Milestones in transformation

In 2010, the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) and the Department (DOE) embarked on an ambitious path to deliver more public school children to college, career and community readiness. Here are some of the top achievements since then, powered by the hard work of teachers, principals, support personnel and leadership, who believe that all children can reach their aspirations.

​​​​​​​​​BOE/DOE Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan sets the vision for the public school system and focuses on three main goals — Student Success, Staff Success and Successful Systems of Support — with core objectives for each and 14 statewide indicators for which the state is responsible for reporting to the Board of Education and public. It is student-centered, grounded in Hawaiian values, and covers school years 2017-2020. LEARN MORE »

Race to the Top

RTTT was a catalyst for reforms that are sustained under the Strategic Plan. Hawaii was the only one of 12 RTTT winners to complete grant requirements on time without the need for an extension from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). LEARN MORE »

Strive HI Performance System

Strive HI, which has been in place since 2013, is an accountability system designed to better measure and support Hawaii’s schools; it waived the state from certain expectations of the federal No Child Left Behind law. A new federal education law (ESSA) was passed in December 2015, which allowed additional flexibility. Metrics in the Strive HI System are aligned with the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. LEARN MORE »

  • 2016-17 SNAPSHOT: Over two years, students are up five points on the science assessment, three points on the English Language Arts assessment, and two points on the math assessment. VIEW »
  • PROFILE: PAUOA ELEMENTARY: With high achievement results in language arts, mathematics and science, and a low achievement gap between students with high-needs and their peers, more students are getting what they need to learn at the highest levels at this school. VIEW »
  • PROFILE: KING KEKAULIKE HIGH: An all-in approach with interventions and co-teaching, among other efforts, is significantly improving student outcomes. VIEW »

College & Career Readiness

Hawaii P-20 produces the annual College & Career Readiness Indicators (CCRI) report that examines how our high schools are doing with graduation rates, proficiency, college attendance, and remediation.

Five-year trend data for the Class of 2017 (report released March 2018) show:

  • The percentage of students enrolled in Dual Credit has nearly tripled and the percentage taking six or more credits has doubled.
  • An 8-point increase in the number of students taking the Advanced Placement exam;
  • An 11-point jump in students finishing a Career & Technical Education program of study (tracked since the Class of 2014).
  • PROFILE: MAUI HIGHA strong commitment to Career and Technical Education and a robust partnership with UH-Maui College is expanding student horizons; more students are earning honors diplomas, finishing a CTE Program of Study, and enrolling in college courses while in high school.

The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only common test of 4th and 8th graders in every state; it's known as the Nation's Report Card. In this biannual assessment of reading and mathematics, Hawai'i's 2017 results showed:

  • Reading 4th grade: +3 points
  • Reading 8th grade: +4 points
  • Math, 4th grade: flat
  • Math, 8th grade: -3 points

More results:

  • 2013: Hawaii’s fourth-graders surpassed the national average in math. LEARN MORE »
  • 2015: Hawaii's 10-year trajectory of improvement is cited as evidence of the state's reform success. LEARN MORE »

Expectation of College: LEARN MORE »

National recognition​

Pivoting a large education system such as Hawaii's into a continuous cycle of improvement depends on many factors, including leadership and relationships. These were cited as reasons for the ​impressive growth track of Hawaii in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's report, "Laggards to Leaders: How Three States Found Their Way Forward," released December 2015.

In 2017, Hawaii earned the national Newman Award for State Innovation for its efforts to pivot its accountability system toward college & career readiness, implementing a statewide longitudinal data system, and investing in data literacy. LEARN MORE »

Praise from our monitors

  • In what was the first visit by a U.S. Secretary of Education to Hawaii in nearly 20 years, Secretary Arne Duncan toured two schools and touted Hawaii’s progress. “The only way you get better is to challenge the status quo. The only way to accelerate the rate of change is to do something different. The progress has been extraordinary. Hawaii, by any objective measure, is one of the fastest improving states in the nation.”
  • The latest USDOE monitoring report confirms Hawaii has made significant progress as a result of its systemic reforms. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Monitoring Report included USDOE's highest rating across all measurements.
  • At its March 17, 2015 meeting, the Board of Education issued a resolution recognizing the employees of the Department and the support of stakeholders in achieving the positive results of the ESEA Monitoring Report.

Facilities Innovations

  • ​Ka Hei positions HIDOE to be environmental stewards while expanding real-world educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. LEARN MORE »
  • Finding ways to cool schools during hotter months without an expensive overhaul of aging buildings culminated in our heat abatement plan, rolling out now. LEARN MORE »

Technology Innovat​ions

  • In 2014, the Department delivered campuswide WiFi to all Department-managed schools, an undertaking by the DOE's Office of Information Technology Services and Office of School Facilities and Support Services: 255 schools with more than 170,000 students.​ VIEW VIDEO »
  • From 2010-2015, the Department increased broadband at schools from 0.3 gigabytes/second to 8.0 gigabytes/sec.
  • Hawaii's school district is the top-ranked district for K-12 broadband connectivity, according to the Education Superhighway in its 2016 State of the States report. LEARN MORE »

Office of Hawaiian Education

  • In February 2015, the Office of Hawaiian Education (OHE) was established under the Office of the Superintendent. LEARN MORE »
  • OHE was tasked with the implementation of Nā Hopena A'o, a framework of outcomes that reflects HIDOE's core values and beliefs, which was approved by the Board of Education in June 2015.
  • The Assessment for Learning Project awarded a grant to OHE in March 2016 to launch a pilot of culturally accurate student assessments. LEARN MORE »
  • In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Education granted an extension on a waiver that allows Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP) students to take a specialized assessment in lieu of the state's English language arts and math student assessments. LEARN MORE »
  • The Board of Education unanimously approved the K-12 Hawaiian Language Art standards in May 2017. LEARN MORE »
  • This year, OHE celebrates 30 years of HLIP and Ka Papahana Kaiapuni. HIDOE began implementation of the HLIP pilot program at Waiau and Keaukaha Elementary School in SY 1987-88.

Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200


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