BY ROBERT JAKLICH
July 27, 2013 at 2:27 a.m.
There has been much discussion lately regarding the CSCOPE curriculum management system and its implementation throughout school districts in Texas. It is our hope that this article will provide more clarity and understanding of this framework model and how CSCOPE serves in the capacity of an instructional resource to the Victoria Independent School District. The Victoria ISD uses the CSCOPE online curriculum management system as a tool to assist in providing a structure for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in the core content areas. CSCOPE provides a TEKS-aligned and updated K-12 curriculum framework for English and Spanish language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
CSCOPE provides school districts with a common language, structure and a process for curriculum delivery based on the state standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Currently, there are 870 public school districts in Texas that utilize the CSCOPE curriculum management system. The CSCOPE curriculum was created by Texas teachers and is based on best practice models from top researchers in the field of education, including: Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson and James Barufaldi.
CSCOPE curriculum components highlight the content and cognitive rigor of each student expectation that will be assessed on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam and ensures that teachers are informed of the depth and complexity to which they should be teaching. In addition to providing quality curriculum components and resources, CSCOPE also provides assessment and instructional components to assist teachers in meeting the highest standard of rigor and relevance as they address our students' TEKS/STAAR expectations. CSCOPE also provides updates and enhances the curriculum as these standards and expectations are constantly changing.
School districts may also use the online CSCOPE system to customize and/or create content, as well as provide for the inclusion of locally approved or adopted supplemental resources. In the VISD, we utilize other CSCOPE documents as well. These documents include a Year at a Glance (YAG), which is a scope and sequence document that provides a consistent order for teaching the TEKS; Vertical Alignment Documents (VAD) that demonstrate how the TEKS align and how the standards increase with depth and rigor from grade level to grade level; and the Instructional Focus Document (IFD) that clarifies the standard of specificity to be addressed during the teaching process.
Additionally, CSCOPE provides access to assessment questions that are at a high level of rigor and that align with the standard and performance expectations of the state. We utilize these assessment documents during our Professional Learning Community meetings to drive conversations regarding the design of a lesson. The PLC members review the assessment items during a discussion of each content unit and then the campus teams determine how the questions should be used. Some questions are left as a unit assessment item, some questions are pulled out to assist the teacher in introducing the concept during the lesson, and other questions may be rewritten to provide a more accurate picture of the expected level of instruction. Our campuses are then able to upload a customized assessment into the VISD data management system, called Eduphoria, so that the assessments can be monitored from a campus level. The assessment results are then reviewed and discussed at the campus PLC team meetings to determine future lessons and instruction. This process allows us as a school district, to align, assess and monitor our students' progress as it relates to the state's accountability expectations.
The CSCOPE curriculum framework is a tool that assists our teachers in developing enriching and higher-level learning experiences for our students. However, the most important instructional asset in the Victoria ISD is our teachers. On behalf of our board of trustees and our entire VISD community, we would like to thank our outstanding teachers who educate, nurture and build character within our students each and every day. They inspire us to do more, to learn more, to dream more and most importantly, to become more. We truly appreciate their excellence.
Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website, visd.com.