Sunday, December 06, 2009

Texas Education Commissioner Wants No Part of Federal Standards

Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott has a problem with national education standards. Basically the problem settles down along these lines: if education standards don’t have a Texas brand on them, they don’t belong here.

Texas, according to Robert Scott, has education standards that far exceed national standards. No . . . really . . . he said that.

From the Austin American-Statesman:

“Participation in the ongoing common standards effort is part of the criteria for a $4 billion federal grant program called Race to the Top. Texas and Alaska are the only states not participating in the common standards effort. Scott said Texas is already ahead of the other states in developing tough standards.”

But I guess that simply depends on what your definition of “ahead” is.

“Ahead” might mean a school child’s ability at rote recollection of facts.

“Ahead” might mean a constant climb in standardized test scores year after year.

“Ahead” might mean an ability to mount an argument that Earth is a mere 6000 years old and the existence of fossils embedded in rock is evidence of Noah’s Flood.

Because if that is what Scott’s definition of “ahead” is, then yes, Texas is definitely ahead of the rest of the country in its education standards.

And yes, neither Texas nor Alaska, the latter of whom has an education system that produced the likes of Sarah Palin, are participants in the federal education standards program and as a result neither Texas nor Alaska are recipients of hundreds of millions in federal funds.

“‘Because Texas has chosen to preserve its sovereign authority to determine what is appropriate for Texas children to learn in its public schools,’ said Scott, ‘the state is now placed at a serious disadvantage in competing for its share of (the grant money).’”

Am I reading this correctly? Because of decisions taking place at the highest levels of state government, Texas schoolchildren are being placed at a significant disadvantage compared to students in 48 other states?

I guess all that needs to be asked, then, is why Texans continue to suffer these incompetent fools driving the state’s education system right into the ground. Are Texans that ignorant? What made them so poorly informed?


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