Frequently Asked Questions
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About the Strive HI Performance System
What is the Strive HI Performance System?
The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) offered states the opportunity to apply for a waiver from certain requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The Hawaii Department of Education (Department) seized this opportunity and in September 2012 submitted an application designed with input from educators, parents, community groups, higher education, and other stakeholders.
Approved in May 2013, the Strive HI Performance System replaces many of NCLB’s most outdated and ineffective requirements with a system better designed to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools.
What does the Strive HI Performance System include?
The Strive HI Performance system has three key components:
Goals and Annual Targets: The DOE has set up updated annual reading, math, science and graduation rate goals through School Year (SY) 2017-18. They are aligned to the State Strategic Plan, ambitious to reflect our belief that all students can achieve college- and career-readiness, and customized for each school complex to provide them with challenging but attainable targets that reflect their current performance.
The Strive HI Index: The Strive HI Index uses multiple indicators to measure achievement, growth, readiness and achievement gaps to understand schools’ performance and progress and differentiate rewards, supports and interventions based on individual needs. The Index considers the performance of all students as well as performance gaps between two new student subgroups: “High-Needs Students” and “Non-High Needs Students.”
The Strive HI Steps: Based on the Index score, schools are classified in one of 5 Steps – Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone – as they strive for continuous improvement. The state’s highest-performing schools receive recognition, financial awards and administrative flexibility to sustain their success. Low-performing schools receive customized supports based on the lessons learned from Hawaii’s successful school turnarounds.
What is the relationship between the Strive HI Performance System and Hawaii’s Strategic Plan?
Strategic Plan, established jointly by the Department and the Hawaii State Board of Education in 2012, sets the vision for Hawaii’s education system. The Strive HI Performance System was designed to align with that vision and timeline.
The Strive HI Performance System draws on a subset of the Strategic Plan’s targets and performance metrics. The improvement strategies used in schools are drawn directly from the Strategic Plan. And the approach of differentiated school improvement is aligned with the Strategic Plan’s direction to ensure strategic deployment of resources that support student success, staff success, and successful systems.
Changes from No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Does the Strive HI Performance System replace NCLB?
The Strive HI Performance System replaces outdated and ineffective components of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. However, Hawaii is still required to comply with the components of NCLB not waived by USDE.
The Department’s fact sheet titled
Strive HI Performance System vs. No Child Left Behind provides a comparison of the two systems.
Will Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) still be calculated and reported?
No. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is no longer calculated or reported. Instead, schools’ performance and progress will be calculated using the Strive HI Performance Index (see below).
Are schools still identified under the NCLB categories of school improvement, corrective action or restructuring?
No. Hawaii’s approved plan allows the state to replace the NCLB categories of school improvement, corrective action or restructuring with the 5 Strive HI Steps of (1) Recognition, (2) Continuous Improvement, (3) Focus, (4) Priority and (5) Superintendent’s Zone. See the section on Strive HI Steps (see below).
Are schools still required to provide School Choice to students in low-performing schools?
Hawaii state law provides all families the opportunity to apply for permission to attend another school outside a student's geographic area, known as a geographic exception (GE).
Under NCLB, schools that received Title I funds and were categorized as a “status” school were required to offer families the opportunity to transfer children to another school that was not identified as a “status school,” and provide mileage reimbursements or transportation options. For Hawaii schools, this meant that students in NCLB status schools received a priority in the GE process and were eligible for mileage reimbursements or transportation options (known as NCLB Public Choice).
Under the approved Strive HI Performance System, the Department will discontinue the NCLB Public Choice provision and repurpose funds previously spent on mileage reimbursements or transportation options on activities aligned with the State Strategic Plan and designed to improve teaching and learning in all schools.
Children currently enrolled in a school as a result of a Geographic Exception due to NCLB Public Choice are entitled to remain enrolled in that school through the highest grade served. However, mileage reimbursements or transportation options will no longer be provided.
Families maintain the option of applying for a GE, per state law. More information about the Geographic Exception process
can be found here.
Schools and families were notified of this change in May 2013 through letters distributed by schools.
Are schools still required to provide Supplemental Educational Services to students in low-performing schools?
Under NCLB, schools that received Title I funds and were categorized as a “status” school were required to offer students Supplemental Educational Services (SES), or free afterschool tutoring.
Under the approved Strive HI Performance System, HIDOE will discontinue SES and repurpose funds previously spent on mileage reimbursements or transportation options on activities aligned with the State Strategic Plan and designed to improve teaching and learning in all schools.
