Happy Saturday night, folks! It's Blue Gal from The Professional Left Podcast, bringing you this week's podcast round up. Be aware that these podcasts are also available on i-Tunes and Stitcher Radio, and may not be safe for work.
Liberal Oasis (video): Pat Robertson "honored" for his stand on the Oklahoma tornado.
On Point with Tom Ashbrook: The History, Sounds, and Politics of Heavy Metal Music.
Decode DC: Covering the immigration story by listening to stories by actual immigrants.
And then there's this: If you like Game of Thrones, you might be interested in this list of all-woman Game of Thrones Fancasts.
Open thread below
Revised House bill for education changes is revealed
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Updated 10:00 pm, Saturday, May 25, 2013
Lawmakers on Saturday unveiled a final version of House Bill 5, a package of major education reforms that would cut the number of state tests that high school students have to pass and would overhaul graduation requirements.
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, the House Public Education Committee chairman, and Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, told reporters that the two had reconciled differing versions of the bill and had reached a compromise on Senate Bill 2, which expands the number of charter school organizations that can operate in Texas.
Patrick, who has called HB 5 one of the most important bills of the current session, said 2,000 parents, educators, business leaders and advocacy groups testified on education issues in Austin this year, most of them over “testing, curriculum and charters.”
Born out of the growing backlash to the state's new standardized testing system — which requires high school students to pass 15 end-of-course exams and meet cumulative score requirements in core subjects — HB 5 was designed to offer immediate relief.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, pointed out during a heated Senate floor debate this month that the bill would allow students to skip Algebra II, which would make them ineligible for automatic admission to Texas universities under the state's “top 10 percent rule.”
HB 5 also would give the state education agency power to look beyond standardized tests to rate schools, allowing it to include the percentage of students graduating with endorsements, the number of students earning college credit and the number of students earning workforce certificates.