Texas Board Rejects Lower Test Standards

From Associated Press

The state school board reversed itself Friday and rejected the easier passing standards in new high school graduation tests it adopted a day earlier.

The easier standards were supported by board members who said that some schools had prepared students poorly for the test.

On Thursday, State Board of Education members voted, 8 to 6, to lower the passing standard in mathematics, to 55% from 60% for this year's seniors.

Board members had been told that 8,138 seniors had failed the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test four times, meaning they could not graduate. The lower standard would have allowed 1,514 more seniors to get their diplomas on time, assuming they had completed other requirements.

This year's seniors are the first required to pass the test; in previous years, a different, less rigorous test was required.

The 9-5 vote Friday means the 8,138 seniors--4.7% of the 174,871 who originally took the exam as juniors--will not graduate on time.

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