Schools and families were notified of this change in May 2013 through letters distributed by schools.
Strive HI Goals and Annual Targets
What are the Strive HI Goals and Targets?
One of the most effective aspects of NCLB was the identification of underperformance by certain student groups. The Strive HI Performance System continues to set goals, and annual targets toward those goals, and publicly report student performance against those targets.
Under the Strive HI Performance System, Hawaii set ambitious and attainable goals for success by 2017-18 for graduation rates and proficiency in math, reading, and science.
How were the goals and annual targets set?
USED required each state to set a single, statewide graduation rate goal as well as annual graduation rate targets ensuring continuous and substantial progress toward that goal.
For the Strive HI Performance System, Hawaii has established a statewide high school graduation rate goal of 90 percent by SY 2017-18, with annual targets toward that goal. The previous targets set for SY 2011-12 were used as the baseline for SY2012-13 to support transition to the new system.
Reading, Math, and Science Proficiency Rates
Hawaii’s goals for reading, math and science proficiency are customized for each school complex to recognize current challenges and reinforce the importance of collaborating as a K-12 community.
For each school complex, the goal is to reduce by half the percent of non-proficient students in math, reading and science by SY 2017-18, with annual targets towards that goal. The previous targets set for SY 2011-12 were used as the baseline for SY2012-13 to support transition to the new system.
How are schools held accountable for meeting annual targets?
Each year, the Department will calculate and publicly report the performance for all students and student groups against those goals. This report includes data on the traditional federal student groups (African-American, White, Asian Pacific Islander, Hispanic, American Indian, economically disadvantaged, English Language Learners, students with disabilities) as well as three new student groups that better reflect Hawaii’s demographics (Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander).
These data can be found in the Student Group Performance Reports, which can be found here.
Strive HI Index: Indicators
What is the Strive HI Index?
The Strive HI Index uses multiple indicators to measure achievement, growth, readiness and achievement gaps to understand schools’ performance and progress and differentiate schools based on their individuals needs for reward, support and intervention.
Each of these indicators is explained below.
- Student Achievement: reading and math scores on state assessment; end-of-course Biology assessment (high schools only)
- Student Growth: median Student Growth Percentile (SGP)
- Readiness: chronic absenteeism (elementary schools); median 8th grade ACT/Explore scores (middle schools) and 11th grade ACT scores, high school graduation rates; and college enrollment rates (high schools)
- Achievement Gaps: current year gap rate and two-year gap reduction
How are the “Achievement” indicators for reading, math, and science calculated?
The Achievement indicators measure whether a school is providing students with the math, reading, and science skills that provide a solid foundation for success after high school.
Math, reading, and science proficiency are measured by statewide assessments. Hawaii is in the process of transitioning to using new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. For SY2012-13 results, the Index will rely on scores from the Hawaii State Assessment, and then shift to the HSA bridge assessment for SY2013-14 and then to the Smarter Balanced assessment in 2014-15.
How is “growth” calculated?
Hawaii uses the Hawaii Growth Model to measure how well a school is improving students’ reading and math scores over time. The Hawaii Growth Model is based on the Colorado Growth Model, which has been adapted by dozens of states across the country.
For an individual student, growth is a measure of progress in academic achievement. The Hawaii Growth Model compares the progress of individual students on the Hawaii State Assessment relative to others with a similar achievement history, known as their academic peers. This comparison is quantified as a Student Growth Percentile or (SGP).
The SGP is similar to children’s height and weight percentiles that pediatricians share with parents. A child that is in the 76th percentile in weight is as heavy as or heavier than 76% of other children of the same age. Similarly a SGP of 60 indicates the student grew more than 60% of her academic peers. The SGP helps us understand whether their growth is high, typical, or low relative to others who have shared the same achievement history.
The Index uses a school’s Median SGP. The Median SGP is calculated by taking the individual SGPs of all the students in the school being analyzed, ordering them from lowest to highest, and identifying the middle score (the median). The Median SGP tells us how much growth that school’s students are making as a whole.
For more information, see the following resources on the Student Growth Model:
How is “chronic absenteeism” calculated?
The Readiness indicators measure whether a school is doing its part in ensuring students are ready to move through the K-12 pipeline prepared to graduate ready for college and careers. At the elementary school level, the Index uses Chronic Absenteeism as the metric to determine whether students are on track to graduate ready for college and careers.
