OPINION COLUMNS

Taking the pulse on the health forum and a certain curriculum tool

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, August 31, 2013

Wise County Health forum meetings are always well-attended, but they might have set a record last Thursday.

By the time I walked in a couple of minutes before 9, nearly every chair was filled. Like coming in to church just before the service starts and finding only the front pew available, I found one of the few open spots close to the “head” table where Martin Woodruff would lead the meeting.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

More and more people kept coming through the door of the Decatur City Hall community room, and chairs had to be pulled over as we squeezed them around the tables. Eventually, chairs began to be dragged up behind those already sitting at the table.

While most of those in attendance work in Wise County, many represented agencies that serve Wise County but are officed in other counties. As each person around the room took turns updating members of the group about the services they offer, a common theme developed.

Those who served multiple counties, and attend similar health forum meetings in neighboring counties, kept saying the same thing: they were so impressed with this group and the amount of information that was being shared. Some said it was the best health forum meeting they’d attended.

Our county should be proud of the cooperation and communication among our local healthcare stakeholders – because it is ultimately our citizens in need who benefit the most.

Here are a just a few items that were shared:

Wise Regional Health System is still working on the transition process with the community health center. The hospital hopes to begin operating the center around Oct. 1.

The Wise Regional Health System Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation has been ranked in the top 6 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the nation by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation.

The second annual Weatherford College Wise County Health Fair is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. For more information or to register as a vendor, call Andrea Stephens at 940-626-3283 or email astephens@wc.edu.

The forum meets at 9 a.m. the fourth Thursday of the month.

THE END OF CSCOPE…REALLY

For those interested in the continuing saga of CSCOPE, the curriculum management tool used by the majority of schools in the state and in Wise County, I’ll try to give a brief recap of recent events.

As of yesterday, CSCOPE is no more. It is now called the TEKS Resource System. Lesson plans are no longer featured on its website. However, a number of schools plan to continue to use previous lesson plans since the general counsel for the Texas Education Agency said the lessons are now in the public domain and are free to be used by anyone.

A tea party activist group in Llano filed a lawsuit against the local school district aimed at prohibiting the district from using CSCOPE. A district judge threw the case out, saying his court did not have jurisdiction.

At the request of at least three elected officials, a state audit will be performed on the program formerly known as CSCOPE.

State Senator Dan Patrick, who has been at the forefront of the push to eliminate CSCOPE, and Thomas Ratliff, vice chair of the State Board of Education, held a debate in Tyler last weekend. If you are interested in watching it, the video can be found at the Texas Freedom Network’s website at www.tfn.org. Ratliff came prepared with numerous supporting documents for his arguments. To see those, go to www.dropbox.com and select “log in.” The username is “debate@thomasratliff.com” and the password is “CSCOPE” (all caps).

Also, since the lesson plans are now in the public domain, the Texas Tribune obtained the complete set of CSCOPE lesson plans and published them online. An interactive feature even lets you search by subject or even key words. That resource can be found at www.texastribune.org.

If you find yourself asking, “What is CSCOPE and what is all the fuss about?” you might check out the Texas Observer story titled “Adios, Reality: Texas Culture Wars Take a Madcap Turn. How a curriculum planning tool called CSCOPE came to fixate the Texas Tea Party.”

It is a well-researched, comprehensive look at CSCOPE – from how and why it was created to the backgrounds on some of the program’s most vocal critics.

Be sure to click on the links provided as well, which will take you to informative supporting documents (especially copies of the emails many angry people sent to service centers around the state). You can read the story using our shortcut: wcmess.com/culturewars.

One Response to “Taking the pulse on the health forum and a certain curriculum tool”

  1. says:

    Almost all that I know about CSCOPE is what I have read here in the Messenger, and I have no real opinion regarding the program. But, referring to your next-to-the-last paragraph, the following questions popped into mind: Who wrote “the backgrounds on some of the program’s most vocal critics”? And if it was intended to be a “comprehensive look”, wouldn’t the backgrounds on some of the program’s most vocal proponents be equally as relevant and informative?

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