• ............................ Important Alert: **Hanalei Elementary, Kauanakakai Elementary, Kilohana Elementary, Mauanloa Elementary, Moloka‘i Middle and Moloka‘i High will be closed for students and staff on Monday, Jan. 30, due to impacts from severe weather.**

November 2015 Education Update


In this edition: Kapunahala El's Stephanie Mew is the 2016 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year, two Maui schools join a 24/7 digital learning and device initiative, congratulations to our top Strive HI Schools, a review of testing in Supt's Corner, more.


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November 2015 edition
​​Supt's Corner

This fall has been a whirlwind of announcements regarding the progress of our schools.

Strive HI: Our third year of performance system results showed schools are maintaining recent gains across indicators. We intend to give special attention to the achievement gap.

Smarter Balanced Assessments: In this first year with SBA, many students met the more rigorous achievement standard — 48 percent in English Language Arts/Literacy, 41 percent in mathematics. We will have a basis for comparison with the 2016 administration of SBA, but we did well compared with other states taking it, and had a strong participation rate (97 percent).

National Assessment of Educational Progress: The 2015 results showed a national decline in scores in reading and mathematics. Hawaii followed the same pattern. This exam provides important data for a national comparison, but does not tell the whole story about our state’s education progress. Our 10-year growth track continues to outpace the national average.

We are getting a lot of data from our assessments, but there is valid concern over the quantity of tests and the time spent prepping students. Teaching and learning is our primary mission. Assessments play a role in guiding that effort, but must be in balance.

Last school year, the Department reviewed all of the assessments required by the state. Deputy Stephen Schatz and I listened to concerns from the field and held discussions with the Hawaii State Teachers Association. As a result, we eliminated mandatory testing for five exams. We are seeking an additional reduction with the U.S. Department of Education. (Learn more.)

In July, I sent a letter to the SBA Consortium expressing concern about the time required to complete the assessment. We will reiterate that call at a meeting of state superintendents next month.

President Obama recently addressed testing as well. Learn more and leave your feedback: bit.ly/WhiteHouseTAP.

We are committed to keep the conversation moving in a direction that supports schools and ensures student success.



​Hawaii is ahead of President's call to reduce testing in schoolsHIDOE streamlined the state requirements for testing students for the 2015-16 school year after performing a review of assessments and hearing from teachers and principals.

Contact Information

Communications and Community Affairs Office

Phone: 808-586-3232

Email: doe_info@hawaiidoe.org

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