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Politicians Face Off Over School Lesson Plans

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Empty school desks sit on a lawn. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Empty school desks sit on a lawn. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

TYLER, Texas (AP) — A conservative state senator and a moderate state board of education member are debating a school lesson plan system that has turned political.

Houston Sen. Dan Patrick and East Texas SBOE member Thomas Ratliff are scheduled to debate Saturday night in Tyler.

Patrick is a critic of the system called CSCOPE, a subscription service that allowed teachers in small school districts to access lesson plans built around state curriculum standards. He’s called some of the plans liberal and anti-American.

Ratliff says Patrick is misrepresenting the system that small cash-strapped schools need it to prepare students for state standardized tests.

Tea party activists have made CSCOPE an issue in the 2014 campaign and Ratliff proposed the debate to show there is nothing wrong with it. Patrick has worked to kill CSCOPE.

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