I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never had the experience of building a new home. That being said, it seems like common sense to me that a strong foundation – not a great paint color scheme, pool, or smart home system – is what matters most for a safe, comfortable, and sustainable living situation.
Similarly, our schools aren’t yet living up to their promises when it comes to foundational academic success. In new 2018-2019 school year data reported to the Hawaii Board of Education today, only 54% of kids in Hawaii public schools were proficient in language arts, 43% in math, and 44% in science, while the achievement/opportunity gap between high-need and non-high-need students is 34% in language arts and 29% in math. Given today’s data, it seems increasingly likely our system won’t reach the goal it set to raise student learning by 2020 to 61% in language arts, 54% in math, and 64% in science, while closing the achievement/opportunity gap to 25% in language arts and 22% in math.