The chronic absenteeism rate is defined as the percentage of students that are absent for 15 or more school days a year (excluding medical emergencies). Chronic absenteeism rates fall into one of five quintiles — very low absenteeism, low absenteeism, average absenteeism, high absenteeism, very absenteeism — each of which has been assigned its own respective point value.
How is performance on the 8th grade ACT EXPLORE calculated?
For middle schools, the Readiness indicator is instead measured by student performance on the 8th grade ACT EXPLORE assessment of college- and career-readiness.
EXPLORE consists of four multiple-choice tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science – scored from 1 (low) to 25 (high) , and science and has content similar to the ACT Test. Students receive a score on each of the four tests, and a Composite Score – the average of the four test scores, rounded to the nearest whole number.
The Strive HI Index uses a school’s median 8th grade ACT EXPLORE Composite Score.
How is performance on the 11th grade ACT Test calculated?
For high schools, the Readiness indicator is measured in part by student performance on the 11th grade ACT college- and career-readiness “anchor” assessment.
The ACT consists of four multiple-choice tests — English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science — scored from 1 (low) to 36 (high). Students receive a score on each of the four tests, and a Composite Score — the average of the four test scores, rounded to the nearest whole number.
The Strive HI Index uses the percentage of students that receive a Composite Score of 19 or above. This cut point was selected based on analyses that demonstrate students with a 19 or higher on the Composite Score are likely to succeed in entry-level, credit courses in Hawaii.
Note: Based on national data, ACT has identified College Readiness Benchmark Scores – the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college courses, as follows.
ACT Test Benchmark
Also note: local universities use a range of ACT scores in a variety of ways as entrance or course placement requirements. For the 2012-13 school year, setting a cut score based on the Composite Score of 19 was determined to provide the most reasonable baseline.
How are high school graduation rates calculated?
All states, including Hawaii, are required to calculate graduation rates using a four-year adjusted cohort rate as defined in federal 2008 regulations.
The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is federally defined as the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of 9th grade (or the earliest high school grade), students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is “adjusted” by adding any students who subsequently transfer into the cohort and subtracting any students who subsequently transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die.
How is the college-going rate calculated?
College enrollment is calculated using data provided by the National Student Clearinghouse and analyzed by Hawaii P-20. These data includes records on more than 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions, including the UH system, Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific University.
The Strive HI Index defines the college-going rate as the “total percentage of students who enrolled in any institution of higher education (IHE) within 16 months of earning a regular high school diploma.”
This is a slightly different indicator than the college-going rate provided on Hawaii P-20’s College and Career Readiness Indicators reports. Those reports calculate college-going rates based on students who enroll in an institution of higher education in the Fall following high school graduation. By using the 16 month college-going rate, the Department captures students who may have taken time off before enrolling college.
How are the High-Needs and Non-High Needs student groups used to calculate the two “Achievement Gap” indicators defined?
The Achievement Gap indicators measure the extent of the achievement gap between student groups and how well a school is closing those gaps over time. The inclusion of an achievement gap measure reflects the Strategic Plan’s focus on achievement gaps.
The Index’s Achievement Gap metrics compare performance between two student groups: “High-Needs” students and “Non-High Needs” students. The High-Needs category includes students that are economically disadvantaged, limited English proficiency and/or special education. Each student will belong to only one group “High-Needs” or “Non-High Needs.” This replaces NCLB’s system where a single student can be counted in multiple subgroups.
How is “Current Year Gap Rate” calculated?
The current year gap rate is a comparison between proficiency rates of students in the “High-Needs” (HN) or “Non-High Needs” (NHN) student groups. This measure identifies the extent achievement disparities exist. The current-year gap rate is calculated by dividing the difference between the NHN and HN proficiency rates by the NHN proficiency rate ((NHN – HN)/NHN)).
How is “Gap Rate Reduction” calculated?
The second measure is based on a two-year gap reduction rate, e.g., a school’s 2012 NHN/HN gap versus 2010 gap rate.
Are the Achievement Gap indicators included in the Index for all schools?
No. A “Gap Index Exemption” is applied to some schools.
If a school's combined High Needs proficiency for Math and Reading is greater than or equal to the combined target of 68% (equally weighted between 72% for Reading, 64% for Math) then that school may be exempt from using the Achievement Gap indicator as part of their Index calculation. If a school qualifies for the Gap Index Exemption, their overall Index value is calculated with the Achievement Gap excluded and the greater overall Index value is used. For example, if a school eligible for the exemption has an initial calculated Index score of 335, and its Index score not including Achievement Gap is calculated to be 354, then the higher value - 354 - is used as the school's overall final Index score.
