Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry Praises Students, Teachers for TAKS Performance

Says Students, Educators Doing Great Job

Tuesday, May 25, 2004  •  Press Release

SAN ANTONIO –Gov. Rick Perry today praised Texas students, teachers and administrators for their successes on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests, particularly high school juniors who showed a 47 percent increase over 2003. Perry made the announcement at Edison High School, where two out of three juniors passed all parts of the exam and the passing rate increased from 33 percent in 2003 to 66 percent in this year.

“It gives me great pride to announce that the passing rate on the TAKS test for this year’s statewide junior class is an astounding 23 points higher than last year’s 11th grade class,” said Perry. “Of the 226,000 students that took the 11th grade TAKS, 72 percent passed all sections of the test, up from 49 percent a year ago.

“Today is cause for celebration. When students and educators perform, they deserve the praise of not only a governor, but from every lawmakers, taxpayers, school administrator and parent.”

While 72 percent of the juniors passed all tests taken, passing rates were up on the individual sections of the test as well. Eighty-seven percent of students passed the English section, up from 69 percent last year, and 85 percent passed the mathematics section, compared to 68 percent in 2003. In social studies, 97 percent of students passed versus 90 percent the previous year and 85 percent of students passed the science section compared with 67 percent last year. Additionally, the comprehensive passing rates are up 25 points for African Americans (58 percent passing), 23 points for Hispanics (61 percent passing) and 24 points for Anglos (83 percent passing).

“These results confirm how important it is that we have an education policy in this state that asks our children to reach for the sky rather than look to the floor,” said Perry. “With high standards, a strong curriculum, dedicated educators, and an unceasing commitment to ensuring more students reach their full potential our schools can produce the results parents, taxpayers and employers demand.”

While offering his appreciation for the hard work of teachers, administrators, school board members and parents who helped make this outstanding success possible, Perry also pointed to the unique opportunity to build on these extraordinary gains by focusing the school finance debate currently underway in Austin on educational excellence.

“I remain firmly committed to educational incentives that reward top teachers and focus a new spotlight on academic achievement,” said Perry. “Earlier this year, I proposed increasing funding for public education by $2.5 billion or a $375 average increase for each student we educate. And today I remain as committed as ever to putting more money into education, while working to make sure parents and students also get more education for their money.”

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