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Saturday, March 21, 2020
Thanks to Virus, DoE Finally Achieves Goal of Eliminating All Standardized Testing
By News Release @ 4:13 AM :: 1053 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

Public comments sought regarding state waiver for ESSA standardized testing due to COVID-19

In consideration of the health and safety of the students, faculty and staff, HIDOE has submitted its request to waive standardized testing, and associated accountability, school identification, and reporting requirements for school year 2019-20.

News Release from Hawaii DoE, 21-Mar-2020

On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) informed the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) that states may submit a waiver, pursuant to section 8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), for ESSA standardized testing requirements. This announcement was in response to the disruptions caused by the extraordinary public health crisis, commonly referred to as COVID-19. In some states, statewide school closures have been declared in response to the national emergency declared by the President of the United States under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Due to the school closures, many states are unable to pursue the schedule for large-scale assessments required under ESEA section 1111(b)(2) to comply with the associated accountability, school identification, and reporting requirements as originally planned.

In consideration of the health and safety of the students, faculty and staff, HIDOE has submitted its request to waive standardized testing, and associated accountability, school identification, and reporting requirements for school year 2019-20.

ED responded later in the day on March 20, stating, “Thank you for submitting a request on behalf of the HIDOE to waive certain requirements in section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) related to assessment and accountability requirements. Based on our review of HIDOE’s request, it appears to meet all statutory requirements and, accordingly, we intend to issue a formal approval of the HIDOE waiver request in the coming weeks. You may begin to implement the waivers while we process the formal approval.”

Waiver for ESSA standardized testing requirements

Anticipated Impact

Any school that is identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement or additional targeted support and improvement in the 2019-2020 school year will maintain that identification status in the 2020-2021 school year and continue to receive support and interventions consistent with the school’s support and improvement plan in the 2020-2021 school year.

Associated accountability and reporting requirements will be adjusted for SY 2019-2020 based on the availability of data.


To submit comments on Hawaii’s waiver for ESSA standardized testing requirements, click here or you may call the Accountability Section Office at (808) 733-4008. The deadline for comments is Friday, April 10, 2020.

We appreciate any feedback regarding Hawaii’s waiver request for ESSA standardized testing requirements.

  *   *   *   *   *

HIDOE receives approval to cancel federally mandated testing for school year 2019-20

The HIDOE received notification this afternoon from the USDOE that its expedited waiver request was approved.

News Release from Hawaii DoE, March 20, 2020

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this morning announced an opportunity for states to apply for flexibility around federal assessment and accountability requirements due to COVID-19 impacts. Within hours of filing with the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) received notification that its expedited waiver request was approved.  

HIDOE’s expedited waiver allows for the cancellation of federally required assessments for the remainder of school year 2019-20. This includes Smarter Balanced Assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics; Hawaii State Science Assessments and Biology 1 end of course exams; Hawaii State Alternate Assessments; and the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KĀʻEO).  

“At this time, the top priority of our haumana and staff should be staying healthy and adapting to their new learning environments,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “In these unprecedented times with rapidly changing conditions, the Department’s efforts are focused on helping students continue to learn and grow through alternative instructional delivery methods.” 

The Hawaii Board of Education will be discussing the federal waiver at its April telemeeting. More details and an opportunity for public comment will be available here.


KHON: State DOE receives approval to cancel federally mandated testing for the school year

DoE Guts Testing:




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