Additional Open Application Period Begins for Hawaii Preschool Open Doors Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has opened an additional application period for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program and encourages families to apply between May 1 and May 31, 2017.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

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This program, which currently serves more than 1,700 children statewide, provides child care subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay preschool tuition. POD aims to provide children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life.

To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2018-2019 school year (born between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013). Families are reminded that a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Families may choose any one of the 433 State-licensed preschools. Underserved or at-risk children receive priority consideration for the POD program, and funds are limited.

Interested families may request an application beginning Monday, May 1, 2017 from the Department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting or calling 791-2130 or toll free 1-800-746-5620. PATCH can also help families locate a preschool convenient for them.

Applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31, 2017 to be considered during the July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 program period. Applications should be dropped off, mailed, faxed, or emailed to the following:

PATCH – POD, 560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 218, Honolulu, HI 96817, Fax: (808) 694-3066, PODAdmin@patch-hi.org

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed online in HAR §17-799, which is available online at humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs.  For more information about other DHS programs and services, visit humanservices.hawaii.gov.

Report on College Readiness for the Class of 2016 Shows Increase in Post-High School Preparation

The College and Career Readiness Indicators Report for the Class of 2016, released by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, show that Hawaii students continue to reach higher levels of achievement, with more students taking college-level courses while in high school and graduating with college credits.

​Indicators used to measure student readiness for college and careers reveal that Hawaii’s students continue to reach higher levels of achievement, with more students taking college-level courses while in high school and graduating with college credits.  The College and Career Readiness Indicators Report (CCRI) for the Class of 2016, released today by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, shows that Hawaii’s public school graduates have made steady, and in some cases significant improvements in key indicators of college and career readiness, including earning college credits before graduation (often referred to as “early college”), Advanced Placement (AP) participation, and completion of career pathways.

Of last year’s high school graduating class, 515 more students graduated with college credits than in the prior year. High school students who graduate with college credits are more likely to enroll, persist, and succeed in higher education.

While nationwide college enrollment for Hawaii’s students has remained steady over the last few years at around 55 percent, the enrollment rate for four-year colleges has increased over four years, from 26 percent for the Class of 2012 to 32 percent for the Class of 2016.

In the Class of 2016, more students participated in the AP exams, which many colleges recognize for college credit. Last year, some schools registered significant increases.

Remediation rates for both English and mathematics have been steadily declining with each graduating class since the reports’ inception with the Class of 2008.  Following a decade of collaboration on improving educational outcomes for Hawaii, the University of Hawaii System’s (UH) 10 campuses instituted a new placement policy beginning in Fall 2016 that allows students to be placed into college-level coursework based on their achievements as a high school student.  Research shows that the more quickly students enter and complete these college-level courses, the more likely students are to attain their higher education goals.

“More high school graduates entering into college-level courses immediately after high school demonstrates that the changes we’ve initiated from Hawaii Common Core to early college programs and the collaboration with the University of Hawaii are paying off for our students and community,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.  “These results are a clear testament to the commitment of our school leaders and teachers who stayed the course in raising the rigor and setting high expectations for our students.”

Collaboration between the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and UH to provide opportunities for students to access and be successful in higher education is making an impact.  Research shows that participation in college-level coursework during high school increases students’ exposure and confidence to pursue postsecondary opportunities.  High school students who graduate with college credits are more likely to enroll, persist, and succeed in higher education.

New to this year’s CCRI report is the measurement of Career Technical Education (CTE) program completers.

