Strive HI FAQs

Your commonly asked questions about Hawaii's public school performance and accountability system answered, including information about the key performance system components (Index, Steps, Goals and Targets) and how they are set and calculated. Strive HI replaces many components of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

​​​ESSA UPDATE — please note that due to the transition to the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, many of the elements of the Strive HI System will not be applicable for School Year 2015-16. See our factsheet for details​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​Frequently Asked Questions

About the System

  • VIEW What is the Strive HI Performance System?
  • VIEW What does the Strive HI Performance System include?
  • VIEW What is the relationship between the Strive HI Performance System and the Strategic Plan?

Changes from No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

  • VIEW Does the Strive HI Performance System replace NCLB?
  • VIEW Will Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) still be calculated and reported?
  • VIEW Are schools still identified under the NCLB categories of school improvement, corrective action or restructuring?
  • VIEW Are schools still required to provide School Choice to students in low-performing schools?
  • VIEW Are schools still required to provide Supplemental Educational Services to students in low-performing schools?

Strive HI Goals and Annual Targets

  • VIEW What are the Strive HI Goals and Targets?
  • VIEW How were the goals and targets set?
  • VIEW​ How are targets set for alternative schools?
  • VIEW How are schools held accountable for meeting annual targets?


Strive HI Index: Indicators

  • VIEW What is the Strive HI Index?
  • VIEW How are the “Achievement” indicators for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science calculated?
  • VIEW How is “growth” calculated?
  • VIEW How is "chronic absenteeism" calculated?
  • VIEW How is performance on the 8th grade ACT EXPLORE calculated?
  • VIEW How is performance on the 11th grade ACT Test calculated?
  • VIEW How are high school graduation rates calculated?
  • VIEW How is the college-going rate calculated?
  • VIEW How are the High-Needs and Non-High Needs student groups used to calculate the two “Achievement Gap” indicators defined?
  • VIEW How is “Current Year Gap Rate” calculated?
  • VIEW Is there a minimum participation rate for assessment-related indicators, as there was with NCLB accountability?

Strive HI Steps (School Classifications)

  • VIEW How are schools classified?
  • VIEW​ How frequently are schools classified?​

Strive HI results

  • VIEW Where can I find my school’s results?
  • VIEW Where can I find results for charter schools?

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 State 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. 
  • In May 2014, the USDE extended approval for the Strive HI Performance System to be used through School Year 2014-15.
  • In June 2015, USDE approved use of Strive HI for three years, extending through SY 2017-18. 

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What does the Strive HI Performance System include?

The Strive HI Performance system has three key components:
  • Goals and Annual Targets: The Department has established annual English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA), 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. These goals and annual targets have been reset with the first administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA and math in spring 2015, to align with a new proficiency baseline.
  • The Strive HI Index: The Strive HI Index uses multiple indicators — achievement, growth, readiness, achievement gaps, and additional school-specific measures unique to elementary, middle and high schools — 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.” As allowed by the USDE, no new statewide classifications or Index scores are required for SY 2015-16, so only data within these measures are being reported.
  • 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. For 2015-16, the USDE offered states options for reporting school classifications. Hawaii elected to retain its 2014-15 school classifications for its reporting this year in anticipation of system changes under ESSA and a revised Strategic Plan. ​

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What is the relationship between the Strive HI Performance System and the Strategic Plan?

The 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.
The Strategic Plan is being revised in 2016 to take advantage of new flexibilities offered by ESSA. 
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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.
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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).
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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 its own system of rewards, supports and interventions. Those are under review as part of this transitional year to ESSA.     
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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. BACK TO TOP

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, the Department 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. BACK TO TOP

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, ELA and science. The ELA and math goals and targets have been reset to reflect the new proficiency baseline set with the first administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessments.​ BACK TO TOP

How were the goals and annual targets set?

Graduation Rates
The USDE 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. Targets set for SY 2011-12 were used as the baseline for SY2012-13 to support the transition to the new system.

ELA, Math, and Science Proficiency Rates
Hawaii’s goals for ELA, math and science proficiency are customized for each school complex to recognize 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, ELA and science by SY 2017-18, with annual targets towards that goal. Targets set for SY 2011-12 were used as the baseline for SY 2012-13 to support transition to the new system. These goals and annual targets were reset following the transition to the new Smarter Balanced Assessments in spring 2015. BACK TO TOP

How are targets set for alternative schools?

The Strive HI Performance System sets annual targets in ELA​​, math, science and graduation rates by complex. The annual targets for Olomana School and Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind have been updated to reflect their unique situations; the updated targets are set for those schools independent of their complex​. BACK TO TOP

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 additional student groups that better reflect Hawaii’s demographics (Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander).

These data are available in the Student Group Performance Reports, which can be found here: 
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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.
  • Student Achievement: ELA, math and science assessment proficiency.
  • Student Growth: median Student Growth Percentile (SGP).
  • Readiness: Elementary and middle schools measure via chronic absenteeism, high schools measure 11th grade ACT scores, four- and five-year high school graduation rates; and college enrollment rates.
  • Achievement Gap: ELA and math achievement gaps between non-high needs students and high-needs students.
  • Other Measures: Additionally, schools examine metrics specific to their level:
    • Elementary schools: retention rate, 3rd grade advanced reading,
    • Middle schools: number of students earning a C-grade or higher in advanced math (Algebra I),
    • High schools: Advanced coursework and completion of Career and Technical Education programs, chronic absenteeism.
Each of these indicators is explained below.
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How are the “Achievement” indicators for ELA, math and science calculated?

