UPDATE: A spokesperson for the state’s Education Service Centers confirmed late Friday afternoon that tests anti-CSCOPE activists irresponsibly posted on the Internet will have to be rewritten. Depending on how many assessments must be replaced, the total cost to taxpayers could be up to $1 million.
Tea party and other right-wing activists have screamed for months that the state’s Education Service Centers have broken the law and cheated taxpayers in the development and use of the CSCOPE curriculum management system. They’ve offered no real evidence that such reckless claims are true, but they’ve made them anyway. Now two of the most prominent anti-CSCOPE fanatics appear to have taken the law into their own hands, and in doing so have probably screwed over local taxpayers in school districts around the state.
The Austin American-Statesman reports today (story behind a paywall) that Ginger Russell, who with her mother Janice VanCleave helped launch the anti-CSCOPE witch hunt, has published on her Red Hot Conservative blog the questions and answers to a number of social studies tests in the CSCOPE program. In addition, Alice Linahan has made the same information public on her Voices Empower website. Linahan’s Voices Empower is a for-profit political consulting company that has been helping promote the attacks on CSCOPE.
As the American-Statesman story notes, the tests and their answers are protected under copyright law. But beyond the question of whether Russell and Linahan have now broken the law is the issue of their contempt for teachers and taxpayers in the hundreds of school districts that bought those CSCOPE tests for use in their classrooms. In fact, as the American-Statesman points out, the public release of this information may have compromised the integrity of those tests and could render them unusable by the districts that bought them. (For obvious reasons, schools try to keep students from having access to the questions and answers before they take a test.)
In other words, making these test questions and answers public has made teachers’ jobs unnecessarily more difficult and has potentially wasted taxpayer dollars used by school districts to buy the tests. Thanks, Ginger and Alice.
Mark us down as not surprised. Anti-CSCOPE fanatics have absurdly accused the Texas educators who wrote and use CSCOPE lessons of trying to indoctrinate students with un-American, anti-Christian, pro-Islamic and Marxist propaganda. Why in the world would they have any more respect for both the law and for taxpayers?