Department of Education Pursues Expansion of Hawaiian Education Assessment

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has taken another step towards advancing Hawaiian language assessments for Hawaiian immersion students. In a collaborative effort with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Hawaiian language stakeholders, HIDOE is seeking federal approval for the expansion of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KAEO) to Grades 5-8. Ka Papahana Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Language Immersion) students in Grades 3 and 4 have been taking the KAEO assessment since the 2014-15 school year.

“The collaborative work to expand Kaiapuni assessments for more students honors our commitment to assure that a Hawaiian language education pathway is strengthened and realized in our public school system,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “A lot of work has been done to ensure that these tests are rigorous and meets a standard of education that provides high quality assessments for our Kaiapuni students.”

Additionally, the desire to expand Hawaiian assessment was expressed by Native Hawaiian education advocates who provided feedback during the Hawaii Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) public comment period and in testimony before the Board of Education.

For the past two years, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) approved HIDOE’s requests for extended waivers that allowed Kaiapuni students to take a specialized assessment in lieu of the state’s English language arts and math student assessments.

HIDOE will now request a USDOE double-testing waiver for Kaiapuni students in Grades 5-8. Approval of the waiver would allow Kaiapuni students enrolled in those grades to take the KAEO field tests in language arts, mathematics and science in lieu of the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in language arts and mathematics and the Hawaii State Science Assessment (HSA-Science).

“The previous waivers granted by the USDOE has lifted the burden of having our Hawaiian language students take double the amount of assessments,” stated Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, office of strategy, innovation and performance. “The work put into the expansion of assessments for Kaiapuni students is unprecedented.”

A seven-day public comment period will open on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and close on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Those interested in submitting comments can email ESSA@hawaiidoe.org.  For more information, please click here to view the public notice.

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