Nine Schools Receive Adjustments to Strive HI Performance System Results

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today issued adjustments to Strive HI Performance System results for nine schools. The revisions were made after further analysis of the system’s criteria.

“The Department continues to fine tune its process to ensure schools receive timely, accurate information to assist with their improvement efforts,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We appreciate schools’ patience and collaboration during the transition to the new Strive HI Performance System, which provides us all with more comprehensive information to understand schools’ performance and progress.”

The Strive HI Performance System is the DOE’s new school accountability and improvement system approved in May by the U.S. Department of Education. It replaces many requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) with multiple measures of success to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools. Schools earn points based on achievement, growth, readiness and achievement gap measures. In combination with several automatic classification factors, these points determine a school’s classification into one of five steps: Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone.

The adjustments made to the nine schools were based on the following reasons:

1. Chronic Absenteeism: The Department incorporated new chronic absenteeism data for elementary charter schools that had been previously excluded.
2. Graduation rule: The Department corrected an error whereby high schools were classified as Priority schools based on only two years of graduation rate data when the rules require three years of data.
3. Change in number of Focus Schools: Changes in the number of schools classified as Focus and Priority allowed for one school to move up from Focus into Continuous Improvement status.

Below is a summary of the adjustments:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

More information about the Strive HI Performance System can be found at

On Tuesday, the DOE recognized 14 top-performing schools for exceptional achievement with awards ranging from $20,000 to $95,000. These schools were “recognition” schools – those demonstrating the highest progress towards raising student achievement, graduation rates, and closing the achievement gap.

U.S. DOE Approves Hawaii’s New School Accountability and Improvement System – Strive HI Performance System

Strive HI Performance System replaces components of federal NCLB requirements

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is pleased to announce it has received federal approval today for a new Strive HI Performance System designed to ensure all students graduate college- and career-ready. The redesigned school accountability and improvement system approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) replaces many of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) with multiple measures of success to meet the needs of Hawaii’s students, educators and schools.

“Approval to move forward with the Strive HI Performance System validates our strategic direction and allows us to build on Hawaii’s successes,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “With the new system, we are more focused on college- and career-readiness, rewarding high-performing schools and customizing support to students, educators and schools with strategies proven in the Zones of School Innovation.”

After winning a Race to the Top grant in 2010, HIDOE established two Zones of School Innovation (ZSI) that 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.

The Strive HI Performance System is a culmination of work by Hawaii educators, parents, community groups, and higher education. It replaces NCLB’s most ineffective and outdated components with meaningful benchmarks aligned with goals of the HIDOE/Board of Education State Strategic Plan:


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

“We are proud of the work happening at every level of Hawaii’s public education system to prepare students for real-world demands and provide better data, tools and support to students, educators and schools,” Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe noted. “Now, with the approval of the Strive HI Performance System, we’ve unlocked the potential of all these efforts to work together in a coherent way to support success.”

HIDOE will host a webinar on May 28, 2013 to provide more information about the new system.

Webinar: Overview of Strive HI Performance System: Hawaii’s new school accountability and improvement system
Date: May 28, 2013
Time: 9 – 10 am HST
Register now:
event password: striveHI
HIDOE will work closely with Complex Area Superintendents and principals this summer to ensure school leaders and educators are positioned for successful implementation of the Strive HI Performance System in the coming school year.

For more information, visit HIDOE’s new Strive HI Performance System webpage at


Hawaii DOE to Request Waiver for School Improvement Grant Funds

DOE Release

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) intends to request a waiver to Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. § 1225(b) to extend the period of availability of school fiscal year (FY) 2010 and FY 2011 School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds for the State Education Agency and all of its complexes to September 30, 2014 and September 30, 2015, respectively.

The requested waiver will increase HIDOE’s ability to implement the SIG program effectively in eligible schools in the State of Hawaii in order to improve the quality of instruction and increase the academic achievement of students in Tier I and Tier III schools.

The waiver request is in accordance with the guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education in January 2010 on using SIG funds. If granted, the waiver will allow the HIDOE to use these funds in accordance with the requirements for the SIG published in the Federal Register in January 2010.

Written comments regarding the described waiver should be submitted by April 19, 2013, and addressed to the DOE Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support, Attention: Sharon Nakagawa, 475 22nd Avenue, Room 124, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816, emailed to or faxed to (808) 735-8375. For additional information, call (808) 203-5520.



