HONOLULU – Hawaii's efforts to prepare students for college and careers earned high marks from Achieve, a national non-partisan education reform organization. Hawaii is one of 46 states and D.C. to adopt Common Core State Standards (CCSS), rigorous education standards aligned with college- and career-readiness (CCR), or the knowledge and skills necessary for success after high school.
"The report confirms that we have set a higher bar for students, teachers, as well as ourselves as educational leaders," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Our efforts continue daily to enable high school graduates to seamlessly enter postsecondary education prepared to succeed."
Achieve's 8th annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report released earlier this week praised Hawaii in several categories that detail progress in elevating student achievement and success. Among the findings, Hawaii is:
- One of 10 states that have "adopted college and career readiness standards and assessments capable of producing a score that colleges value and either require all students to take courses that deliver the CCSS/CCR standards to graduate or default all students into a CCR course of study in 9th grade and permit modifications as needed."
- Among states taking steps to ensure that teacher preparation programs and licensure requirements are CCSS/CCR aligned. The report specifically cites: "In Hawaii, teacher preparation programs must incorporate the CCSS into their programs when preparing teacher candidates and are required to submit evidence to the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board about how their candidates use the standards in working with P-12 students. The Hawaii Teacher Performance Standards support the CCSS."
- One of only seven states that have mandatory diplomas requiring students to take the content through the level of the CCSS/CCR standards by 2016.
- One of 11 states to require the ACT test for all high school students. In a landmark move last school year, the DOE began offering the ACT to all students free of charge. In the ACT's last administration over the spring, Roosevelt High senior Gillian Desmond was the only student statewide with a perfect score of 30, a feat accomplished by only 781 students out of the 1.66 million who took the test nationally.
The report comes during American Education Week, which recognizes the efforts of educators who work tirelessly to advance public education across the nation.
To see the report, go to www.achieve.org/ClosingtheExpectationsGap2013.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii's public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.