The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) recently completed its review of the online curriculum Acellus Learning Accelerator.
An internal review team recommends the program be discontinued as a primary curriculum resource due to its inconsistency in quality and rigor. The HIDOE is working with complex area and school leaders to finalize a transition plan for Acellus users, with the goal of moving forward in a manner that supports students in the least disruptive manner possible.
During the summer months, in an effort to quickly respond to the evolving pandemic conditions, the Department offered Acellus to families reluctant to physically send their child to school in the fall. The program was also used by schools as a supplemental tool to support distance learning needs.
Acellus was selected based on curriculum availability to fulfill course needs, cost effectiveness, implementation timeline, teacher familiarity with the program, and consultation with schools already utilizing the program.
“In a very short time period, and under the unpredictable pressures of a health crisis, we had to transition an education system that historically has been designed exclusively for in-person learning to one that supports distance learning,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said. “One key consideration, based on feedback from the school and complex area level, was to try our best to minimize any burden of introducing brand new materials and programs given all of the other adjustments teachers and principals were handling at the time.”
After receiving parent, school and community questions and concerns about Acellus around issues of questionable and inappropriate content, rigor and alignment to standards and other areas, the HIDOE initiated a multidisciplinary review of the curriculum.
For secondary students pursuing credits for graduation using this program, the Department does not want to jeopardize students’ current progress. Secondary schools will address issues in collaboration with concerned parents to ensure students are supported through the school year. For elementary schools, the Department is working to provide options schools can offer as supplementary learning opportunities for distance learning.
The Department recognizes the curriculum includes content that reviewers found acceptable and aligned to standards, and will be working with schools that use Acellus to identify and leverage such content, as appropriate.
The HIDOE administration will be in conversation with the Board of Education on this report, its findings and proposed next steps at today’s BOE meeting.
View the report at https://bit.ly/HIDOEacellusreview.