Why Does Texas Have the Lowest Reading Standards for Fourth Graders? It’s Complicated

Texas is dead last when it comes to passing standards for measuring how well children are reading by the fourth grade, according to a federal analysis of states' standardized tests. And the passing standards weren't much better in math, with Texas lagging among the bottom of the pack. But comparing Texas to other states isn't easy. The National Center for Education Statistics' study released Wednesday found that over the past decade, "states are setting higher expectations for their students, with higher proficiency standards in mathematics and reading," said Dr. Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of assessment for NCES. Education commissioner Mike Morath said Texas appears to lag in the study because the information used for comparisons is based on the state's previous, lower standards. Morath said Texas has revamped its academic assessments with higher standards and better transparency that reflect whether or not children are on track. "One of our primary roles as a state agency is to give parents clear information to help them help their students," he said. "We used to not even tell parents whether their students were meeting grade level ... Now we tell parents very clearly whether your student is meeting grade level."   Continue reading...

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