Strive HI Performance System

Our new school accountability and improvement system is designed to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools. It aligns and connects our key state education policies and initiatives to position students and educators for success.

Hawaii’s new school accountability and improvement system

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) provided states the opportunity to apply for a waiver from certain requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Over the course of more than a year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (Department) collaborated with Hawaii educators, parents, community groups and higher education stakeholders to develop a proposal which was submitted to USDE in September 2012 and 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The Strive HI Performance System replaces many of NCLB’s most outdated and ineffective requirements with a system better designed to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools. See this comparison of NCLB and the Strive HI Performance System.

About the system

The Strive HI Performance System is designed to measure and understand school performance and progress and help tailor rewards, supports and interventions for improvement. It is aligns with the joint Department / Board of Education Strategic Plan and has three components:

  • Goals and Annual Targets: The Strive HI Performance System includes annual goals for reading, math, and science proficiency and graduation rates through School Year (SY) 2017-18. They are 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. Learn more about the goals and targets and view annual targets for each school complex.
  • The Strive HI Index: The Strive HI Index will use multiple measures of 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. The Index will consider the performance of all students as well as performance gaps between two new student subgroups: “High-Needs Students” and “Non-High Needs Students.” Learn more about how the Index is calculated.
  • The Strive HI Steps: Based on the Index score, schools are placed on 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 will receive recognition, financial awards and administrative flexibility to sustain their success. Low-performing schools will receive customized supports based on the lessons learned from Hawaii’s successful school turnarounds. Learn more about how schools are recognized and supported.

Strive HI FAQs

Please review this updated list of detailed answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Strive HI Performance System.

Strive HI results: School Year 2012-13

In August 2013, the Department released the first annual Strive HI Performance System Results for School Year 2012-13. Key findings include:

  • Reading and math proficiency improved slightly. The percentage of students proficient in reading rose to 72 percent, from 71 percent a year ago, while math proficiency reached 60 percent from 59 percent.
  • Hawaii is on track to graduation more students college and career ready. The on-time graduation rate (81 percent) and college enrollment rate (63 percent) continue to steadily rise over time.
  • Hawaii’s public schools have narrowed the achievement gap by 12 percent over the past two years. The gap measures the performance of “high-needs students” (those who have a disability, language barriers, or low family income) compared to the achievement of other students.
  • A majority of the state’s previously lowest-performing schools made tremendous growth after receiving targeted supports in “Zones of School Innovation.”
  • Of the state’s 14 top-performing schools, more than half (9) are Title I schools, meaning they overcame challenges associated with serving a large number of disadvantaged children from low-income families.

There are a number of ways to see the Strive HI results, statewide and for each school.

  • The Statewide Snapshot (SY12-13): A one-page summary of statewide student performance on the Strive HI Performance Index metrics of proficiency (in math, reading and science), student growth (in reading and math), readiness (chronic absenteeism, ACT scores, graduation rates and college going rates) and achievement gap.
  • The School Classification List (SY12-13): List of all Hawaii public schools with their Strive HI Index Score and classification.
  • The Strive HI Master Data File (SY12-13): Spreadsheet with comprehensive data for each school (some data is suppressed to protect student privacy).
  • The Interactive School Distribution (SY12-13): An interactive site allows users to explore schools’ performance relative to other schools.
  • The Student Group Performance Reports, statewide and by school, provide information about student group performance meeting math, reading, science, and retention or graduation rate targets.
  • Each school has a School Performance Report (SY12-13) ⎯ a one-page document the 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 an Index 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). Charter schools’ reports are available on the Charter Schools' webpage.

Strive HI versus NCLB

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.


No Child Left Behind (2002-2012)

Strive HI Performance System (2013 -   )

Who designed the system?

The federal government designed the system based on an outdated approach to school reform

Hawaii stakeholders designed the system to align to the BOE/DOE State Strategic Plan’s 2012 vision of success

What is the system’s focus?

Proficiency in reading and math

Readiness for college and careers

How is school performance measured?

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measures school performance based mostly on one test, the Hawaii State Assessment (HSA) reading and math scores in grades 3-10

The Strive HI Index measures school performance and progress, using multiple measures including:

  • Student achievement: HSA reading and math scores; end-of-course science assessments.
  • Readiness: Chronic absenteeism; 8th and 11th grade ACT scores in reading, English, math and science; high school graduation rates; and college enrollment.
  • Achievement gap: Reducing the gap between “high-needs students” (those who have a disability, language barriers, or low family income) compared with the achievement of other students.

How are school performance targets set?

All schools are held accountable to meeting one national, aspirational target, regardless of current challenges

Each school is held accountable to meeting ambitious and attainable goals that are customized to each school complex (a high school and its feeder schools), based on current performance

Which students are schools held accountable for?

All schools are held accountable for the performance of student subgroups that do not fully reflect Hawaii’s student population

All schools are held accountable for the performance of all of Hawaii’s students and student subgroups that reflect the state’s student population

How are schools supported for improvement?

Schools are required to use federally-designed, one-size-fits-all interventions

Based on the 5 Strive HI Steps, schools receive customized rewards, support and interventions that have proven successful in Hawaii’s schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Detailed answers to the most common questions about the Strive HI Performance System.

Contact Information

Lyndsay Pinkus

Phone: 808-586-3448


How do I...?


View all FAQ's