing new programs and new methodologies that we find out nine months later didn’t work, so we turn around and try something different again and find out a year later that those didn’t work either,” board Vice President Allen Sykes said.
…But board President Pat Atkins noted that student scores went down in many areas, independent of the state score comparison…
Everett said many teachers are not teaching lessons at the required rigor to prepare students for the STAAR test, and a new program will ensure teachers set the bar high for students.
He said another problem is some students aren’t reading at grade level, which affects multiple subjects.
Students who can’t read and comprehend a science question, for example, may put the wrong answer even when they know the material…