Texas Gov. Rick Perry Getting Schooled on State Test

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made his education reforms a big part of his reelection campaign this year. When the National Governors Association recently rallied states to voluntarily develop tougher national education standards for all schoolkids so tests from one state could be compared with another, Texas was one of only two states to decline, with Republican Perry insisting his state already had a better plan. But a story in this week’s Houston Chronicle makes the case that Perry may have spoken too soon. After state officials announced that a higher-than-normal percentage of  Texas schoolkids had passed their annual multiple-choice test, the Chronicle discovered that a passing grade for some parts of the exam required students to get only 44 percent of the answers right. While education experts and politicians continue to debate the test’s validity, a quote in the Chronicle’s story, attributed to State Rep. Scott Hochberg, vice chairman of the House Public Education Committee, seemed to get to the point: “How can a score of less than 50 percent be passing on a test that's supposed to assure us that students know the curriculum?” the Houston Democrat said. “You can get more than halfway to passing just by guessing.”

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