HawaiiKidsCAN executive director says NAEP results are a reason to celebrate wins and continue progress in our public schools
Honolulu, HI. – Despite relatively flat scores since the previous assessment, Hawaii fourth- and eighth-grade students demonstrated great gains in the 21st century on the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or The Nation’s Report Card.
The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), who administers the assessment, released NAEP scores earlier this week. The last round of scores was published in 2015. By comparison, eight grade reading scores saw a four-point increase, while the other three assessments were not significantly different from those in 2015. When analyzing Hawaii’s long-term scores, however, it become clear that tremendous growth is being made. In fourth-grade math, for example, the percentage of students scoring at or above proficient has nearly tripled since 2000. In eighth-grade math, that same number was nearly double.
Equally impressive is Hawaii’s rate of growth compared to the rest of the United States. Hawaii’s average score on the reading assessment has increased by 16 points on the fourth-grade assessment and 12 points on the eighth-grade assessment. This rate of growth is two to three times that of the national public.
4th Grade Reading Growth
8th Grade Reading Growth
Still, across the state, just over a quarter of Hawaii’s eighth graders are proficient in math and reading, and our average scores amongst all four tests has never surpassed that of the American public. Equally troublesome is the gap facing our underserved students, including Native Hawaiians. For instance, on the fourth-grade reading assessment, 50 percent of white students scored proficient or advanced compared to just 16 percent of students identified as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
David Miyashiro, founding executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN, issued the following statement in response to NAEP results.
“While there is often a negative narrative about our public schools, I hope we can recognize the clear progress Hawaii has made over the last two decades, through the work of so many dedicated teachers, administrators, leaders and organizations – and of course, students and families,” said David Miyashiro, founding executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN. “It is clear, however, that we still have much work to do to ensure all of our students have an excellent and equitable education.”
Our key takeaways from a review of NAEP data include:
In fourth-grade reading:
- Hawaii’s average score was 5 points lower than the national public, but 16 points higher than the state’s average score in 1998.
- The percentage of students scoring below basic is less than half what is was in 1998.
- Female students outperformed male students by an average of 9 points.
In eighth-grade reading:
- Hawaii’s average score was 4 points higher than it was in 2015 and 12 points higher than it was in 1998.
- The percentage of students performing at or above proficient increased 11 percentage points since 1998.
- Female students outperformed male students by an average of 15 points.
In fourth-grade math:
- Hawaii’s average score was 18 points higher than it was in 2000.
- The percentage of students performing at or above proficient (38 percent) was nearly triple what is was in 2000 (14 percent).
- The percentage of students scoring advanced is six times what it was in 2000.
In eighth-grade math:
- Hawaii’s average score was 15 points higher than in 2000.
- Female students outperformed males by an average of 4 points.