Hawaii fourth-graders outperform nation in mathematics, 2013 'Nation’s Report Card' shows


Hawaii’s fourth- and eighth-graders continue to progress in mathematics and reading; and for the first time, the state’s fourth graders have scored above the national average in math. This is according to the “The Nation’s Report Card” released today by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) spring 2013 state-by-state results.

​​​​“The growth of our state reflected in the 2013 NAEP results is another indication that we are on track to meet the higher standards we have set in our schools,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We have stressed the importance of data in determining what is working best to ensure students’ success. These NAEP results are a testament to the strong leadership in our schools, and the rigorous work being done by our teachers and students.”

Hawaii’s fourth- and eighth-graders have steadily narrowed the achievement gap with their peers across the nation. In 2011, Hawaii was the only state that statistically demonstrated significant improvement in both reading and mathematics at both the fourth and eighth grades. Now, in 2013, Hawaii’s students made significant gains in grades 4 and 8 in mathematics and grade 8 reading.

From 2003 to 2013, Hawaii leads the nation in statistically significant gains, making improvements in 13 assessments out of a possible 20, tying with the District of Columbia, and five ahead of the nearest other states.

“While all stakeholders in Hawaii’s public education can celebrate the pattern of achievement gains, we are committed to doing better,” said Matayoshi.

National Center for Education Statistics Commissioner Jack Buckley stated, "The 2013 NAEP results show that Hawaii's students have continued their trend of significantly improved academic achievement in both reading and mathematics. Hawaii's strong gains from 2011 to 2013 are consistent with earlier gains from 2009 to 2011 and represent commendable progress."

Hawaii’s NAEP improvement over the past 10 years are:

  • Grade 4 mathematics: 2nd highest gains in the nation.
  • Grade 8 mathematics: 2nd highest gains in the nation.
  • Grade 4 reading: 11th in the nation in gains.
  • Grade 8 reading: 5th highest gains in the nation.

“Hawaii’s gains have occurred during a time when the percentage of English-language learners has doubled from 5 percent in 2003 to 10 percent in 2013 for grade 8 and increased from 5 percent to over 7 percent for grade 4,” stated Hawaii NAEP State Coordinator Robert Hillier. “Also during this time period, the percentage of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch has climbed to over 50 percent for both grades. Hawaii’s teachers, administrators, and support personnel are helping all students learn.”

Between January and March 2013, NAEP administered assessments in all 50 states and two jurisdictions (District of Columbia and Department of Defense schools) to a nationally representative sample of 377,000 fourth- and 342,000 eighth-grade students. In Hawaii, about 6,000 fourth-graders and 6,000 eight-graders participated.

NAEP achievement levels are set by the National Assessment Governing Board. "Basic" indicates partial mastery of prerequisite grade-level knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work. "Proficient" represents competency over complex subject matter and may go beyond the grade level tested, and "Advanced" stands for superior performance.

NAEP 2013 Mathematics Results - Grade 4

Hawaii placed s​econd in scale score gains in fourth-grade math from 2003 to 2013.

  • The average scale score for Hawaii’s fourth-grade mathematics increased from 239 to 243 between 2011 and 2013. In comparison, the national average increased from 240 to 241. Since 2003, when all states were mandated to participate in NAEP, Hawaii’s scores have increased 16 points, compared to the 7-point national average increase.
  • Eighty-three percent of Hawaii's fourth-grade students were at or above Basic level, a full percentage point above the average for public schools nationally. Forty-six percent were at or above Proficient level, 4.67 percentage points above the national average. The percentage of Hawaii fourth-graders achieving the Advanced level (8.8 percent) also exceeded public schools nationally by more than a percentage point.
  • The percentage of Hawaii students achieving at or above proficient equaled or exceeded every state except Minnesota, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Indiana, Vermont and Colorado.

NAEP 2013 Mathematics Results - Grade 8

From 2003 to 2013, Hawaii ranked second in scale score gains in eighth-grade math.

  • Hawaii's average scale score for eighth-grade mathematics increased from 278 to 281 between 2011 and 2013. In comparison, the national average increased one point to 284.
  • Since 2003, Hawaii’s average scale score has increased by 15.7 points while the national increase has been 7.5 points.
  • The percentage of Hawaii’s grade 8 students who achieved basic or above was 72 percent, compared to 73 percent among public school students nationally.
  • The percentage of Hawaii’s grade 8 students who achieved proficient or above was 32.33 percent, up 2.32 percentage points from 2011, and a number statistically comparable to the 34.44 national public school percentage.
  • The percentage of Hawaii eighth-graders achieving advanced was 7.27, more than a percentage point gain from 2011 and a percentage point below the national average.

In mathematics, for both grade 4 and grade 8, Hawaii’s scores were higher than in any previous year as was Hawaii’s position in comparison to other states.

NAEP 2013 Reading Results - Grade 4

The average scale score for Hawaii (214.84) was slightly more than a point above its 213.61 score in 2011. The national gain was slightly less than a point, rising from 220.03 to 220.67.

  • The percentage of Hawaii students achieving proficient increased from 27.16 percent to 29.77 percent, while there was slightly under a two percentage-point gain for public schools nationally, rising to 34 percent.
  • Hawaii experienced a two percentage-point gain in the percentage of students achieving basic (61.61) while public schools nationally advanced slightly under a percentage point, rising to 67 percent.
  • Hawaii ranks eleventh nationally in average scale score gains since 2003.

NAEP 2013 Reading Results - Grade 8

Nationally public schools across the board made significant gains for most metrics in grade 8 reading.

  • Hawaii’s gain of almost three points (from 257.19 to 259.96) slightly exceeded the national gain from 263.59 to 266.02.
  • The percentage of proficient Hawaii students increased from 26 percent to more than 28, but this was somewhat less than the national public school gain from below 32 percent to more than 34 percent. In contrast, Hawaii experienced a three percentage-point gain in the percentage of students achieving basic (71.28 percent) while public schools nationally advanced two percentage points to 76.63 percent.
  • Hawaii ranks fifth nationally in average scale score gains since 2003.

NAEP is a congressionally mandated project of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. NAEP reports are located at http://nationsreportcard.gov.

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 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. To learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: 808-586-3230

Email: donalyn_dela_cruz@hawaiidoe.org


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