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:

More Hawaii Public Schools Students Graduating on Time and Enrolling in College

More Hawaii public school students are graduating on time and enrolling in college, according to a new state report card. The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today released its first annual Strive HI Performance System results, which provide a comprehensive picture of the health of the islands’ schools. The figures are based on data from the 2012-13 school year.
DOE Release“We are extremely pleased to see significant improvements statewide on key college-and career-readiness indicators as we set a higher bar for students, teachers, as well as ourselves as educational leaders,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The new Strive HI Performance System allows us to do a much better job of measuring, understanding and supporting school progress. The results are very encouraging and a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers.”

Notable Strive HI results include:

  • Hawaii’s public schools have narrowed the achievement gap by 12 percent over the past two years. The gap measures the performance of “high-needs students” (those who have a disability, language barriers, or low family income) compared to the achievement of other students.
  • A majority of the state’s lowest-performing schools made tremendous growth after receiving targeted supports in “Zones of School Innovation.”
  • Of the state’s 14 top-performing schools, more than half (9) are Title I schools, meaning they overcame challenges associated with serving a large number of disadvantaged children from low-income families.
  • The on-time graduation rate (83 percent) and college enrollment rate (63 percent) continue to steadily rise over time.
  • Reading and math proficiency improved slightly. The percentage of students proficient in reading rose to 72 percent, from 71 percent a year ago, while math proficiency reached 60 percent from 59 percent.

Hawaii educators, parents, community groups and higher education stakeholders informed the development of the new Strive HI Performance System, which evaluates all 285 public schools, including charter schools. The system is designed to ensure all students graduate college-and career-ready by analyzing multiple achievement measures and offering tailored rewards, supports and interventions to schools.

The 2013 Strive HI Index List of Schools can be found under “Related Downloads” at http://bit.ly/StriveHISystem

Strive HI Performance System Background

In May, the federal government approved Hawaii’s Strive HI Performance System to replace outdated aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and align transformation initiatives with the Hawaii State Board and Department of Education Strategic Plan.

Under NCLB, schools were graded on whether students met escalating annual reading and math benchmarks, known as Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP. In that system, AYP status was a single indicator and crude instrument that led directly to a series of strict, escalating consequences.

In contrast, the Strive HI Performance System will serve as more of a diagnostic tool to understand a school’s performance and progress on multiple, research-based indicators, including reading, math and science scores, achievement growth and gaps, chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, college readiness and enrollment.

“By valuing more than just test scores, we are taking a comprehensive look at the successes and challenges of schools,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “This wealth of data will allow educators, school leaders, parents and the community to have meaningful conversations about what is working and where they need to improve to prepare all students for college and careers.”

Based on their performance, schools are classified in one of five Strive HI Steps, each carrying varying degrees of rewards, supports and interventions to meet individual school needs. From highest to lowest, the steps include Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone.

The positive results come as Hawaii’s educators are in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform the state’s public education system, including a joint BOE/DOE Strategic Plan, Common Core State Standards, college-readiness assessments, more rigorous diploma requirements, and robust teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

They also follow last month’s decision by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to lift high-risk status from the state’s federal Race to the top (RTTT) grant, noting “significant progress.”

A hallmark of the RTTT grant were “Zones of School Innovation (ZSI),” which targeted support for struggling schools in rural or remote, hard-to-staff areas serving the largest population of native Hawaiian and economically-disadvantaged students in the state. In all, 15 of the 18 ZSI schools (located in Nanakuli and Waianae on Oahu, and Kau, Keaau and Pahoa on the Hawaii Island) are now in “Continuous Improvement” status, meaning they no longer need intense interventions.

“The results from the Zones schools demonstrate that our commitment to high expectations, our strategic priorities and our collective belief that all students can achieve is paying off,” said Mary Correa, complex area superintendent for Kau, Keaau and Pahoa. “I’m excited with our progress, and we look forward to build on our success.”

Successful data-driven strategies that proved to be instrumental in turning around ZSI schools are being deployed statewide. Lessons learned through the ZSI initiative helped establish the foundation for the development of the Strive HI Performance System. More information can be found at HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Schools that made extraordinary achievements will be recognized during the annual Strive HI Awards event this fall.

