Some parents and advocates have argued that the tests shouldn’t be administered because students are more likely to perform poorly after missing class time and suffering trauma due to the hurricane and subsequent flooding. Classes were canceled across the Houston region after Harvey, with several districts missing two weeks of instruction. A change.org petition asking state leaders to nix the tests this year has collected about 240,000 signatures.
But Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told state lawmakers earlier this week that unless the state secures a waiver, skipping the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, would put the Texas in violation of federal law. That would threaten funding from Washington, which accounts for about 10 percent of the state’s school funding.