Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i Public School Students Will Not Undergo Federally Mandated Testing

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state department of education logo_image from Hawaii Department of Education

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The US Department of Education has approved Hawai‘i’s request to waive federally mandated tested for the 2019-20 school year.

This news comes days after the Hawai‘i State Department of Education announced all public and charter schools would be closed until April 6 due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday morning that states had the opportunity to apply for flexibility around federal assessment and accountability requirements due to impacts of the novel coronavirus.

HIDOE jumped on the offer immediately. Within hours of filing, the state received notification that its expedited waiver was approved.


“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.”

Tests include: 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).

The Hawai‘i Board of Education will be discussing the federal waiver at its April telemeeting. More details and an opportunity for public comment will be available on the HIDOE COVID-19 update page at


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