A representative of the online curriculum delivery service called CSCOPE came under fire today as parents, teachers and residents questioned the program's lessons.
Teachers of the Wichita Falls Independent School District have been following CSCOPE's curriculum for four years now. But former high school teacher Stan Hartzler said the program fails to teach students correctly.
"I quit because of CSCOPE," said Hartzler.
Hartzler first began using CSCOPE last fall when he was a teaching in Luling, TX. He said during his Algebra I class he noticed that 25% of the fundamental parts of algebra were missing from the lessons provided by CSCOPE.
Hartzler says, "I felt that the curriculum was so weak that I was doing the students a disservice. I was being part of a lie that said they're getting an Algebra I class and they weren't getting an Algebra I class."
Other people have raised concerns about how much the lessons cover the religion of Islam. Some have even said they include anti-capitalism views. But Region Nine's Executive Director and CSCOPE representative Anne Poplin says all the lessons comply with the standards of the state's board of education. She says the rumors are a product of misinformation.
"For instance in U.S. history there are eight lessons on Christianity and three on Islam. The lessons on Islam are required by the State Board of Education and not by CSCOPE," said Poplin.
Poplin says CSCOPE is now becoming more transparent. Before lessons were only available online for teachers because the lessons and tests were under the same page. A concerned parent at the public forum said not being able to access the lessons online became a problem for her. Her child had to miss school for several days due to illness and she couldn't teach the lessons he missed at home. That's why only the tests will now be hidden from the public.
"What we're doing is placing those in a different portal that's being created for us by our web program and then we are bringing the lessons available for view for the parents," said Poplin.
Poplin said more than three fourths of the lessons are now available online. She also said that CSCOPE helps schools save money because they don't have to pay teachers to come up with their own curriculum.