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Topic: EPAA Publishes Vol 8 No. 41 Haney: The Myth of the Texas Miracle
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 18, 2000 9:05 AM

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Andy Isaacs

Posts: 39
Registered: 12/6/04
EPAA Publishes Vol 8 No. 41 Haney: The Myth of the Texas Miracle
Posted: Aug 18, 2000 6:29 AM
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I thought the article linked below might interest some of the subscribers
to AMTE.


>MIME-version: 1.0
>Approved-By: Gene Glass <glass@ASU.EDU>
>Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:33:48 -0700
>Reply-To: Gene Glass <glass@ASU.EDU>
>Sender: "EDUC POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES: An Electronic Journal"
>From: Gene Glass <glass@ASU.EDU>
>Organization: Arizona State University
>Subject: EPAA Publishes Vol 8 No. 41 Haney: The Myth of the Texas
>X-To: Ev Shepherd <>,
>The Education Policy Analysis Archives is a peer-reviewed
>scholarly journal freely accessible on the internet at
>EPAA has just published Volume 8 Number 41 "The Myth of the
>Texas Miracle in Education" by Walt Haney of Boston College.
>The article can be accessed directly at
>An abstract follows:
> The Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education
> Walt Haney
> Boston College
>I summarize the recent history of education reform and
>statewide testing in Texas, which led to introduction of
>the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) in 1990-91.
>A variety of evidence in the late 1990s led a number of
>observers to conclude that the state of Texas had made near
>miraculous progress in reducing dropouts and increasing
>achievement. The passing scores on TAAS tests were
>arbitrary and discriminatory. Analyses comparing TAAS
>reading, writing and math scores with one another and with
>relevant high school grades raise doubts about the
>reliability and validity of TAAS scores. I discuss problems
>of missing students and other mirages in Texas enrollment
>statistics that profoundly affect both reported dropout
>statistics and test scores. Only 50% of minority students
>in Texas have been progressing from grade 9 to high school
>graduation since the initiation of the TAAS testing
>program. Since about 1982, the rates at which Black and
>Hispanic students are required to repeat grade 9 have
>climbed steadily, such that by the late 1990s, nearly 30%
>of Black and Hispanic students were "failing" grade 9.
>Cumulative rates of grade retention in Texas are almost
>twice as high for Black and Hispanic students as for White
>students. Some portion of the gains in grade 10 TAAS pass
>rates are illusory. The numbers of students taking the
>grade 10 tests who were classified as "in special
>education" and hence exempted from TAAS and not counted
>in schools' accountability ratings nearly doubled between
>1994 and 1998. A substantial portion of the apparent
>increases in TAAS pass rates in the 1990s are due to
>such exclusions. In the opinion of educators in Texas,
>schools are devoting a huge amount of time and energy
>preparing students specifically for TAAS, and emphasis
>on TAAS is hurting more than helping teaching and
>learning in Texas schools, particularly with at-rsk
>students, and TAAS contributes to retention in grade
>and dropping out. Five different sources of evidence about
>rates of high school completion in Texas are compared and
>contrasted. The review of GED statistics indicated that
>there was a sharp upturn in numbers of young people taking
>the GED tests in Texas in the mid-1990s to avoid TAAS. A
>convergence of evidence indicates that during the 1990s,
>slightly less than 70% of students in Texas actually
>graduated from high school. Between 1994 and 1997, TAAS
>results showed a 20% increase in the percentage of students
>passing all three exit level TAAS tests (reading, writing
>and math), but TASP (a Texas college readiness test) results
>showed a sharp decrease (from 65.2% to 43.3%) in the
>percentage of students passing all three parts. As measured
>by performance on the SAT, the academic learning of
>secondary school students in Texas has not improved since
>the early 1990s, compared with SAT takers nationally.
>SAT-Math scores have deteriorated relative to students
>nationally. The gains on NAEP for Texas fail to confirm
>the dramatic gains apparent on TAAS. Gains on NAEP in Texas
>are consistently far less than half
>the size of Texas gains on state-level National Assessment
>tests. The dramatic gains on TAAS and the
>unbelievable decreases in dropouts during the 1990s are
>more illusory than real. The Texas "miracle" is more hat
>than cattle.
>Gene V Glass, Editor
>Education Policy Analysis Archives
>College of Education
>Arizona State University

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