Survey reveals overall positive views on curriculum

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, March 23, 2013

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Decatur teachers are generally pleased with CSCOPE as a curriculum tool, but areas of concern still exist.

Those are among the conclusions drawn from a recent curriculum and climate survey of Decatur ISD teachers, shared with the school board Thursday.

Overall, teachers indicated their opinion of CSCOPE has improved since it was first implemented several years ago (a 68 percent positive score). Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Judi Bell said some of the concerns teachers had about using CSCOPE with lesson planning started early in the process.

“When CSCOPE was brought in, teachers were told, ‘You will use these lessons,'” Bell said of the initial implementation. “We want teachers planning those lessons.”

Bell pointed out that the main function of CSCOPE in Decatur ISD is the curriculum part. She wants teachers to come up with their own lesson plans, although CSCOPE lessons can be used as a resource.

That message has apparently been received by a growing number of teachers. When asked if they feel they have the freedom to develop their own lessons, 89 percent of teachers agreed. Only 36 percent said they “felt obligated to use CSCOPE lesson plans.”

The survey did reveal some areas of need. When asked if they had enough time to plan lessons with co-teachers, only 36 percent agreed. When asked if CSCOPE is varied enough to accommodate needs, interests and abilities of all students, just 31 percent agreed.

The anonymous survey was taken by 202 teachers – more than 95 percent of the instructors at DISD’s five campuses – over a three-day period earlier this month.

Look for a more detailed story on the survey in next week’s Wise County Messenger.

The board also approved waiving the requirement that the end-of-course exam count 15 percent of the final grade in that course.

Kari Harris of Decatur High School was honored as the March educator of the month, and Kelly Huseman from the transportation department was honored as support staff employee of the month.

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