Location: Texas, United States

I am a teacher with 33 years experience in public education. The purpose of this web log is to critically examine the present state of education in our great country and, particularly, in Texas.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Join the legislative proficiency movement

State legislatures have remarkable power. They control the amount of taxes that are taken out of your paycheck. Legislatures are responsible for the laws that govern regulation of your behavior. The penalties you will incur should you violate those regulations are determined by these bodies. Legislative acts determine what speeds you can drive and how the industry that supplies your car insurance is regulated. Members of legislative bodies determine how your children are going to be educated. Indeed, in Texas the state legislature determined which students will be able to graduate from high school through the requirement that students pass a standardized test. They also added to the strength of an entire industry – the testing industry.

These and many, many other critically important duties are performed by members of the various state legislatures. They also have some influence on whether or not you will live or die. Regulation of substances in air, water, automobile speeds, transportation safety and other things that have an impact on your life are controlled by legislatures. These responsibilities are heavy. Because of the importance of their job, the people who occupy the seats of the various state legislatures must be competent. How are we to be sure that your particular representative is intellectually functional or too seriously impaired to safely serve under the weight of so many heavy responsibilities.

We must be assured that every representative responsible for making laws that will govern every aspect of your behavior be able to read with great skill. Since we presume that all of them are high school graduates, each one of them should read at the 12th grade level. Every one of them must be able to comprehend what they read. How can we give the responsibility of governance to a person who does not comprehend what he or she reads. If you are willing to place your life in the hands of someone who can’t prove that they have high levels of reading comprehension, then will you please email me a note so that I will know to avoid you on the freeways – that are regulated by marginal readers in our state legislature. How can we allow our representatives to hold their jobs without proving their ability to comprehend the written word. Further, their actions have an impact on the general public. So, I am proposing that each member of our present legislature and all future representatives be required to pass a reading skill test before they can be seated. Since their actions impact uthe public good, these scores should be ranked. The rankings should be made public. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

The Education Wonks have a great post today which exposes the fact that the Texas Education Agency has not even decided yet what the passing standard is for the current TAKS. Here

The Unrepentant Individual tells us why flights to Europe are about to get much more expensive. here


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