Education Front: Hawaii public schools continue to improve in annual state assessment
July 29, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Hawaii Department of Education released preliminary results of the 2009-2010 Hawaii State Assessment, July 15.
Students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 took the HSA, which consists of reading and math sections. Overall, the HSA results revealed that the percentage of students who tested proficient in reading rose from 41 percent in 2003, to 67 percent in 2010. In math, proficiency rose from 20 percent in 2003, to 48 percent in 2010.
The test results from the HSA are used to determine a school's status under the No Child Left Behind Act. According to NCLB's rating system, schools need to pass all 37 areas that are defined by ethnicity, limited English proficiency, special education needs, high school graduation rates and higher poverty levels.
If a school fails to meet the target of one of these areas, it will not achieve Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP.
Of the five AYP status categories, 43 percent of the schools in Hawaii are in good standing. However, 92 schools are still under or will undergo restructuring.
Troy Tamura, principal, Wahiawa Elementary, said that introducing "Reading Street," a new reading program, might have helped students do well.
"Teachers worked diligently at implementing the program during this year," Tamura said.
Also, Wahiawa Elementary School used the "School Turnaround Framework" to set up a process for analyzing student data. Tamura added that the school's success is a team effort.
"It's through the hard work and dedication of the students, faculty and staff, and parents at Wahiawa Elementary School, that the school was able to make AYP," he said.
All 10 public schools in Wahiawa, including the Army's four on-post schools, are known as the Leilehua Complex. Eight of these 10 schools met AYP this past school year, including Hale Kula Elementary School on Schofield Barracks.
"The news that our students met the Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks on the Hawaii State Assessment was great news for all of us at Hale Kula," said Jan Iwase, principal, Hale Kula Elementary. "This is a direct result of our teachers and school community having high expectations for our students, teaching them what needed to be taught and encouraging them to do their best on the statewide assessment."
Hale Kula Elementary, which passed AYP this year, continues to strive toward the NCLB proficiency level of 100 percent by school year 2013-2014.
"We realize that test results are only one indicator of a school's success, and it's important to provide our students with well-rounded educational experiences to prepare them to be successful in our 21st century world," Iwase said, emphasizing that many other factors make a school successful.
The Hawaii State Assessment for school year 2010-2011 will be administered online, October through May. Public school students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 will have three opportunities to take the test. Only the highest score will be recorded.