Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Owning up to error about Austin's student test dates

Austin school Superintendent Meria Carstarphen was part of a test-related skit in November 2011 (Austin American-Statesman photo by Ralph Barrera).
Austin school Superintendent Meria Carstarphen was part of a test-related skit in November 2011 (Austin American-Statesman photo by Ralph Barrera).

Every once in a while, someone whose statement we’re checking quickly owns up to getting it wrong.

So it was when we called Sara Stevenson, an Austin school librarian, to gauge her claim in an Austin American-Statesman op-ed article that the Austin school district calendar "lists 64 different dates for either a state-mandated test or make-up test."

We contacted Stevenson after noticing her claim encompassed about a third of the 180-day school year.

Stevenson shortly checked her count, noticing that she had mistakenly counted every test, re-test or make-up on the testing calendar as a separate date when that’s not what the calendar shows. "I should have said (64) different tests rather than different test dates," she said. Apart from our inquiry, she separately requested a published correction, which landed in the April 20, 2012, newspaper.

Her original claim rates Mostly False as spelled out in the Truth-O-Meter article to the right. But if we could, we’d give Stevenson a True for forthrightness.

See a questionable claim we should tackle? Email us at politifact@statesman.com. Of course, we’re also on Facebook (where you can comment on our stories) and Twitter.