HONOLULU - Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi has earned the top rating of “exceptional” from the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) in her annual job performance evaluation.
The BOE informed the state’s top education official of her rating during its July 16 meeting. It is the highest possible rating given by the BOE and two categories above the “fully meets expectations” mark Matayoshi received last year.
"Accountability begins with the superintendent," said BOE Human Resource Committee Chairman Jim Williams. "Through this annual evaluation process, the Board and superintendent focus on priorities and on results."
"This rating is a reflection of the exceptional work by educational leaders taking place across the state," stated Matayoshi. "We have not only raised the bar for our students but for ourselves. It is a critical time in public education and we are on a strategic path toward successful change."
Matayoshi has been steadily working on the transformation of the state’s public education system since she was appointed superintendent in September 2010. In 2011, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and BOE jointly released an updated Strategic Plan focused on student success. Matayoshi has mandated that offices align decisions based on the goals outlined in the 2011-18 Strategic Plan.
"The superintendent has done an outstanding job in realigning the department to achieve the objectives of our Strategic Plan," said BOE Chairman Don Horner. "The tasks involved included significant personnel changes, organizational restructure, systems upgrades and cost reductions. She and the new leadership team have positioned the DOE well for continued improvements in student outcomes."
In the last year, the DOE has accomplished a number of major milestones under Matayoshi’s helm, including:
Ratification in April of a new, four-year teachers’ contract with the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) approval of the DOE’s new school accountability and improvement system, Strive HI Performance System, which replaced outdated components of previous federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act.
Removal from “high-risk” status by the U.S. DOE for its Race to the Top grant. While in February the DOE had received partial clearance for two of five grant areas, July’s announcement was a clear endorsement by the U.S. DOE of Hawaii’s efforts to transform public education.
Overhaul of the DOE website, HawaiiPublicSchools.org. The new website, launched in July, was one of the specific focus areas of the DOE/BOE Strategic Plan. The site gives parents and students easy access to information and provides increased transparency.
This past spring, the ACT college-readiness exam was administered to all 8, 9, 10 and 11 graders for the first time in an effort to address key statewide goals and strategies outlined in the DOE/BOE Strategic Plan relating to preparing students for college. Previously, only high school juniors had taken the ACT.
Matayoshi was named superintendent in September 2010. Prior to her appointment, she served as acting and interim superintendent (January 2010) and deputy superintendent (July 2009). Matayoshi’s current contract term runs through June 30, 2014.