September 2015 Education Update


Stories include Board of Education passage of the Committee on Weights recommendation for school funding, Turnaround Arts Hawaii kicks off at Kalihi-Kai Elementary, Supt. Matayoshi talks about Smarter Balanced Assessment results to be released Sept. 15, plus success stories, opportunities, and events.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Click image to view the issue.​ 

September 2015 edition
​​Supt's Corner

​On Sept. 15, we’re going to have a better picture of how prepared our students are for their futures.

The results of the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) that our students in grades 3-8 and 11 took in the spring (this year’s 4th-9th graders and high school seniors) will be released. For the first time, our statewide assessments for English Language Arts and Math are aligned with more rigorous learning standards, as well as benchmarked against other states performing the same assessment. Hawaii will know where it stands.

It’s important to remind school communities that SBA sets a new baseline. This isn’t your parents’ test. It’s not even the one we’ve been taking more recently. SBA measures deeper learning, such as how well students are developing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. It includes a performance task and classroom activity, which haven’t been part of the typical assessment format. Our learning expectations have been raised, and the test that measures those reflects that. So we won’t be comparing this year’s scores with last year’s.

Big picture, the scores will tell us how we’re doing against other states taking the same test. Hawaii is a governing member of the 18-state consortium that helped design the SBA system with fellow teachers and state educational leaders. It will give us actionable information about what’s working for broader modeling, as well as where we should concentrate supports.

At the student level, families and teachers will have an effective academic checkup that helps them know whether students are on track for college and career readiness. And for our high school students, about 200 colleges and universities (including the University of Hawaii system) will use SBA for college placement. (See flyer for more​.) Meeting the “college ready” mark of 3 or 4 is evidence that students are ready for entry-level, credit-bearing courses and are exempted from remediation. This is big — our assessment is now a “college-ready seal of approval.”

I encourage everyone to learn more and access SBA resources on our website:


Contact Information

Communications and Community Affairs Office

Phone: 808-586-3232


Strategic Plan 2017-2020

How do I...?


View all FAQ's