The Texas Education Agency wants to push forward with school accountability ratings despite fears in some Harvey-damaged districts they won't fair as well.
The TEA's commissioner compared waiving state tests for districts hit by Harvey to refusing a blood pressure check at the doctor.
“You've got families still living in tents right now, kids included, do we really think their first and primary focus is going to be that bubble test in March or April?” asks Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
Capo believes the state should take this time to re-evaluate the entire testing process.
“Maybe for this year we emphasize other aspects of the accountability system and de-emphasize that one test that happens one time and gives a snapshot within the year,” he says.
Since the federal government requires a yearly assessment, state lawmakers directed the TEA to ask what impact delaying the tests would have.
Unfortunately, Capo says too much has already been invested in the yearly tests.
“That's what a lot of our parents have been talking about,” he says. “They know and see how much money is spent on testing and test prep throughout the year, and we could literally be rebuilding our schools if we changed how we spent those dollars.”