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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - Sen. Dan Patrick and SBOE Vice Chairman Thomas Ratilff are scheduled to debate on CSCOPE and education policy at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center.
The debate is expected to last around 48 minutes. Scott Braddock, Quorum Report - moderator Mary Ann Whiteker, Superintendent of Hudson ISD - panelist JoAnn Fleming, Grassroots America - We The People - panelist will be in attendance.
Each speaker will have 2 minutes for an opening statement and each panelist will be allowed to ask 4 questions.
Questions can be directed towards one speaker or both speakers. The first speaker will get 2 minutes to answer followed by 3 minutes of dialogue in which both speakers and the panelists can participate.
Each speaker will have 2 minutes for a closing statement.
Questions will not be taken from the audience.
"I'm very pleased to announce this morning that the era of CSCOPE lesson plans has come to an end," said Senator Dan Patrick.
When Houston Senator Dan Patrick made that announcement three months ago, some East Texas teachers applauded his actions.
"Everything I have heard has been negative. I have not heard one positive comment about CSCOPE," said Jamie Womack.
The curriculum has been plagued with claims of anti-american, anti-christian, and pro-islamic agendas.
"I'm going to be releasing to the public a drop box full of information that refutes every one of those claims that are being made about it," said Thomas Ratliff.
State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff says he's not trying to promote or defend CSCOPE.
He just wants the decision to be in the hands of the local school districts.
"If their superintendent, teachers, parents and school board think it's a good tool for their teachers, we ought to make that decision, not a state senator from Houston," said Ratliff.
CSCOPE was designed as a tool to help teachers cover all state mandated topics.
It's been the preferred curriculum for many small school districts unable to afford their own.
"We have heard from so many teachers who don't like CSCOPE. They don't like the heavy handed way it's been pushed on them and they want it gone out of their classrooms," said JoAnn Fleming.
Many conservative groups were in an uproar when parents claimed their students had to consider whether participants in the Boston Tea Party could be considered terrorist.
Another sample lesson asked students to design a flag for a new socialist country.
"I really don't want this to be a campaign stop for Senator Patrick. I'm hoping this is a discussion between the senate education chairman and a member of the state board trying to get information and the truth out there, so parents and teachers and students aren't worried about what's going on," added Ratliff.