HONOLULU – In its first year of administering a new, more rigorous test, Hawaii's students continue to move in the right direction in meeting higher expectations for college and career readiness. The Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) today released statewide Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) test scores in mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA). Implemented in Spring 2015, the new test is aligned to the new Hawaii Common Core standards and replaced the Hawaii State Assessment (HSA) in math and reading.
The results show that 48 percent meet or exceed the achievement standard in ELA. In math, 41 percent of students tested meet or exceed achievement standards.
"These first year results show promise and will serve as a baseline for future student achievement," said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent. "Test scores show we're not where we want to be, but we're on the right track for all students to be college and career-ready. This test was more difficult, and the results also tell us that our educators have worked hard to shift their teaching towards higher standards. We hope to build on our momentum each year to ensure that our students are prepared for college and community life."
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The scores reflect the percentage of students who meet or exceed achievement standards. More than 89,000 students took the SBA, and Hawaii had a 97 percent participation rate.
SBA tests measure how well students are developing the skills needed for success in college or the workplace. On the basis of their 11th grade scores, more than 5,000 public high school seniors already qualify for college-level classes. At nearly 200 colleges and universities in seven states, students can use their SBA scores to be exempted from placement exams and to enroll directly into entry-level college courses, eliminating the need for remediation.
"Our agreement to accept 11th grade Smarter Balanced scores for college placement demonstrates the University of Hawaii system's recognition and appreciation of Hawaii Department of Education's increasing preparedness of their graduates. UH's acceptance of Smarter Balanced scores means these tests count for students, and this will help them to be placed in college level courses," said David Lassner, President of the University of Hawaii system. "Together, we are strengthening our state's educational pipeline and timely completion in support of our Hawaii Graduation Initiative, and Hawaii's making progress towards our goal to have 55 percent of our working age adults hold a college degree by 2025."
"Whether students want to go to college or straight into the workplace, they need to be able to think critically and solve complex problems," said HIDOE Deputy Stephen Schatz. "Our vision is that our students graduate from our schools ready to pursue their dreams."
Hawaii is one of 22 states that have administered the SBA; to date, 10 other states have released their state scores.
Achievement standards were set by the 16 Smarter Balanced Governing States and Territories, along with three affiliate states and the Bureau of Indian Education, and included input from teachers, parents, education faculty, businesses and community members to set threshold scores to measure student performance. State comparisons show that Hawaii is on the right track.
Families will be receiving their child's individual score report from their child's school this fall. Learn more about the HIDOE's Smarter Balanced Assessment at bit.ly/SBAHI. More detailed information about SBA is also available at the following links.
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
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 256 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii's public school system in 1840.