Maui News

Improvements Highlighted in Hawai’i Education Report

November 29, 2012, 8:31 AM HST
* Updated November 29, 8:32 AM
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Hawai’i State Department of Education released a report this week detailing its progress in obtaining goals outlined in the Race to the Top program.

The two-year report showcases improvements after the department was placed on high risk status that threatened it’s funding under the competitive grant program.

Hawai’i was awarded a four-year $74 million Race to the Top grant in August of 2010.

The report highlights strides in establishing a new teacher evaluation system, based partially on student outcomes.  The report also details achievements made to turn around low-achieving schools, through community partnerships aimed at ensuring success.

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According to the report, Hawaii has completed more than 90% of its grant deliverables in the past 24 months.

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“The significant strides in this Hawaii Race to the Top report reflect the extraordinary accomplishments of our educators and their commitment to prepare graduates for college or careers,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

“A newly revised Board of Education/DOE strategic plan has fully aligned our efforts to transform Hawaii’s public education system. Teachers, administrators and community partners are working hard on this transformation and we are seeing widespread success,” said Matayoshi.

State Education officials note that Hawai’i was the only state that demonstrated significant reading and math gains by fourth and eighth graders in the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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“Our reform efforts are making a positive difference in our schools, and we are pleased with our progress,” said Stephen Schatz, assistant superintendent for the DOE Office of Strategic Reform. “The two-year report provides a snapshot of the exciting gains being made in our reform plan,” he said.

The two-year RTTT report outlines the following five-point reform plan and actions for student success:

  1. Aligning Organizational Functions to Support Reform Outcomes
  2. Tying Rigorous College-and-Career-Ready Standards and Assessments to a Statewide Curriculum
  3. Improving Data Collection and Use
  4. Cultivating, Supporting, and Leveraging Effective Teaching and Leading
  5. Providing Targeted Support to Struggling Schools and Students

Hawai’i education officials say the new plan builds on strategies and initiatives to ensure all students are college-and career-ready.

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