EDUCATION SECRETARY MEETS WITH LEGISLATORS
(AUSTIN) — Federal Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was in Austin Friday to talk with lawmakers about the need for educational accountability. Spellings praised Texas for its already high accountability standards and data tracking, and encouraged the state to follow the longitudinal model of tracking progress, where students are followed throughout their educational careers. She said that the education problems faced by states cannot be addressed until they are adequately measured. According to Spellings, Texas ranks among the top states in federal No Child Left Behind standards, with 91 percent meeting minimum standards, 21 points higher than the national average.
The impending national election raised some questions about how accountability standards could change under a new administration. Senate Education Committee Chairman Florence Shapiro said however, that good education policy transcends political boundaries. "Even if you change direction with the president, and maybe even some changes in congress, if it's a good public policy surely better heads will prevail and people will know it's an important element for all students across the nation," she said.