Public comments sought for ESSA State Consolidated Plan


Hawai‘i is updating its ESSA plan to align with its new Strategic Plan and to adjust and modify aspect of the ESSA plan to better meet the needs of the students and the schools.

Survey Monkey Link for Public input sought on an amendment to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Consolidated State Plan:
The deadline for comments is Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Hawaii Department of Education
ESSA State Consolidated Plan
Public Comment Posting

Title: Public input sought on an amendment to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Consolidated State Plan.

Executive Summary:
The Hawaii Department of Education (Department) will be submitting an Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) school accountability amendment request to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for School Year (SY) 2024-25. The amendment requests revision(s) to Hawaii's Consolidated State Plan.

What is an ESSA Consolidated State Plan?
The ESSA was signed by President Obama in December 2015. The purpose of the ESSA Consolidated State Plan is to provide parents with quality, transparent information about ESSA as implemented in their State. Hawaii's ESSA Consolidated State Plan was approved by the Board of Education on September 5, 2017, and subsequently approved by the ED on January 19, 2018. Hawaii's ESSA plan was last amended in 2022.

Why does Hawaii need to amend its ESSA Consolidated State Plan?
Hawaii is updating its ESSA plan to align with its new Strategic Plan and to adjust and modify aspects of the ESSA plan to better meet the needs of the students and the schools. The rationale for the amendments is as follows.

  1. Aligns the academic progress and student success measures (Growth and Regular Attendance) to the HIDOE Strategic Plan's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  2. Adjusts and adds English Learner (EL) exit criteria, long-term goals, and exit timeline to better support EL students.
  3. Modifies the ESSA low-performing school identification criteria weighting to increase the focus on growth for elementary and middle school levels.
  4. Modifies the exit criteria to be more reasonable and attainable. 

What is the process for amending an ESSA Consolidated State Plan?
Any revision to an ESSA Consolidated State Plan must be submitted to the ED for review and approval. Prior to submitting an amendment to ED, the State must consult with the Governor, afford a reasonable opportunity for public comment on the amendment, and consider such comments. 

What will Hawaii's proposed ESSA amendment address?
The purpose of this amendment is to ensure Hawaii's ESSA Consolidated State Plan meets all federal requirements and supports the state learning goals for all students. The proposed amendment to the ESSA plan:

  1. Changes the growth calculation to a baseline growth model, and switches to reporting regular attendance in place of chronic absenteeism as described in Hawaii's new Strategic Plan.
  2. Changes the exit criteria for EL students, creates new exit criteria for students with special needs, and extends the program criteria of English Language Proficiency (ELP).
  3. Redistribute the ESSA Accountability Measures weights.
  4. Modify program exit criteria of Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI)/Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) support system.

What are the ESSA federal requirements regarding a State's methodology for their amendments?
ESSA mandates that every school measure four core accountability indicators: academic achievement, school progress, English language proficiency, and graduation rates. While not mandated, ESSA also allows a fifth indicator, school quality or student success. The following proposed amendments coupled with current indicators will continue to meet the ESSA requirements for accountability reporting.

Amended IndicatorESSA Mandated Indicator


The percentage of students demonstrating a typical year's worth of learning compared to 2019 norms.

Academic Progress-

Assesses how much students grow academically over time.


The percent of students with 17 or fewer days absent (regular attendance in place of chronic absenteeism).

School Quality or Student Success-

A state-selected indicator that allows states to consider additional factors beyond just test scores and graduation rates.

English Language Proficiency-

Exit criteria for all students and English Learners (EL) were made more reasonable and attainable, considering the COVID pandemic's long-term impact. The timeline for exit and the long-term goals are being updated.

English Language Proficiency-

Measures the progress of ELs toward achieving English proficiency.

ESSA gives states flexibility in how they identify schools needing support and improvement, however, there are a few general guidelines. The following proposed amendments to the methodology for identification and exiting are within the guidelines of ESSA.

Amended MethodologyESSA Requirement

Increase Weight of Growth in Identification-

Decreases weight for academic proficiency and increases weight for growth for elementary and middle schools.


Considers a combination of the four mandatory accountability indicators (achievement, progress, English proficiency, graduation rates) for identification.

Schools are flagged for subgroups that are consistently underperforming.

Modify Exit Criteria-

Exit criteria for all students were modified to be more reasonable and attainable. In the exit year:

  • Overall performance not in bottom 5%,
  • Overall performance improved,
  • Growth unit score improved (elementary and middle schools only), and
  • Graduation rate is 67% or higher (for high schools only).

Exit Criteria-

Demonstration of meeting improvement targets that led to identification.

Progress is sustainable.

To see Hawaii's approved ESSA Consolidated State Plan, click here. For a redlined version of the approved ESSA Consolidated State Plan that reflects the proposed revisions, click here.
What is the anticipated impact of the proposed amendment?
The proposed methodology is anticipated to impact the following:

  • At the state level the proposed methodological changes will have a marginal impact on school classification.
    • Preliminary simulation data suggests that final classification index scores using the new methodology are correlated at approximately 0.98 with final scores using the prior methodology.
    • Therefore, while at the state level the proposed changes will likely have a relatively limited impact, the Hawaii Department of Education does estimate that 10-30 schools could have their classification or subgroup(s) classification shift as a result of the proposed changes in Fall 2025.
    • The most notable change (for elementary and middle/intermediate schools) in identification will likely stem from the revised student growth measure, and this is because the measure is changing in addition to the increased weighting. And while the new growth measure is correlated with the prior one at roughly 0.95, there are some schools that will receive either an increase or decrease of around 10-15 points (on 100-point scale).
    • For high schools the change to ELP exit criteria (correlated at 0.88 with prior measure) will likely have the largest impact on classification, but because the measure only contributes a maximum of 10 points, and English Learners (with large enough samples) are only observed in approximately 60% of high schools it is unlikely to have more than a relatively minor impact on classification overall.
  • Schools with subgroups identified for Additional Targeted Support (ATS) in Fall 2025 will be eligible to be identified as a new CSI school in Fall 2025 should the subgroup's performance be comparable to the performance of the lowest-performing Title I school's performance in Fall 2025.

How do I submit comments on the proposed amendment?
To submit comments on Hawaii's proposed amendment to its ESSA Consolidated State Plan regarding the proposed changes, please provide your input via the ESSA Amendment Public Comments Survey. For any questions, please call the Accountability Section Office at (808) 307-3650. The deadline for comments is Thursday, April 11, 2024.


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