Brad Messer Commentary
Thursday, July 24, 2003

Failing 3rd Grade

The results of the statewide Third Grade Reading Test are in. The big print says 11,748 kids failed and will have to repeat third grade. The fine print, I'll get to momentarily.

Four out of every hundred Texas third-graders failed: the other ninety-six passed.

The 96% is being taken as great news. Education Agency folks are bragging about it being the result of better teacher training and extra reading instruction and so on.

On one hand, I'm proud that Texas has set some education standards. On the other hand, I wonder whether it took any cooking of the books to come up with that 96 percent pass rate.

Regarding almost 12-thousand kids having to repeat third grade, here's some fine print: Parents may appeal any retention. If both the teacher and principal then agree, the child will be promoted to fourth grade-- TAKS test failure or not.

So we do have standards in Texas. We just like 'em somewhat stretchable.

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.

July 23, 2003 - San Antonio Express-News
96% of state’s third-graders pass TAKS reading test

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