Hawaii a model for rest of the country

06-Mar-2015

U.S. Department of Education monitoring report praises progress in Hawaii's public school system, from the implementation of high academic standards to supports provided to educators and students.

​​​HONOLULU - The latest U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) monitoring report confirms Hawaii has made significant progress as a result of its systemic reforms. The USDOE yesterday provided the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) its Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Monitoring Report with across the board ratings of "meets expectations."

"The progress that Hawaii has made in its educational transformation is incredible. Much credit goes to the state’s educators and school leaders for showing tremendous courage and doing the hard work to improve outcomes for all students," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "From instituting afterschool and summer enrichment programs at the state’s lowest performing schools to providing toolkits and resources to help teachers smoothly transition to the state’s new, higher academic standards, Hawaii is a model for the rest of the country. I congratulate the state for its accomplishments, and I hope the state continues its leadership in improving outcomes for all students."

Beginning School Year 2013-14, the DOE was granted its ESEA flexibility waiver, which resulted in Hawaii’s new school accountability and improvement system, the Strive HI Performance System. Strive HI replaced many outdated requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law with meaningful benchmarks aligned with the goals of the DOE and Hawaii State Board of Education Strategic Plan.

"A critical step in our transformation was getting approval for multiple measures of success, so that recognition and supports can be tailored to the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators, and schools," stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "The amount of change that has taken place has not been easy. There have been bumps in the road, and we're still making adjustments based on ongoing feedback from teachers and principals. However, this report validates our strategic direction and our momentum in keeping Hawaii public schools on an upward trajectory."

Among the achievements highlighted in the report’s four-page summary was praise for the establishment of the CAST system. CAST, or Complex Area Support Teams, were created to assist schools in planning, resources, staffing, and support to the 6 Priority Strategies. These strategies are the DOE’s academic focus within the Strategic Plan for measurable progress. 

In addition to the work of the CAST, the report pointed to the state’s achievements in its data collection mechanisms to "evaluate and revise its project implementation across all principles of ESEA flexibility based on multiple sources of data."

The report also made recommendations to strengthen the impact of recent changes to the use of the Tripod Student Survey in the Educator Effectiveness System. Work on the recommendations is already underway.

"Teachers and principals play a critical role in ensuring that we have a performance system that supports success," added Superintendent Matayoshi. 

Learn more about the Strive HI Performance system here. View the monitoring report.

About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is among the largest U.S. school districts and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii's public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers.

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