AUSTIN, Texas -

A powerful state senator is angrily disputing national assertions Texas is poised to water-down school curriculum and standardized testing requirements for its students.

Sen. Dan Patrick told Tuesday's public hearing on a proposed education overhaul that "nothing could be further from the truth."

The tea party Republican from Houston heads the Senate's Education Committee.

He singled out a New York Times news story suggesting bills remaking school and student evaluations may weaken them. Patrick also assailed a Washington Post editorial openly opposing those proposals.

He scoffed that "maybe the Legislature should just go home and just let The New York Times represent the House and The Washington Post represent the Senate."

The state House has already passed curriculum and testing changes, but the full Senate has yet to consider them.