Harvey disrupted a great many aspects of Texas life, not the least of which was education. Many schools in the area affected by Texas were closed for days or even weeks, and some students were required to continue their learning at other schools as the ones they had attended underwent repairs.
Naturally, the process of learning was not as smooth as it would have been had the storm never occurred.
The situation required a decision of what to do about the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test that takes place in March and May. Every fifth grader and eighth grader must pass the test in order to graduate to the next grade. Texas students have three
opportunities to take the STAAR test and pass it. The test measures proficiency in math and reading.
The option of suspending the STAAR test was not seriously considered. However, according to the Texas Tribune, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath has sent a letter to school districts that were hit by Harvey, giving local officials some flexibility on how the STAAR test is used. Now, a student who fails the test twice can still move on to the next grade if, in the judgment of local school officials, he or she is ready. Morath, at the urging of Gov. Gregg Abbott, has announced that he intends to ask the federal government for a waiver that will grant Texas more flexibility on testing requirements. In this way, the state is trying to adjust to the unique circumstances caused by one of the greatest natural catastrophes in Texas history.