To view a school’s rank, follow these simple steps:

Visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org and click on “Find Schools”
Type in the school in “Find by school name”
Click “Show Results”

The school will then show up
Click “Read More”
Under Reports – Click on to the Strive HI Performance System School Report

For charter school reports, visit our charter school page at

 

Hawaii Department of Education Honors 32 Schools Today for Extraordinary Achievements

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today honored 32 schools for extraordinary achievements at the first annual Strive HI Awards ceremony. The awards ranging from $12,500 to $100,000 recognize schools for significant academic progress for two consecutive years and represent a one-time grant to further improvement efforts.

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The ceremony was held this morning at King Intermediate School, one of the high-achieving schools. The Strive HI Awards were presented by Governor Neil Abercrombie, Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Schools Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe.

“We are proud to be able to financially recognize the hard work of the teachers, students and staff of these schools,” Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi said. “The Strive HI Awards reflect that the department is not only focused on intervention in current priority schools, but also encourages other schools across the islands to keep striving high.”

The following schools earned the highest single awards of $100,000 for exiting “restructuring” – a sanction under the No Child Left Behind law – by meeting annual progress goals for two consecutive years:

  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • King Intermediate School
  • Moanalua Middle School
  • Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School (Oahu)
  • Waters of Life Public Charter School (Hawaii Island)
From left to right: King Intermediate Principal Sheena Alaiasa, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, State Sen. Jill Tokuda, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Donald Horner, and Castle-Kahuku Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert at the Strive HI Awards ceremony.

From left to right: King Intermediate Principal Sheena Alaiasa, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, State Sen. Jill Tokuda, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Donald Horner, and Castle-Kahuku Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert at the Strive HI Awards ceremony.

Awards of $50,000 were given to two elementary schools exiting restructuring, Benjamin Parker and Nanakuli.

“I want to congratulate the principals, teachers, staff, and students at these Strive HI schools for leading the charge in transforming our public education system,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “They are setting an excellent example by showing what can be achieved when everyone strives higher toward a common goal.”

The Strive HI Awards also celebrated schools that ranked in the top 5 percent in the state for reading or math growth, providing grants of $12,500 for each subject area – or $25,000 for schools reaching the mark in both subjects. These high-performing schools are boosting student reading and/or math proficiency at the fastest pace among all Hawaii public schools.

On top of exiting restructuring, Nanakuli won an extra $25,000 for finishing in the top 5 percent in both reading and math growth, bringing its total award to $75,000. Parker, which also left restructuring, earned an additional $12,500 for ranking in the top 5 percent in math, for a combined award of $62,500.

Four other schools also finished in the top 5 percent in both categories and earned $25,000: Thomas Jefferson Elementary on Oahu, King Kekaulike on Maui and Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate and Keaau High on Hawaii Island.

Schools receiving $12,500 each include:

  • Aliamanu Elementary (Math)
  • Haaheo Elementary (Math)
  • Haleiwa Elementary (Reading)
  • Hokulani Elementary (Reading)
  • James Campbell High (Math)
  • Kahakai Elementary (Math)
  • Kanoelani Elementary (Math)
  • Kanuikapono Learning Center Public Charter School (Reading)
  • Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino (Reading)
  • Keaau Middle (Math)
  • Kealakehe High (Math)
  • Kilohana Elementary (Math)
  • King William Lunalilo Elementary (Math)
  • Kohala High (Reading)
  • Kula Kaiapuni O Anuenue (Reading)
  • Lanakila Elementary (Math)
  • Manoa Elementary (Reading)
  • Maunawili Elementary (Reading)
  • Pahoa High & Intermediate (Math)
  • Red Hill Elementary (Reading)
  • William P. Jarrett Middle (Reading)

The award money must be used for upgrades at the schools, which could include the purchase of technology infrastructure, musical instruments, science lab and equipment, as well as other academic/financial plan-approved expenditures.