The rationale for this exemption is two-fold. First, performance demonstrates a level of absolute achievement whereby conventional concerns associated with gaps are mitigated. More importantly, resources and support for high gap schools may be better spent at schools where similar or even slightly lower gaps exist yet overall achievement is low. Schools with HN Students meeting or exceeding AMOs may still have the gap indicator applied to their Strive HI Index if these schools’ gap performance is similar or higher, relative to performance on its other indicators (achievement, growth and readiness).
Strive HI Index: Calculating the Index
How is the Index calculated for schools with unusual grade spans?
For purposes of calculating the Index, a school is treated based on the highest grade for which it has the Index’s “readiness” indicators. For example, K-8 schools are treated as middle schools and any school with an 11th or 12th grade is treated as a high school.
How is the Index calculated for a school with missing data?
Schools are not penalized for missing data. If an indicator is missing data for a specific measure, then the weighted value of that missing measure is split evenly among the remaining measures. Likewise, if a school is missing data for an entire indicator, then the weighted value of that missing indicator is split evenly among the remaining indicators.
How many points are awarded for each indicator?
Many indicators are assigned points calculated by multiplying actual performance by the total possible points.
- This approach applies to math, reading and science proficiency; 11th grade ACT; graduation rates; college-going rates; and current-year gap rate.
- The table below lists the indicator and the possible points available for that indicator.
- For example, if 75 percent of a school’s students score proficient or above on the reading assessment, the school will receive 75 percent of possible points for that indicator (0.75 X 40 possible points = 30 points).
Percent of students scoring above 19 on the 11th grade ACT (high school only)
Graduation rate (high school only)
College-going rate (high school only)
Current-year gap rate
Other indicators are assigned points based on a scoring rubric that compares schools’ results to each other.
Growth scoring rubric
- This approach applies to growth, chronic absenteeism, 8th grade ACT, and gap rate reduction.
- The scoring rubrics list cut points, and the points assigned to results within those cut points.
- For those three indicators, the scoring rubrics used to calculate the SY12-13 results are provided below.
- Each year, the cut points will be reestablished based on the distribution of results.
Very High Growth
Very Low Growth
Chronic absenteeism scoring rubric (used for elementary schools only)
% of students chronically absent
Very Low Absenteeism
12 – 15
16 – 19
20 - 24
|Very High Absenteeism|
Median 8th Grade ACT EXPLORE scoring rubric (used for middle schools only)
Median 8th Grade Explore score
13.5 – 14
14.5 – 15
Gap rate reduction scoring rubric
Note that schools with a negative percent reduction increased their gap rate. For SY12-13 results, it was necessary to assign points to schools even with gap rate increases to further differentiate between schools with moderate versus high gap increases. Schools with a negative gap (HN outperforming NHN Students) are awarded the full 50 points for this measure.
19 to 27
9 to 18
(-8) to 8
Is there a minimum participation rate for assessment-related indicators, as there was with NCLB accountability?
Yes, but it is calculated differently. If a school's participation rate for Math or Reading is below 95% then a "low participation penalty" is attributed to their proficiency values. The number of students not tested that dropped the schools participation rate below 95 percent are added to the denominator in calculating the proficiency for that particular subject. For example, a given school needed to test 7 more students in Math and 8 more students in Reading to reach the 95 percent threshold. The number of proficient students remains the same, but the number of tested students (denominator) is increased so the Math proficiency calculation changes from 174/396 to 174/403 and the Reading proficiency calculation changes from 298/395 to 298/403. The adjusted proficiency values are used for the achievement Index calculation.
Is there a minimum number of students needed to produce Index calculations?
For index calculations, a minimum count of 30 students is required. If the current year's data does not meet the minimum count, then data from the previous year are included in the calculation. If the minimum student count is still not met, then the 2nd previous year's data are included. If the minimum student count is still not met after including three (3) years of data, then the calculation is done based upon the pooled three (3) years of data.
Are indicators weighted evenly for all schools?
No. To produce the final 400 point score, indicators are weighted for each school level (elementary, middle, and high) according to the graphic below. The weights are designed to reflect each level’s contribution to ensuring students are ready to move through the K-12 pipeline prepared to graduate ready for college and careers.
Strive HI Steps (School Classifications)
How are schools classified?
