Paul Peterson

Is Rick Perry Abandoning School Accountability and Merit Pay?

Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott was in enemy territory recently, telling the folks at Massachusetts’s Pioneer Institute (including some who favor Romney, such as myself [full disclosure] )  about the virtues of the Texas education system, a topic of national significance now that Rick Perry’s chariot has leaped to lead position in the Republican presidential nomination race.

The rap against Texas is that its students trail, by a wide margin, the national average in achievement and graduation rates. That’s a false rap, because Texas faces the enormous challenges of a southern state that shares a long border with Mexico. When Texas’s performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress is broken out by ethnic background, its record comes close to that of Massachusetts, as Allison Sherry pointed out in her recent Ed Next article on the education policies advocated by several of the Republican candidates.

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