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Report gives Texas mediocre math mark

AUSTIN, Texas, July 21 (UPI) -- The Texas math standards got a mediocre grade from an educational research organization, officials say.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute gave the state an A- for its language arts standards, the Houston Chronicle reported. But the grade for the math standards was C.

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Last year, every state in the country except Alaska and Texas joined together to write common standards. The institute gave the national effort an A- for math and a B- for language arts.

Gov. Rick Perry and Education Commissioner Robert Scott are both vigorous opponents of national standards. Perry refused to apply for Race for the Top grants, an Obama administration initiative that gives preference to states that participate in the common standards.

The last revision of Texas's language arts standards was controversial. In 2008, the State Board of Education approved standards that emphasized grammar and spelling, while teachers groups had recommended an emphasis on reading comprehension.

The institute criticized the language arts standards for being unclear on the "quality and complexity" of what students should be reading.

David Bradley, a Republican on the board, said the institute has vindicated the state standards.

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