Kaiapuni Assessment of Education Outcomes (KĀ‘EO)

Students enrolled in Hawaiian Language Immersion programs approach the standards in Hawaiian language medium and are assessed using the KĀ‘EO, which is developed using the Hawaiian language framework.

The Purpose of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Education Outcomes (KĀʻEO)

The purpose of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Education Outcomes (KĀʻEO) is to support a fair, valid, and reliable assessment that demonstrates:

  • The achievement of Hawaiian language (immersion) schools in Hawaiian language arts, mathematics, and science for the purpose of community accountability as well as state and federal accountability.
  • An appropriate pathway to grow and improve the Hawaiian language immersion program in classroom curriculum, at the school level, in Hawaiian immersion families, and in the broader community. 
  • The reliability and validity of building the foundation of an assessment that is informed by Hawaiian knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence.

About the Development of KĀʻEO

He oia mau nō ka pono o ka lāhui kanaka i ka na‘auao Hawai‘i.

Language is the marker of identity and has a vision of the past, present, and future; “Language not only transmits visions of the past but also expressions of social relationships, individual friendships as well as community knowledge, a wealth of organizing experiences, rules about social relationships plus ideas about art, craft, science, poetry, song, life, death and language itself.” (Baker, 2011, p.45) Learning what Skutnabb-Kangas (2009) terms a mother-tongue language, such as the Hawaiian language, is an act of reconnecting with ancestors, understanding one’s current place in the world as indigenous peoples, and imagining the future of our language, culture, and community through a Hawaiian-language lens. These benefits and rights have been confirmed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2008).

Additionally, the benefits of bilingual education have been well-documented in the world of qualitative research (Baker, 1988, 2011; Cummins, 1981, 1986, 1999, 2000, 2003; Fishman, 1976; Hakuta & Gould, 1987; Hakuta, 1986; Skutnabb-Kangas, 2009). According to Garcia (2008), bilingual education (which includes the immersion model currently being followed by the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program) has the potential to be transformative and can expand and stimulate the intellects of children and allow them to draw from a greater pool of knowledge and experiences than if they were monolingual. In addition, children who speak more than one language bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge that enhances their learning: “Crossing cultural, social class, and language boundaries, students in a bilingual class develop multiple ways of solving human problems and approach ecological and social science issues from a cross-national perspective. These learners acquire deep academic proficiency in two languages, which becomes a valuable resource in adult professional life.” (Thomas and Collier, December 1997/January 1998, p. 26)

Hawaiian immersion students had previously been included in the statewide assessment program which was built on a worldview and language derived from a majority perspective. A central tenet of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KĀʻEO) is to develop a more valid measure for assessing immersion students by placing culture and language at the center of the assessment program. Thus, throughout the assessment development, the program focused on building an assessment that would be more relevant and accessible to support the inclusion of immersion students. This was accomplished because all the assessment development tasks – framework development, item writing, item review, scoring, and standard setting – encompassed a purposeful collaboration and involvement of teachers from across the islands. These educators contributed a vast amount of knowledge about their communities, variations in academic language, and educational philosophy resulting in a community of ownership in the process and product, in turn garnering community support.

In order to preserve and promote the native Hawaiian language and culture, as required by Article X, Section 4 of the Constitution of the State of Hawai‘i, and the Hawaiʻi supreme court decision of August 2019, Hawai‘i has created both English and Hawaiian language paths within the unified set of academic content standards. Students enrolled in Hawaiian Language Immersion programs approach the standards in Hawaiian language medium and are assessed using the KĀ‘EO, which is developed using the Hawaiian language framework.  This framework is the application of the unified state standards in a Hawaiian language medium context.

To fulfill the requirements of the Hawai‘i State Constitution, the Hawai‘i State Board of Education adopted Policy 105-8 states: 

The Kaiapuni Educational Program offers students an education in the medium of the Hawaiian Language. The comprehensive program combines the use of Hawaiian teaching methodologies, language, history, culture and values to prepare students for college, career and to be community contributors within a multicultural society.

This policy further states that HIDOE develop curriculum and standards to prepare students for college, career, and community contribution.

KĀ‘EO Statewide Reporting

Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KĀ‘EO)

The KĀʻEO in Language Arts, Mathematics and Science are administered in the Hawaiian language. Public and public charter school students in the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program are administered the language arts and mathematics assessments in grades 3-8 and the science assessments in grades 5 and 8. 

Content Area




​Language Arts
5 and 8


Subject to change.​


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