ABILENE, TX - CSCOPE is an online curriculum management tool that largely gets students ready for state standardized tests.
In the past that has included the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. TAKS is being replaced by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™) tests.
However, CSCOPE has a lot of critics. Some are for it and some aren't convinced of its value.
According to statistics, 40 out of 42 districts use CSCOPE in the Big Country and 875 out of 1,030 districts – or 85 percent – use it statewide.
Abilene ISD has used CSCOPE for several years, but their neighbor Wylie ISD said for now, WISD is doing fine without it.
"Until TAKS is completely gone away and we had a feel for EOC or STAAR was going to look like whether it was going to be a lot different from what TAKS was or not we just didn't feel like because of the investment, the timing was right for us to look at it," Wylie High Principal Mitch Davis said.
The CSCOPE tool generally costs about $7 per student. Davis said he feels Wylie High School has been successful without it.
Abilene ISD Superintendent Heath Burns said CSCOPE goes beyond just assessment testing.
"To characterize CSCOPE as a standardized test preparation tool would be a gross mischaracterization," Burns said. "It's a tool that allows teachers to better teach the curriculum required by the state of Texas."
At least one Abilene ISD elementary teacher has found the tool helpful.
"It's provided suggestive and supplemental resources to make the lessons more engaging and it also allows teachers to more personalize the lesson based on their student needs," Reagan Elementary School teacher Jennifer Haslup said,
Leaders from the two school districts agree the demographics of students are completely different in Wylie than in Abilene ISD. Wylie High's principal said his district places an emphasis on curriculum that they believe adequately prepares students for the state test.
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