School Performance and Improvement in Hawaii 2001-Report Issued In 2002 by the State Dept. of Education

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    The Superintendent’s Annual Report on School Performance and Improvement in Hawaii is one of two reports in the state’s system of school accountability. This report contains collective data on our schools for school year 2000-01, showing trends over time and, where appropriate, comparisons with data from other states.

    The other report, the School Status and Improvement Report, is prepared annually for each school. These reports contain school data and summaries of the schools’ standards implementation plans and improvement activities. They are available at public libraries and online at on the World Wide Web.


    These reports are the most visible parts of the Department of Education’s assessment and accountability system, the purpose of which is to hold everyone in the department, including me, responsible for student learning. These reports grew out of the department’s initiative, begun over 10 years ago, to develop a comprehensive accountability system for the public schools of Hawaii. The department’s efforts have laid a sound foundation for the system, but the system is very much a “work in progress.”

    We have in place a strategic plan for standards-based reform, at the core of which is the implementation of a truly statewide assessment and accountability system. Recently, we have undertaken major revisions of our plan to conform our efforts to the requirements of the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” (Public Law 107-110), which
    was signed into law on Jan. 8, 2002.

    These new requirements are substantial and will necessitate considerable effort and investment on our part. Future editions of both this Superintendent’s Report on School Performance
    and Improvement and the School Status and Improvement Reports will include our progress toward the federal goal of having all children meet high standards of educational achievement.

    ”Highlights of the Report”

    *SCOPE. The report for school year 2000-01 covers public education in kindergarten through 12th grade, including data from 254 regular public schools and 6 public charter schools in the seven administrative districts in Hawaii.

    *ENROLLMENT. Overall enrollment growth, which had exceeded 1.5 percent for the five years from 1991-92 through 1995-96, has ended for now. After peaking in 1995-96, overall enrollment has declined in the last two years. However, schools are still experiencing the effects of population shifts, especially the westward movement of population on Oahu.

    *SPECIAL NEEDS. The numbers of students in need of special services are increasing much more rapidly than the population of students at large. These students are those from poor economic circumstances, those with limited English proficiency, and those who need special education services. Students with these special needs have increased in numbers by 40 to 100 percent in the last decade. This means that the task facing public schools is steadily becoming more difficult and more costly.

    *STAFFING. Hawaii has a relatively high pupil-to-teacher ratio, which has remained stable since 1992-93 while the ratios of other states have declined. Hawaii has fewer of its professional staff performing administrative functions than comparison states. Shortages of both teachers and administrators are looming, as many certificated personnel will become eligible for retirement within a few years.

    *FINANCE. The state’s commitment to public education has persistently lagged behind that of other states. Hawaii is among the top ten states in combined state and local expenditures per capita, but it ranks last in the percentage of state and local expenditures allocated to public schools. Hawaii is the only state that funds its public schools from state revenues without using local government funds.

    *FACILITIES. Hawaii has made great progress in easing classroom shortages in the last six years; only Leeward and Maui Districts still have net shortages of classrooms. However, schools’ library facilities are chronically underdeveloped; almost half of our schools have inadequate library space. The state’s schools remain among the largest in the nation.

    *National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Hawaii’s 4th and 8th grade students performed about the same on the 2000 NAEP mathematics assessment as they did in 1996. Their performance on the 2000 NAEP science assessment was at or near the bottom of the states participating. (Pages 27-30)

    *DROPOUTS AND SCHOOL COMPLETION. Dropout rates for students in grades 9-12 average about 5.1 percent per year. The estimated cumulative dropout rate is just under 20 percent, nearly twice the Hawaii and national goal of 10 percent or less