By Megan Tagami at Honolulu Civil Beat

While chronic absenteeism improved in Hawaii public schools, there was little improvement in reading and math scores in the 2022-23 school year.

Hawaii’s public school students slightly improved their math skills while reading scores remained stagnant in the last academic year, underscoring the challenges in recovering from learning setbacks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of Education released a summary of results from the 2022-23 Strive HI reports, which assess the performance of all public school students, including those attending charter schools. Additional data, including individual schools’ performances, will be available on Thursday, when the DOE presents the report to the Board of Education.

In the school year that began in 2022, 52% of students achieved proficiency on state assessments in language arts, the same percentage as the previous year though slightly higher than 50% in the first full school year following the start of the pandemic. That was a drop from 54% language arts proficiency in the two years before the pandemic began in March 2020.

The improvement was more pronounced in math skills, with 40% of students achieving proficiency in the last school year, compared with 38% in 2021-22 and 32% in 2020-21. That figure was 43% in the year before the pandemic. In the 2019-20 school year, Hawaii received a waiver for standardized testing and did not include math and reading data in its annual report.

Students in grades three through eight and 11 complete assessments that measure their proficiency in state math and reading standards, according to the DOE’s memo.

Cheri Nakamura, director of the educational advocacy group Hui for Excellence in Education, described the results as “positive and promising,” adding that she looks forward to seeing how the DOE continually pursues its strategic plan goals relating to math and reading proficiency.

The department’s 2023-29 strategic plan calls for all students to be proficient in reading by the end of third grade and proficient in math by the end of eighth grade, or to receive additional support if they’re falling behind in these subjects.

Fourth and eighth graders also complete the National Assessment of Educational Progress assessments, which provides a standardized measure of proficiency in reading and math for students across the country. Between 2017 and 2022, Hawaii achieved the highest gains in fourth grade reading across the country.

While Hawaii students made small gains in math last year, the state has not yet recovered to its pre-pandemic levels. (Screenshot/Hawaii Department of Education)
While the state achieved “incremental progress” in reading and math, DOE can continue to support students through initiatives such as prioritizing summer learning and providing intensive tutoring opportunities, said David Miyashiro, executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN. He added that he would like to see additional information on how the department spent federal Covid-relief funds and how effective these interventions were in addressing learning loss.

“Being able to answer those questions as a state is really important,” Miyashiro said.


Read the Full Article


Recent Posts

More posts from In the News

See All Posts