Maui News

DOE Test Results Show Rise in Hawaiʻi Studentsʻ English Scores

September 21, 2018, 12:25 PM HST
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New test results from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) show that students in all grade levels tested, grades 3 to 8 and 11, are improving in English reading and writing. The results also show that four of the seven grade levels tested, grades 3, 5, 6, and 11, scored higher in math than from last year.

The HIDOE gathered these language arts and math scores with their Smarter Balanced Assessment under the Strive HI Performance System. The Strive HI Performance system includes multiple measures of school performance. In addition to evaluating studentsʻ science, math, and English language arts/reading skills, the system tracks chronic absenteeism, school climate, graduation rates, and achievement gaps.

“We have a great story about what is happening in Hawaiʻi’s public education system. Progress over the past three years is promising with our cohorts of elementary school students entering the middle grades better prepared, and Language Arts performance growth across all tested grades,” HIDOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said. “We anticipate that our high impact strategies around Student Voice, School Design and Teacher Collaboration and laser focus on gap areas will increase our momentum into the coming years.”

Overall, statewide scores in English language arts, math and science have increased over the past three years. Scores in math rose one percent from 2016 to 2017, while science scores grew 3 percent during that time. Both scores remained the same from 2017 to 2018. Compared to 2017, English language arts scores increased by 4 percent.

The data also show more third and eighth grade students are reading well enough for their grade level. Students reading near or at their grade level grew 8 percent for third graders and 6 percent for eighth graders from last year. The amount of students who are completing Career & Technical Education programs also rose 6 percent from last year.


Strive HI was launched in the 2012-13 school year. This system was the state’s locally designed performance system and acted as a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The system was changed in 2017 to meet the federal requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the new HIDOE/BOE Strategic Plan. The ESSA law replaced both NCLB and the state’s waiver. ESSA requires full implementation including the provisions related to school accountability this school year. Science scores are gathered from the Hawaiʻi State Assessment in Science for elementary and middle schools and biology for high schools. Hawaiian Immersion students are tested in the same subjects using the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KĀ‘EO).

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