Fact-check: Is it true that 70% of Texas fourth-graders cannot read at grade level?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Nusaiba Mizan, PolitiFact/Austin American-Statesman; radio interview produced by Alexandra HartJanuary 26, 2022 11:40 am, , ,

From PolitiFact Texas/Austin American-Statesman:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke has made improving education one of his campaign priorities. He wants to expand full-day pre-K, increase per-pupil spending, keep teachers in the workforce and reduce Texas’ emphasis on standardized testing.

In place of that emphasis, the campaign’s director of policy and research Gina Hinojosa wrote, Texas could develop strategies “that better allow teachers to teach to the student, not to a standardized test.”

At a November rally, O’Rourke released a startling statistic while speaking about increasing teacher pay.

“Right now, in the average Texas fourth grade classroom, 7 out of 10 kids cannot read at grade level,” O’Rourke said.

That would mean most fourth grade students in Texas are reading below grade level. We took a look at this claim…

Read the full story and see how O’Rourke’s claim scored here, and listen to an interview with PolitiFact Texas’ Nusaiba Mizan in the audio player above.

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