The Lone STAAR Rebellion

by Jason Stanford on May 15, 2012

The Texas legislature only meets for a few months every other year because when they’re in session they can do more damage than Mötley Crüe in a hotel room. And in 2011, they got a little out of hand. Rick Perry was nursing his presidential ambitions like a bad hangover and made the Republican legislature cut $5.4 billion from public schools to avoid raising taxes.

Now they’re trying to say they never trashed the hotel room in the first place. Comptroller Susan Combs, whose job is to count the state’s money, recently got a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact for claiming they actually increased school funding. Fiscal policy pronouncements from this crowd have as much validity as the Soviet crop reports under Joseph Stalin.

While the right hand was cutting, Perry’s far-right hand was spending—in the belief that measuring our kids makes them smarter. Despite the budget crunch, Texas gave a $470 million contract to Pearson Education to design the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. And exactly no one was surprised that Pearson’s lobbyist was Sandy Kress, the father of No Child Left Behind under George W. Bush. [View Article]

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