Texas Education Agency failed to correct incorrect mathematics and science scores issued to more than 500,000 students

In 2003, after hearing that Texas high school students would soon need to pass statewide tests to receive high school diplomas, Mark Loewe decided to investigate the level of the science questions.  Unexpectedly, Dr. Loewe discovered scoring mistakes on question 11 and question 45 of the Spring 2003, Grade 11, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) released Science test.  Dr. Loewe discovered and was informed of more scoring mistakes on TAKS released mathematics and science tests.  Incorrect scores were issued to more than 500,000 students.
      The Texas Education Agency (TEA)* issued false statements about several questions on which scoring mistakes were made.  Some TEA false statements were due to incompetence or dishonesty.  The TEA failed to correct any of the mistakes and has continued to propagate the mistakes and false claims without correction.
      Some TAKS questions about which the TEA issued false statements were reported on by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The New York Times:

      "Physicist challenges 2 TAKS answers", Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 6 June 2003.
      "Disputed TAKS answers correct, state agency says", Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7 June 2003,
      "Ambiguous questions", letter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10 June 2003,
      "Physics, testing and a frog", letter by Charles Reidl and letter by Mike Stepp, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 14 June 2003,
      "None Of the Above", by Lisa Guernsey, The New York Times, 24 April 2005,

      On 15 July 2005, Dr. Loewe testified before the State Board of Education that the TEA "failed to correct any of the mistakes and is continuing to propagate the mistakes, and false claims, without correction."
      On 16 July 2008, Christine Castillo Comer, former TEA Director of Science, informed Dr. Loewe that "as a direct result of your testimony, we hired four science Ph. D.s, a physicist, a chemist, a biologist, and an earth scientist," to improve the quality of questions on statewide exams.

*  Also known as the "Ministry of Truth".
Question 11, Spring 2003, Grade 11, TAKS Science test
The Texas Education Agency made the mistakes of giving credit for an incorrect answer and of denying credit for a correct answer to this question.  The TEA would have Texans believe that more than 82% of the 187214 students who took the test chose a correct answer even though only 5% chose a correct answer.  That only 5% of Texas 11th-Graders chose a correct answer (and some students may simply have guessed) demonstrates a deficiency in basic physics education in Texas that should be corrected, not hidden.

Question 45, Spring 2003, Grade 11, TAKS Science test
All of the listed answers to this question are incorrect.  The Texas Education Agency made the mistakes of giving credit for one of the incorrect answers and of not throwing out the question.

Question 53, Spring 2003, Grade 11, TAKS Science test
There is a possibility that all of the listed answers to this question are incorrect, in which case the question should have been thrown out.

Question 50, Spring 2003, Grade 10, TAKS Science test
The Texas Education Agency made the mistake of denying credit for the only correct answer to this question.

Question 8, Spring 2003, Grade 10, TAKS Mathematics test
The Texas Education Agency gave credit for the correct answer to this question but made the mistakes of later giving credit for the three incorrect answers and for no answer.

Question 42, Spring 2003, Grade 9, TAKS Mathematics test
Two of the listed answers to this question are correct.  The Texas Education Agency made the mistake of denying credit for one of the two correct answers.

Question 13, Spring 2003, Grade 5, TAKS Science test
The correct answer to this question depends on when the question is asked.  When the test was administered, all of the listed answers were incorrect.  The Texas Education Agency made the mistakes of giving credit for an answer that was incorrect and of not throwing out the question.

Question 16, Spring 2003, Grade 5, TAKS Science test
Two of the listed answers to this question are correct.  The Texas Education Agency made the mistake of denying credit for one of the two correct answers.

Question 10, July 2004, Exit Level, TAKS Science test
The answer to this question cannot be determined, even roughly, from the given information.  The Texas Education Agency made the mistakes of giving credit for one of the answers and of not throwing out the question.