Stacked up against other states, Texas public schools could win the best-bang-for-your-buck competition. The state has consistently ranked among the bottom five nationally in per-student spending. And even with a growing population of economically disadvantaged and English-language learning students, some academic performance measures are on the upswing.
Gov. Rick Perry and other state officials have attributed this low-cost, higher-than-average performance to a combination of tough standards and accountability policies.
“Texas has some of the highest classroom standards in the country. Our curriculum prepares students for either college or a career. While not every student will go to college, every student should be encouraged to reach their full potential,” Perry said last month at the Republican Party of Texas' convention. “We raised the bar of achievement, and students and teachers rose to the challenge.”