In the Class of 2016, the number of dual-credit participants (students who enrolled in college-level courses during high school) increased by four percentage points statewide, from 10 percent for the Class of 2015 to 14 percent for the Class of 2016.  Of last year’s high school graduating class, 515 more students graduated with college credits than in the prior year.  At Waipahu High School, about one in three students in the Class of 2016 participated in dual credit, for a total of 32 percent of the Class of 2016.  Several other schools increased dual-credit participation by 10 percentage points or more since the Class of 2014:

  • Hilo High School: 24% from 7% (+17 points)
  • Kaimuki High School: 29% from 14% (+15)
  • Kapaa High School: 23% from 8% (+15)
  • Kailua High School: 20% from 5% (+15)
  • Roosevelt High School: 21% from 8% (+13)

In the Class of 2016, more students participated in the AP exams, a rigorous assessment that measures students’ mastery of college-level coursework, which many colleges recognize for college credit.  This continues the trend of the last five years of more public school students graduating having taken AP courses and exams:  24% of the Class of 2012 to 33% of the Class of 2016.  Last year, some schools registered significant increases in AP exam-takers.  The top five schools with the highest increases between the Class of 2014 and 2016 are:

  • Roosevelt High School: 58% from 30% (+28 points)
  • Nanakuli High School: 33% from 11% (+22)
  • Castle High School: 43% from 23% (+20)
  • Aiea High School: 44% from 25% (+19)
  • Radford High School: 47% from 33% (+14)

Nanakuli, Castle, and Aiea High Schools made significant strides, moving from below the statewide average for AP exam participation, to above the statewide average.

Several schools are spotlighted in the Class of 2016 CCRI for gains made in a number of additional areas of college and career readiness, including:

  • Radford High School
    • Increased on-time graduation rate to 94% for the Class of 2016, from 87% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased participation in AP examinations to 47%, from 36% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 62%, from 51% for the Class of 2012
  • Lahainaluna High School
    • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 55%, from 47% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 52%, from 25% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 57%, from 45% for the Class of 2012
  • Nanakuli High and Intermediate School
    • Increased dual-credit participation to 19%, from 3% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased participation in AP examinations to 33%, from 11% for the Class of 2014
    • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 38%, from 29% for the Class of 2012
  • Farrington High School
    • Increased participation in AP examinations to 22%, from 4% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 34%, from 27% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 59%, from 43% for the Class of 2012
  • Hilo High School
    • Increased dual-credit participation to 24%, from 10% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 54%, from 26% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 63%, from 37% for the Class of 2012

Stephen Schatz, recently appointed as Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, said, “Year over year, we see that Hawaii’s public high school graduates are more prepared for success after high school.  The College and Career Readiness Indicators report is an important tool that quantifiably measures college readiness of our public high school students, and gives leaders the data they need to make improvements.”

CCRI reports are an annual collaboration between HIDOE and UH, coordinated by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, to present information on how well-prepared Hawaii public school graduates are for college.

Hawaii’s CCRI reports are continuously recognized by national organizations, including the Data Quality Campaign, Achieve, and the National Governors Association, as a leading example of collaboration between K-12 and higher education and for providing useful information on college readiness. The full reports can be found at: http://www.p20hawaii.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness-indicators-reports/ccri-2016-data, and also at: http://hawaiidxp.org/research/ccri_reports.

Hawaii State Department of Education Receives ESEA Flex Extension

As a sign of its continued confidence in the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE), the United States Department of Education (USDOE) has extended the DOE’s waiver from some components of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

DOE
The ESEA Flexibility Waiver includes the Strive HI Performance System, which replaces the NCLB’s Adequate Yearly Progress system and its other obligations around college and career readiness and teacher and principal evaluations.

“The extension validates our work thus far in our efforts to transform public education in Hawaii,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Additionally, it recognizes our strategic plan moving forward as we work tirelessly to elevate student achievement, and prepare all of our students for post-secondary success.”

The DOE initially applied for the waiver in September of 2012, and on May 20, 2013, it received conditional approval for one year – for the School Year 2013-14. Under the conditional approval, the DOE had to meet certain conditions to be granted an extension for a second year, for the School Year 2014-15. Among the conditions the USDOE required of the DOE for an extension was clear and compelling evidence of the DOE’s substantial progress with its Race to the Top (RTTT) grant. On July 29, 2013, the DOE was cleared entirely from “high risk” status with its RTTT grant.

The Strive HI Performance System not only reflects the State Strategic Plan, it aligns and connects with state education policies and initiatives including the Hawaii Common Core, updated assessments, more rigorous diploma and graduation requirements, successful school improvement strategies in the Zones of School Innovation and robust teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

More about the DOE’s Strive HI Performance System can be found here.

