AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation applauds the State Board of Education for its vote today to raise the rigor of the state’s academic standards in English and language arts.

“It is obvious that too many Texas public school students aren’t learning the basics with our current curriculum,” said Foundation education policy analyst Brooke Terry, who testified before the SBOE in favor of the curriculum changes. “We are glad the new curriculum will emphasize grammar and writing skills.”

According to Terry, Texas public schools fail to adequately prepare many students for college or the workplace. A 2006 survey by the Conference Board found that 81 percent of employers viewed recent high school graduates as “deficient in written communications” needed for letters, memos, formal reports, and technical reports.

During the fall of 2006, 38 percent of students at two-year public colleges and 24 percent of students at four-year public college needed remedial education to be able to do college-level work. The Commission for a College Ready Texas reports as many as 50 percent of Texas college freshman are enrolled in remedial education compared to 28 percent across the United States.

“Passing an English/Language Arts curriculum that clearly outlines expectations should help schools better prepare students with their reading and writing skills,” Terry wrote to the SBOE earlier this month. “We support higher standards and believe the proposed English/Language Arts standards will help our students succeed.”

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas. The Foundation’s research on education policy is available on the Foundation’s website,

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