Are Increasing Test Scores in Texas Really a Myth?

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Abstract

Pass rates by Texas tenth-graders on the high school exit exam improved from 52 percent in 1994 to 72 percent in 1998. In his article "The Myth of the Texas Miracle in Education" (EPAA, August 2000) Professor Walt Haney argued that some part of this increased pass rate was, as he put it, an illusion. Haney contended that the combined effects of students dropping out of school prior to taking the 10th grade TAAS and special education exemptions accounted for much of the increase in TAAS pass rates. Relying on the same methodology and data that Haney used, we demonstrate that his conclusion is incorrect. None of the 20 percent improvement in the TAAS exit test pass rate between 1994 and 1998 is explained by combined increases in dropout rates or special education exemptions.

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How to Cite
Toenjes, A., & Dworkin, A. G. (2002). Are Increasing Test Scores in Texas Really a Myth?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10, 17. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v10n17.2002
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Author Biographies

A. Toenjes, University of Houston

Laurence A. Toenjes is Research Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Founder of the Sociology of Education Research Group (SERG) at the University of Houston. He holds the Ph.D. degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University. A substantial portion of his research is in the area of school finance, and he has developed school finance models for several states.

A. Gary Dworkin, University of Houston

A. Gary Dworkin is Professor of Sociology and Co-Founder of the Sociology of Education Research Group (SERG) at the University of Houston. He is past chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston. He holds the Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. The majority of his publications is in the areas of the sociology of education and race, ethnic, and gender relations and include nine books and numerous articles and book chapters. He is editor of a book series entitled "The New Inequalities," published by the State University of New York Press. During the first half of 2001 he served as Senior Research Fellow in Sociology at the Australian National University in Canberra ACT, Australia.