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Hawaii ranks last in the nation on the Education Freedom Index, based on home-schooling, subsidized private school, charter school and public school choice. At the same time, two-thirds of all public schools did not meet adequate yearly progress this year — the greatest percentage of schools not meeting adequate yearly process nationally. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores rank 44 out of 50 states. See: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/SchoolChoice/Hawaii.cfm#_ftn1
These dismal statistics may explain why Hawaii leads the nation in private school attendance. Parents who cannot afford private school seek out better performing public schools using geographic exemptions, which number over 8,000 annually. Home schooling is increasingly popular and charter school enrollment is nearly 6,000 students. The least popular form of school choice has been transferring under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to a better performing school, with only 157 public school students out of 48,248 eligible students in 2003 exercising this option.
Despite decades of promises by school officials and politicians to fix the government school system, the majority of Hawaii