Hawaii State Department of Education’s Continued Race to the Top Progress Shows Extraordinary Growth

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is receiving high praise from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for its efforts in implementing key reforms such as the Educator Effectiveness System, professional development on the Hawaii Common Core and work to support its most needy schools. This comes with Year 3 Race to the Top (RTTT) report released this evening.

DOE Release“Over the last few years, we have seen Race to the Top states build on the systems and framework that they have been developing to lay the foundation for long-term, sustainable progress,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Hawaii has made key steps in implementing its plans, developing great teachers and leaders, and in improving students’ outcomes. As Hawaii completes the third year of implementing its Race to the Top grant, it has continued to demonstrate leadership in education reform.”

During a call with media before the report’s release Secretary Duncan stated: “When we originally gave (Hawaii) the RTTT grant, lots of folks doubted our judgment there, and said there was no way they could be successful. They initially struggled…a lot of people didn’t think they could succeed, and they’ve shown amazing leadership in a relatively short amount of time…they’ve made huge progress.”

Governor Neil Abercrombie welcomed the news. “The U.S. Department of Education’s recognition of Hawaii’s progress highlights our commitment to transform public education,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our principals, teachers, staff and students. Hawaii has proven that no matter how great the challenge, we can pull together to make sure Hawaii’s keiki have the opportunities they need to succeed.”

Among Hawaii’s highlights as noted in the report, which documents efforts from Sept. 2012 – Sept. 2013:

  • Improved scores on national benchmarks and access to more rigorous course work and resources like AP classes. Specifically, “The Nation’s 2013 Report Card” by the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) where Hawaii’s fourth- and eighth-graders proved to be among the nation’s leaders when it comes to improved progress in mathematics and reading achievement. Last year also marked the first time Hawaii’s fourth-graders surpassed the national average in mathematics.
  • Progress in initiatives related to supporting teachers in leaders in Year 3, primarily due to the ratified contract with the Hawaii State Teachers Association in April 2013, allowing the implementation of the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) design and implementation.
  • Continued support and training for educators statewide as we transitioned to new college-and career-readiness standards: Hawaii’s Common Core.
  • Extensive supports the DOE has put in place to turn around low-achieving schools, particularly those in the Zones of School Innovation (ZSI), where community partners have played a key role in ensuring success. They include the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, AT&T, Hawaii 3R’s, Hawaiian Electric Industries and the Hawaii Business Roundtable.

“The third-year report is a testament to the remarkable efforts of our educators in meeting elevated expectations,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “As we head into the final months of the grant, we continue our commitment to put into place systems and practices that will keep our students successful in college, careers and community long after the grant ends. Race to the Top was an important step in the transformation of our public school system and we are staying the course.”

In speaking with education reporters Tuesday morning, Ann Whalen of the USDOE’s Office of the Deputy Secretary commented: “Shout out to Hawaii – this time last year was on high risk, and over the past year has absolutely demonstrated amazing progress. (Hawaii) is one of our rising stars and one of the states we’re really watching as those with promising practices within the field.”

In August 2010, the USDOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year, $75 million RTTT grant. The following year, Hawaii was placed on high-risk status. In February 2013, the USDOE removed Hawaii’s high-risk status in two of five areas. These areas addressed education reform in the areas of standards and assessments (area B); and data systems (area C). In July 2013, the USDOE lifted the high-risk label for the entire grant, including three additional areas: system alignment and performance monitoring (area A); great teachers, great leaders (area D); and turning around persistently low-achieving schools (area E).

The Year 3 RTTT Hawaii Report also noted challenges for the state’s final year, which included transition to standards, building better data systems, and improving teacher effectiveness.

“We are already tackling these challenges and are holding ourselves accountable, not just for Race to the Top but because these are areas of focus in our Board of Education and DOE joint Strategic Plan,” said Matayoshi.

Resources from Hawaii’s Year 3 RTTT report: