Horns Up, Horns Down for Dec. 2: Testing troubles and same-sex victories

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Horns Up: Texas national guard grants same-sex benefits

Last Tuesday, the Texas National Guard announced that it would begin offering marriage benefits to same-sex couples, in accordance with the Pentagon’s official policy. Until last week, Texas was one of just three states with national guards that continued to resist Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s August order to offer benefits to same-sex couples on the basis that the state constitution prohibited equal treatment of same-sex marriage. Now, only Georgia and Louisiana remain in defiance of the order. We’re disappointed that our state national guard attempted to hold out against equality for as long as it did, but it’s good that its discriminatory show of resistance is finally over.

Horns Down: Texas needs to do more to spot cheating

In yet another instance of test tampering run amok, a federal audit has found that the Texas Education Agency is dropping the ball on its cheating prevention methods. The audit, put out by the U.S. Department of Education, shows that Texas, which has shown evidence of test manipulation, is turning a blind eye to these inappropriate interventions by forgoing analytical tools that have exposed other cases of cheating. While we have our issues with the weight placed on standardized test scores, changing student responses is not the way to go about creating change. The state should do more to ensure test scores accurately reflect the answers filled in by students on test day. 

Horns Up: Homelessness is on the decline

Texas’ homeless population has declined by 13 percent since 2012 and over 25 percent since 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, released in November. It’s heartening to hear that, while the U.S. economy has fluctuated over the past six years, the number of our fellow citizens chronically lacking housing has consistently fallen. We hope that as our state’s economy booms the benefits reach the nearly 30,000 Texans who still don’t have homes.