H.R. NO.













urging the department of education to request a federal waiver from standardized testing requirements for the 2020-2021 school year.




     WHEREAS, the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 causes a disease named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which spread globally and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020; and


     WHEREAS, upon reaching Hawaii's shores, the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the public school system, leading to statewide school closures and the widespread adoption of remote learning programs by teachers, parents, and students; and


     WHEREAS, the pandemic highlighted inequalities existing within Hawaii's public education system, with socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and impoverished families often lacking the resources needed to participate in distance learning programs; and


     WHEREAS, numerous education experts have noted that the academic disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has precipitated widespread learning loss, with students unable to obtain the same quality of educational experiences and opportunities as they are provided during normal school years; and


     WHEREAS, evaluating students based on standardized tests in light of widespread learning delays would provide an inaccurate measure of their academic ability; and


     WHEREAS, public health officials project that the health risks posed by COVID-19 will continue throughout the majority of the 2021 calendar year; and

     WHEREAS, the performance of standardized tests places teachers and students in close proximity to one another to ensure testing security, which violates social distancing guidelines articulated by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and


     WHEREAS, at the beginning of the Regular Session of 2021, the Department of Education was facing approximately $400,000,000 in budget cuts that jeopardized teacher and staff positions, curricular programs for vulnerable students, and other educational services; and


     WHEREAS, implementation of standardized tests would deplete school resources and funding that would be better devoted to maintaining school staffing levels, providing personal protective equipment, and delivering essential learning programs; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Department of Education is urged to request a federal waiver from standardized testing requirements for the 2020-2021 school year; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Education.









Report Title: 

Department of Education; Standardized Testing; Waiver