Lower passing standard calls Texas testing gains into question

06/9/2010 | Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

Gains made this year by Texas students on state tests are being questioned because of changes that lowered the standard for passing the tests. Education officials defended the changes -- designed to offset more difficult questions on this year's tests -- but others criticized a standard that had eighth-graders needing to answer just 44% of questions correctly on the social studies exam to earn a passing grade. "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?" one state lawmaker said.

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