“Receiving recognition for the work that we, as educators, goes a long way,” said King Intermediate Principal Sheena Alaiasa. “We believe in educating our future, we believe in our talents and abilities to teach, and more importantly, we believe in our children. To have this honor bestowed upon our school is affirmation that we are on the right track and that we have made a difference.”

The DOE’s “Strive HI” campaign reflects the department’s commitment to transform public education in the 50th state by preparing students for success, leading education transformation and building a brighter future.

Strive HI award funds are part of the state’s Race to the Top (RTTT) federal grant received in 2010. U.S. education officials recently removed Hawaii from the RTTT “high-risk” status for progress in two specific areas, which cover standards, assessments, and data system development and use. Next year’s Strive HI Awards will be based on each school’s performance under the state’s new accountability system metrics that go into effect in the 2013-14 school year.

USDOE Recognizes State Two-Year Race to the Top Progress “Hawaii has shown promising growth”

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) today released its two-year report on the 12 Race to the Top (RTTT) grantees, which includes Hawaii. The report covers the progress made through August 2012.

DOE Release

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) received recognition for a number of major accomplishments over that time period in the following areas:

· Transitioning to College and Career-Ready Standards
· Building Better Data Systems
· Supporting Great Teachers and School Leaders
· Turning Around Low-Performing Schools
· Expanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education
“Hawaii has shown promising growth in their second year under Race to the Top, and we are optimistic about their framework for continuing this progress,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We will continue to work closely with Hawaii to ensure they are enacting reforms that will improve student achievement and empower teachers to prepare all students for college and careers.”

“We are pleased that federal officials recognize the continued progress in our schools and the ongoing transformation of the Hawaii State Department of Education,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Among the major challenges identified by the USDOE was the delayed principal evaluation implementation. On January 25, 2013, the Hawaii Government Employees Association and HIDOE announced that implementation is in effect and that an agreement on the principal evaluation, the Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA), was executed.

“We will make it clear to the USDOE that the principal evaluation implementation is underway,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “There is still work to be done with the Hawaii State Teachers Association which remains a challenge but I’m hopeful that the State’s latest proposal holds promise for an agreement.”

The USDOE RTTT report does not cover the progress made by HIDOE since August 2012. Those highlights include:

· CESSA Implementation
· Professional Development for all teachers on Common Core
· Response to Intervention Training: A school-wide model of tiered interventions and supports for all students
· A systemic review of new curricular materials
· End of Course Exam development
· Additions to the Data for School Improvements System (an online system of formative assessment items and performance tasks, also aligned with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math)
Superintendent Matayoshi added, “We are making significant progress and we’re confident that continued achievements will lead to our removal from high-risk status.”

In late November 2012, HIDOE released its own progress report on its two-year Race to the Top performance and noted that it had completed more than 90 percent of its RTTT grant deliverables. The Department’s five-point plan for student success and progress resulted in major gains. Read more here: http://lilinote.k12.hi.us/STATE/COMM/DOEPRESS.NSF/a1d7af052e94dd120a2561f7000a037c/8b95cbde705830e50a257ac4008397a1?OpenDocument

In August 2010, the U.S. DOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year $75 million RTTT grant. In December 2011, Hawaii was placed on high-risk status. U.S. DOE officials have since acknowledged Hawaii’s progress in implementing important reforms, including programs to support educator effectiveness.

 

Gov. Abercrombie’s Statement Regarding Hawaii’s Race to the Top

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today released a statement regarding U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s recent comments in Education Week (“Race to the Top Winners Make Progress, Face Challenges, Ed. Dept. Reports; Feb. 1, 2013) indicating that the State of Hawaii “is now making real progress”in implementing its Race to the Top initiatives.

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Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“Secretary Duncan’s comments about Hawaii’s progress are reassuring and demonstrate the positive transformations taking place in our public schools.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education to further improve Hawaii’s status.

“Race to the Top has served as a catalyst to improve Hawaii’s public education system, and represents an immense opportunity to invest in the professional growth of Hawaii’s educators by providing measurable, long-term benefits for our students.”

Read the Education Week article here: 

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/01/20rtt.h32.html?tkn=LMMFI6iKjsAPqL6buAHApIw7FellA5QTjUwS&cmp=clp-edweek