Based on the Strive HI Index results and other factors, schools are classified on one of 5 Steps as they strive for continuous improvement: Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone.
The 5 Steps are designed to:
- Consistently differentiate rewards, supports and interventions and strategically deploy resources when and where they are most needed.
- Provide the highest-performing schools with recognition, financial awards and administrative flexibility to sustain success.
- Provide schools with supports and interventions based on the lessons learned from the successful efforts to turnaround low-performing schools in Hawaii’s Zones of School Innovation.
- Prioritize intense state support for the lowest-performing schools to catalyze significant improvements.
What are the criteria for classification as a Recognition School?
The federal parameters limit Recognition Schools to no more than 5 percent of all Hawaii schools.
Schools are classified as a Recognition school based upon their status as either a
High-Performing School or
High-Progress School. Beginning with the highest ranked Index schools, all schools are evaluated against the criteria for either of the two categories.
High- Performing School criteria
High-Progress School criteria
- Meet or exceed annual targets for all student groups
- Graduation rates in top 10% of all high schools
- Current year gap -rate less than 30%
This process is repeated until a total of no more than 5% of all Hawaii schools are identified, or until all schools have been evaluated for Recognition School status.
- Increases of 15% or higher of all students’ proficiency over three years
- Highest increases in grad rates (top 10% of schools with increase of 10% over three years)
- Reduction of gap between High-Needs and Non-High Need student groups by 10% or more over 3 years (cannot meet gap reduction by lowering performance of non-High Needs group.)
What are the criteria for classification as a Priority School?
The federal parameters require that the Department classify a minimum number of low-performing schools as Priority Schools. This minimum number is equal to 5 percent of the number of Hawaii’s Title I schools.
Schools are classified as a Priority School according to the following steps:
Step 1: Select any School Improvement Grant (SIG) school that is implementing a school intervention model
Step 2: Select any high school (Title I or non-Title I) with a high school graduation rate of less than 70% over three consecutive years*
Step 3: Select the lowest Index-ranking Title I schools until a school count equal to 5% of all Title I schools is reached (including the schools identified in Steps 1 and 2)
Step 4: Select all non-Title I schools scoring at or below the highest scoring Title I school selected in Step 3
*For the first year of Strive HI, only the two most recent graduation rates (2012 and 2013) will be factored due to new graduation rate calculations implemented in 2012. All future Strive HI classification will rely on a three-year trend.
What are the criteria for classification as a Focus School?
The federal parameters require that the Department classify minimum number of low-performing schools as Focus Schools. This minimum number is equal to at 10 percent of the number of Hawaii’s Title I schools.
Step 1: Select any high school (Title I or non-Title I) with a high school graduation rate of less than 70% over two years.
Step 2: Select any school (Title I or non-Title I) that has an academic achievement gap of 50% or larger between the High Needs and Non-High Needs student groups. .
Step 3: Select any high school (Title I or non-Title I) that has a graduation gap of 20% or larger between the High Needs and Non-High Needs subgroups.
Step 4: Select the lowest Index-ranking Title I schools (after Priority schools selection) until a school count equal to 10% of all Title I schools is reached, including the schools identified in Steps 1-3.
Step 5: Select all non-Title I schools scoring at or below the highest scoring Title I school selected in Step 4.
Strive HI Results
Where can I find my school’s results?
There are several resources that can be used to review an individual school’s reports.
School Performance Report (SY12-13): This one-page document provides a snapshot of key school indicators from the Strive HI Index and demonstrates how each school’s results were converted into the 400 point Strive HI Index, and then into a school classification. To find these reports use the
School Finder tool to find the school you're looking for. Each school has a link to its performance report, as well as a link to the
report overview (a step-by-step guide on how to read the report). For a small number of schools, details from these reports are not publicly available because of the small student population (data are suppressed to protect student privacy).
Student Group Performance Reports: The Student Group Performance Reports provide detailed information about how each school’s student groups’ performance meeting math, reading, science, and retention or graduation rate targets.
School Accountability Report (SY13-14): The official School Report Card with the full information required by federal law. These reports will be published in mid-September.
Strive HI Performance System: School Distribution: This
interactive site allows users to explore schools’ performance relative to other schools.
Where can I find results for charter schools?
Charter Schools' webpage. Please note, schools that have small student populations have had the data suppressed to protect student privacy. For these schools, their Strive HI score and Index placement are listed.
This document will be continuously updated. Last update: 09/16/13.