The report covers the progress made through August 2012. The Department received recognition for a number of major accomplishments over that time period in the following areas:
- Transitioning to College and Career-Ready Standards
- Building Better Data Systems
- Supporting Great Teachers and School Leaders
- Turning Around Low-Performing Schools
- Expanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education
“Hawaii has shown promising growth in their second year under Race to the Top, and we are optimistic about their framework for continuing this progress,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We will continue to work closely with Hawaii to ensure they are enacting reforms that will improve student achievement and empower teachers to prepare all students for college and careers.”
“We are pleased that federal officials recognize the continued progress in our schools and the ongoing transformation of the Hawaii State Department of Education,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
Among the major challenges identified by the USDOE was the delayed principal evaluation implementation. On January 25, 2013, the Hawaii Government Employees Association and Department announced that implementation is in effect and that an agreement on the principal evaluation, the Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA), was executed.
“We will make it clear to the USDOE that the principal evaluation implementation is underway,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “There is still work to be done with the Hawaii State Teachers Association which remains a challenge but I’m hopeful that the State’s latest proposal holds promise for an agreement.”
The USDOE RTTT report does not cover the progress made by the Department since August 2012. Those highlights include:
- CESSA Implementation
- Professional Development for all teachers on Common Core
- Response to Intervention Training: A school-wide model of tiered interventions and supports for all students
- A systemic review of new curricular materials
- End of Course Exam development
- Additions to the Data for School Improvements System (an online system of formative assessment items and performance tasks, also aligned with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math)
Superintendent Matayoshi added, “We are making significant progress and we’re confident that continued achievements will lead to our removal from high-risk status.”
In late November 2012, HIDOE released its own progress report on its two-year Race to the Top performance and noted that it had completed more than 90 percent of its RTTT grant deliverables. The Department’s five-point plan for student success and progress resulted in major gains.
In August 2010, the U.S. DOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year $75 million RTTT grant. In December 2011, Hawaii was placed on high-risk status. U.S. DOE officials have since acknowledged Hawaii’s progress in implementing important reforms, including programs to support educator effectiveness.