Kilgore Independent School District will not use CSCOPE; trustees instead opted to continue to utilize KISD's internal curriculum.
"There is such a great foundation here," said Cara Cooke, KISD superintendent. "There has been so much that has been done."
Cooke has previous experience working with CSCOPE during her time as West Oso ISD's assistant superintendent.
Cooke recommended the district continue with its existing curriculum plan without CSCOPE.
The recommendation was approved unanimously on a motion by board member Jimmy Kinsey and second by Dereck Borders.
In recent years, KISD has worked to improve its curriculum in response to lower test grades in some student subpopulations.
"By switching to CSCOPE, you're basically taking all that hard work and throwing it all away," Cooke said. "
CSCOPE's principal strength is its vertical teaching alignment between grades, but "CSCOPE is not going to address our subpopulations," Cooke said. "It does not have interventions built in.
"I feel we have everything in place. We just need to pull it together."
School districts are graded based on scores earned by their lowest-achieving subpopulations. If a district lags state standards for too long, Texas Education Association may demand changes within a district.
"The bottom line is if you can show progress, they're on board with it," Cooke said.
KISD had discussed the use of CSCOPE for some months before Monday night's decision. In recent weeks, the district has sought input from Kilgore's community and parents. Two weeks ago, KISD officials held a public meeting to explain the program and answer questions about CSCOPE. Many of those in attendance voiced concerns about the curriculum's content and questioned the amount of control teachers would have if CSCOPE were implemented.
The general public became aware of CSCOPE in February, when stories and pictures surfaced of a number of female Lumberton ISD students wearing burqas, Islamic attire, emerged. Early reports claimed that the project was developed by CSCOPE. On Feb. 25, Lumberton ISD said the lesson and use of burqas were not related to CSCOPE, and was instead developed by the teacher of the class. Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott is investigating CSCOPE.
Cooke maintains the recent controversies surrounding CSCOPE were not a factor in her recommendations.
"This recommendation is not coming from the controversy," she said. "This is not about CSCOPE. This is about our teachers."
At the board's regularly scheduled meeting last Monday, deputy superintendent Dennis Williams offered the annual costs of CSCOPE. The first year of the program would cost $33,957 and each subsequent year would come up to $30,207. Without CSCOPE, KISD will spend about $51,294 yearly to develop and maintain a curriculum.