The New GOP Chair

The Texas Tribune has an interview with Steve Munisteri, the new chair of the Republican Party of Texas.

Consider how many Texans consider themselves loyal Republicans or Democrats and vote strictly along party lines.

Then, consider how many know who leads their party.

And, consider how many have read their party’s platform.

I’m not blaming Munisteri or the parties. Voters have chosen to make themselves dependent on parties they know nothing about.


Bears in East Texas



Colbert Nation fans in Texas take note: According to the Austin-American Statesman (“Bears lumbering back into east Texas“), bears are returning to east Texas.

TAKS limbo: How low can we go?

Chubby Checker's Limbo PartyThe Houston Chronicle has a very interesting story (“Qualms arise over TAKS standards“) on how the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsĀ (TAKS) exam is being evaluated. As it turns out, the Texas Education Agency has decided that the questions were hard and the best way to rate passing is to lower the standard. Eighth-graders had to answer correctly 21 of 48 questions (just under 44%).

Remember: Many of these exams are multiple choice and a score of zero is only possible if a student leaves the question blank and doesn’t even guess. A student should be able to get 25% correct by guessing.

The problem is that TAKS was created to give parents a standard to use to judge local schools. The problem is that TEA doesn’t have objective standards that make the test consistent and gives results validity. Maybe the shifting standards for passing TAKS tells us something about how much we should trust the results.

Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg AbbottThe Dallas Morning News did a short story on Greg Abbott (“Accident set Texas Attorney General Abbott on path to politics“). I’d love to see more stories like this. Despite the very visible life they live, we often don’t know much about the early lives of elected officials. This short article gives readers a few insights into how a random event can transform your life and why Greg Abbott became Attorney General.