By Megan Tagami at Honolulu Civil Beat

Superintendent Keith Hayashi said it will take more time to return to pre-pandemic levels of achievement.

Traditionally underserved students have made significant improvements in areas such as math, reading and graduation rates since the end of the pandemic, according to data released by the Hawaii Department of Education on Thursday.

The 2022-23 Strive HI results reflect the performance of public school students across the state, including those in charter schools. In addition to publishing statewide performances on key indicators like reading and math proficiency, the DOE also broke down achievement by different subgroups of students in its Accountability Data Center.

In math and reading, the state overall saw small improvements in math proficiency and no changes in reading proficiency between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. In the 2022-23 school year, 40% of all students achieved proficiency in math – a 2% increase – while 52% of students achieved proficiency in reading.

Asian boy student video conference e-learning with teacher and classmates on computer in living room at home. Homeschooling and distance learning ,online ,education and internet.
Asian students had one of the the highest graduation rates of 94% in the 2021-22 school year. Only military students exceeded that with 95%. Graduation rates for the 2022-23 school year are not yet available. (iStock/Getty Images)
In a media briefing on Wednesday, Superintendent Keith Hayashi said the pandemic and online learning only exacerbated the challenges schools faced in addressing students’ academic and social emotional needs. While online learning took place for approximately two years, it will take much longer for schools to return to their pre-pandemic levels of achievement.


For example, the DOE has allocated roughly $12 million in federal relief dollars to support complex area proposals for initiatives addressing student attendance.

David Miyashiro, executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN, said he would like to see more data on what programs worked most effectively over the past few years as pandemic relief funds expire next fall. DOE received an unprecedented amount of federal funding during Covid, he added, and he would like to see successful programs continue beyond their expiration date.

“It really comes down to how we provide targeted support and what kind of investments we’re able to make to help struggling students,” Miyashiro said.

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