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.”
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. The deadline for comments is Friday, April 10, 2020. You may call the Accountability Section Office at (808) 733-4008 to leave a message and someone will get back to you.
We appreciate any feedback regarding Hawaii’s waiver request for ESSA standardized testing requirements.