The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) given in the spring for students grades 3-8 and 11 determines the English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics measures — the standard of achievement is reaching a 3 or 4 on the assessment.
The Hawaii State Assessment (HSA) in science ​is administered to students in grades 4 and 8. The high school level HSA in science is the End-of-Course Biology 1 exam​, administered during the final three weeks of the course.​ Students rated proficient on these exams are counted towards a school's science proficiency rating.
In addition, an alternative assessment for a small portion of students with disabilities, and a Hawaiian language assessment for 3rd and 4th grade students in our Kaiapuni (immersion) programs, are counted towards achievement in ELA, math and science.     
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How is “growth” calculated?

Hawaii uses the Hawaii Growth Model to measure how well a school is improving students’ ELA and math scores over time. For an individual student, growth is a measure of progress in academic achievement. The Hawaii Growth Model compares the progress of individual students on an 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:

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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 and middle school levels, 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 long-term documented medical emergencies). Chronic absenteeism rates fall into one of five quintiles — very low absenteeism, low absenteeism, average absenteeism, high absenteeism, very high absenteeism — each of which has been assigned its own respective point value.
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How is performance on the 8th grade ACT EXPLORE calculated?

For middle schools, the Readiness indicator is 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). The content is 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 the percentage of students who receive a Composite score of 15 or above. BACK TO TOP

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 who 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

ACT Test Benchmark

College Course

English

18

English Composition

Reading

21

Social Sciences

Mathematics

22

College Algebra

Science

23

Biology



Also note: local universities use a range of ACT scores in a variety of ways as entrance or course placement requirements. Setting a cut score based on the Composite Score of 19 was determined to provide the most ​​reasonable baseline.
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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 students who subsequently transfer out, emigrate to another country, or leave the system.
Students who graduate with a regular diploma in less than four years are included in the calculation, as are students who graduate during the summer following senior year. Because of this, there is a lag in reporting rates. The graduation rate used in the SY 2015-16 results is the graduation rate of the Class of 2015. 
A five-year, extended graduation rate was added for high school readiness in 2015-16. The five-year rate is based on the adjusted cohort methodology and is intendent to identify schools successful in retaining students for an additional year who earn their high school diploma.
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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 include records on more than 3,300 postsecondary institutions that collectively enroll more than 96 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. Local participating institutions include: the University of Hawaii (UH) system, Argosy University, Brigham Young University-​Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Community College, Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, Kauai Community College, Leeward Community College, Maui Community College, and Windward Community College.

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.” By using the 16-month college-going rate, the Department captures students who may have taken time off before enrolling in college.
Because of this, there is a lag in reporting rates. The college enrollment rate used in the SY 2014-15 results is the college-going rate of the high school graduating class of the Class of 2013. BACK TO TOP

How are the High-Needs and Non-High Needs student groups used to calculate the “Achievement Gap” indicators defined?

The Achievement Gap indicator measures the magnitude of the achievement gap between student groups, and reflects the Strategic Plan’s focus on reducing achievement gaps.

The Index’s Achievement Gap metric compares performance between two student groups: “High-Needs” students and “Non-High Needs” students. The High-Needs category includes students who are economically disadvantaged, have limited English proficiency and/or disabilities. 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.
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How is “Current Year Gap Rate” calculated?

The current year gap rate is a comparison between math and ELA proficiency rates of students in the “High-Needs” (HN) and “Non-High Needs” (NHN) student groups. This measures the size of the gap in math and ELA proficiency between these two types of students. 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.
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Is there a minimum participation rate for assessment-related indicators, as there was with NCLB accountability?
As with NCLB accountability, the 95 percent requirement is tracked and reported for all students, high-needs subgroups, and race-ethnicity categories. BACK TO TOP
Strive HI Steps (School Classifications)

How are schools classified?
For 2015-16, Hawaii elected to report a ‘frozen’ list of school classifications from the prior 2014-15 school year. This was one option offered to states by USDE to meet reporting requirements given statewide classifications based on ESSA must occur the year following.

Prior to 2015-16, schools were 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.

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How frequently are schools classified?
Looking forward, ESSA allows states to determine the time period between which schools must demonstrate improvement and subsequent classification of schools may occur, not to exceed four years. 
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Strive HI Results

Where can I find my school’s results?
There are several resources that can be used to review individual school reports.
School Performance Report (SY15-16): This one-page document provides a snapshot of key school indicators and corresponding measures. To find these reports use the School Finder tool and select the school you're looking for. Each school has a link to its transition year data 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 on each school’s student groups’ performance in meeting math, ELA, science, and retention or graduation rate targets. 
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Where can I find results for charter schools?
On the Charter Schools' webpage. Please note schools with small student populations have had the data suppressed to protect student privacy. For these schools, their Strive HI score and Index placement are listed. 
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