The Education Commission of the States (ECS) presented the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) with the 2017 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation today during its National Forum on Education Policy in San Diego. The award recognizes a state for the following:
- Education improvement efforts that are replicable and hold valuable lessons for other states;
- Bold and courageous policies, including existing approaches with evidence of significant impact on student achievement in the state; and
- Policies or programs that have bipartisan, broad-based support.
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi was on-hand to receive the award presented with a Hawaii contingent also in attendance. ECS sited HIDOE's broadly-supported and impactful education improvement efforts, including focusing school accountability on students' college and career readiness; teacher and education leader support across the state; development of a comprehensive longitudinal data system; and investing in data literacy as reasons why Hawaii received the award.
"It was an honor accepting this award on behalf of the state, administrators, teachers and students who have worked hard to raise rigor and expectations in Hawaii's public schools," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "It is a reminder that we must stay the course, and continue this journey building upon the ideas, lessons and relationships we have cultivated to get this far. Mahalo to the Education Commission of the States for recognizing Hawaii's efforts to improve education."
ECS highlighted HIDOE's innovative initiatives over the years including:
- The creation of a suite of data tools, which includes a longitudinal data system that provides educators with real-time access to data and even allows for targeting underperforming student populations. The Department's accompanying long-term investment in data literacy is evidenced by the Formative Assessment/Data Team initiative the engages 11,000 teachers statewide to participate in grade-level or content-based data teams using formative assessment data to inform and improve instruction.
- A new accountability system approved by the U.S. Department of Education, Strive HI, which shifted the system's focus from 10th-grade proficiency to ensuring all students graduate ready to enter postsecondary institutions or the workforce. The accountability system extends beyond test scores to include broad measures, such as student growth, chronic absenteeism, college readiness and college-going. Results from the new accountability system showed increased college and career readiness from 2011 to 2015: 42 percent increase in the number of students taking Advanced Placement Exams; 74 percent increase in the number of students enrolling in Early College to earn University of Hawaii credits, and about one-third decrease of number of graduates needing remediation upon entering the University of Hawaii colleges.
- The development of a robust support system for HIDOE teachers and education leaders through policy and program efforts, supported by a U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top grant. One part being the statewide Induction and Mentoring Initiative, which pairs all first- and second-year teachers with an experienced mentor beginning their first day. This investment increased the five-year teacher retention rate, which rose over six years from 44 percent (2004 hires) to 52 percent (2010 hires). Additionally, HIDOE and the Hawaii State Teacher's Association agreed to a progressive performance evaluation system based on evidence of both teachers' practice and student learning and growth. To support school leaders, the Leadership Institute provides training programs with relevant and coherent curricula to the different leadership role groups, which better equips leaders to achieve success in their roles.
"Hawaii worked diligently to positively change the landscape of education in the state and dramatically improved and enhanced the structure of education in its schools, as well as outcomes for its students," said Jeremy Anderson, president of Education Commission of the States. "The state's thoughtfully constructed policies, reforms and capacity-building programs provide teachers and education leaders with opportunities to increase the potential for both their professional success, as well as the success of their students, and also support the state in achieving its education goals."
For more information about the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation, click here.