31 Public Schools to Receive Surprise Cash Awards for Striving HI in Exceptional Achievement

31 Hawaii Public Schools will receive a Surprise Cash Award for Striving HI in Exceptional Achievement.

The Strive HI Awards range from $12,500 to $100,000 as a reward for schools that have made significant academic progress for two consecutive years, and ranking in the top five percent in reading and/or mathematics.

DOE Release

The awards represent a one-time grant to the schools to further their improvement efforts.

The award money must be used to make 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.

The Department of Education’s (DOE) “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.

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:

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.


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:



Hawaii Schools to Receive Nearly $1.4 million for College Preparation

Hawaii will receive $1,390,999 to help prepare high school students for college, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono, and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced.

Upward Bound Programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, University of Hawaii-Maui College, and Windward Community College will receive funding to support disadvantaged youth.

The money will be spent helping students from low income families, those living with disabilities, and first generation college students prepare for a successful collegiate career.

Upward Bound provides academic tutoring, advice and assistance, preparation for college entrance exams, and counseling.

“The college admissions process can be a stressful experience. Students are faced with the daunting task of taking the SAT, writing admissions essays, choosing the right coursework, and then figuring out how to pay for it. The process is that much more difficult for students coming from challenging backgrounds,” said Senator Inouye. “The Upward Bound program prepares and guides these students through high school and beyond. I commend the Upward Bound staff at UH Hilo, UH Maui College, and WCC for their commitment to Hawaii’s youth, and the future of our state and nation. ”

“As a former educator, I know how crucial a solid education is to improving the lives of our nation’s youth,” said Senator Akaka. “The Upward Bound program has successfully created many opportunities for hundreds of Hawaii’s disadvantaged students to continue their education past high-school, and ultimately obtain advanced degrees. I applaud the Department of Education’s commitment to helping these students overcome challenging circumstances to make a better future for themselves and their families.”

“From Weimarlyn Martin to Tyler Pitpit, Upward Bound students have shared with me their success stories and dreams of graduating from college. It’s clear Upward Bound makes a big difference in the lives of many students,” said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee. “As a first generation college graduate myself, I know how daunting the idea of attending and paying for college can be. My experience working with Upward Bound as a UH Manoa student showed me the value of the Upward Bound program. Thanks to Upward Bound at UH Hilo, UH Maui College, and Windward Community College, students will have the information and support they need to be successful college graduates.”

“Hawaii’s Upward Bound Program helps our students from underserved communities prepare for college and their future. I had the opportunity to visit one of the program sites, and it’s clear that these students are not only getting academic support and career guidance, but also the encouragement and self confidence they need to succeed. I applaud the Upward Bound staff and faculty for their hard work and dedication, and I thank the Administration for their continued investment in Hawaii’s students,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.

The funding comes through grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal TRIO Programs.

The following schools have received funding:

  • University of Hawaii at Hilo $750,000
  • University of Hawaii Maui College $378,499
  • Windward Community College $262,500

For more information about the Upward bound programs in Hawaii, please visit:

Upward Bound Accepting Applications From Big Island Students

Upward Bound is currently accepting applications from low-income and potential first-generation college bound 9th and 10th grade students attending Waiakea, Hilo Ka’u, Kea’au and Pahoa High Schools. Students must be motivated to prepare for, and pursue a four-year degree following high school graduation.

UH Hilo has sponsored Upward Bound since 1979. Upward Bound is a college preparatory program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to serve 180 students. Students must be members of low-income families and/or members of families where neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The program provides fundamental academic, social and motivational support for participants, and assists the participant and family to develop a College Success Plan. Students are expected to enter college the fall semester immediately following high school graduation.

Services provided include tutoring; secondary and postsecondary academic advising; instruction in core subjects (mathematics, laboratory sciences, language arts, literature and foreign languages); career exploration; mentoring; work-study opportunities; and services designed to improve the financial and economic literary of participants and parents. Programming and activities are designed to help students from groups traditionally under-represented in postsecondary education.

The mission of Upward Bound is to generate in program participants the skills and motivation necessary to successfully complete a program of secondary education, enter and succeed in a program of postsecondary education, earning a bachelor’s degree, and enter a career requiring at minimum a bachelor’s degree.

For additional information please call 974-7337 or visit the Upward Bound website: