Wednesday, July 30, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 19 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Hawaii DOE's high school graduation rate lower than reported, data errors blamed

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 01:11 p.m. HST, Oct 30, 2013

The Department of Education has adjusted lower the graduation rate for last year's graduating class after correcting a data error.

The state's graduation rate dropped 1 percentage point to 81 percent -- flat from the previous year.

The error -- described as a "programming omission" -- affected reported outcomes for 205 students at 37 high schools. 

"Learning of data errors, particularly this late in the year, is frustrating, complicates communication with school faculties and communities, and disrupts improvement efforts," Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said in a statement. "There is no excuse for these errors. We have notified affected schools and I have directed a number of internal actions designed to ensure the accuracy and transparency of our data processes."

Individual school graduation rates factor in to the DOE's new school accountability system, known as the Strive HI Performance System, that tailors rewards, supports and interventions for school improvement.

It largely replaces federal mandates of the No Child Left Behind law that required schools to meet rising reading and math proficiency targets or face sanctions. In addition to test scores, it credits schools for attendance, graduation and college-going rates, and closing the achievement gap between high-needs students -- English-language learners or those who are economically disadvantaged or have disabilities -- and their peers.

Under Strive HI, schools are assigned a score out of a possible 400 points that generally determines where they place on one of five category "steps": Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent's Zone. 

"For most of the 37 high schools with corrected graduation rates, there are minor changes to their index score and no changes to their Strive HI classification," the DOE said in a statement.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 19 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
serious wrote:
I wonder if they use the same company that built Obamacare?
on October 30,2013 | 01:12PM
omd111 wrote:
Give all credit to the Superintendent Matayoshi. I guess that deserves a pay raise....NOT! She deserves to be canned.
on October 30,2013 | 01:46PM
tutulois wrote:
Data errors? We can barely teach math to our public school students here, so I guess this is no surprise.
on October 30,2013 | 01:52PM
Galatians52223 wrote:
The reality is 65%. They don't count the unofficial drop outs. They don't count the middle school drop outs.
on October 30,2013 | 04:32PM
Steve96785 wrote:
Actually, we don't count the official drop outs either. We urge a lot of failing students to leave via the 4140, home school, route and they do not count against the school. We also do something that jams up individual schools. It used to be that a student needed to be at a given school for a certain number of semesters before their failure to graduate was tagged to the last school of record. Now, if a student who is struggling badly at one school, and is in jeopardy of not graduating, they simply move to another school, which takes the data hit. We have only one school district, so the graduation rate should be a tally of all graduates divided by all of those who started grade 9 at any school in the state. Students who arrive from the mainland or private schools should be calculated separately, since they have frequently had much better preparation in earlier grades. Likewise, students arriving from Marshall Islands should be counted separately, since they frequently have had no schooling at all prior to their arrival in Hawaii.
on October 30,2013 | 05:18PM
serious wrote:
Steve, that's interesting. Taken a step further, the children going to the mainland and dropping out almost immediately due to their poor preparation should somehow be included.
on October 31,2013 | 05:16AM
Steve96785 wrote:
Take it even further. Students who do graduate, but can't get in to college level classes, or even qualify for the trade unions because they can't pass an 8th grade math exam!
on October 31,2013 | 04:08PM
Galatians52223 wrote:
The real data http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/9840/Ed-Week-Hawaii-DoE-Dropout-Rate-Jumps-to-328.aspx
on October 30,2013 | 04:41PM
RandolphW wrote:
No worries. We now have COMMON CORE, which our DOE officials have promised will do great things for student achievement. I suppose this will lead to IMPROVED graduation rates. If this does not work out as promised, then we will have a new program introduced by the same group that brought us COMMON CORE.
on October 30,2013 | 05:20PM
Steve96785 wrote:
Hawaii has no effective mandatory school attendance policy in place. Yes, we say that students must be in school up to a certain age, but we do not enforce any truancy laws and allow students into home school situations that are not monitored for any academic merit. All it takes to home school a student in this state is a signed letter to the principal that the parent intends to home school. That student is not counted as a drop out, and nobody from the DOE or any other agency is required to make sure that the child is learning anything at all.
on October 30,2013 | 05:22PM
Anonymous wrote:
Steve, thank you.
on October 30,2013 | 07:00PM
Galatians52223 wrote:
Too bad more people didn't read these comments.
on October 30,2013 | 08:49PM
localguy wrote:
Galatians52223 - How could other people read the comments if they attended the Nei's acutely dysfunctional education system? Only purpose the system has is to pay union members for breathing. Failure starts at the top with Superintendent Matayoshi.
on October 31,2013 | 04:53AM
Steve96785 wrote:
I would have to say that the failure began more than 40 years ago. Matayoshi just perpetuates it.
on October 31,2013 | 04:07PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
"Under Strive HI, schools are assigned a score out of a possible 400 points that generally determines where they place on one of five category "steps": Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent's Zone. "

Is it too much to hope that one of those bureaucratic buzzwords means "teaching"?

on October 31,2013 | 02:37AM
Noissues8all wrote:
For your information (DOE Data source): Count or percent of all public high school students who graduated high school within four years of their 9th grade school year. • Graduates are students who received a diploma within four years. • “On-time” for all students is four years • Graduation requirements may be completed during the summer of the given final year • GED, certificates of completion and other school-based certificates do not count as graduates for this calculation • Students who transfer into the system are not added to the school’s appropriate graduating cohort • Students who transfer out of the system must have some kind of evidence to be removed from the cohort • Students who transfer to another school in the system are removed from the same school cohort but are counted in the State graduation rate calculation. • Students whose status is unknown or dropped out of the system are non-graduate • Students who were retained in grade 9 count only in their “first time grade 9” cohort. Other Completers and Dropout Rates The dropout rate is not the inverse of the graduation rate. Annually, approximately 5% of students statewide receive certificates of completion or GED diplomas and are considered “other completers” but are not graduates.
on October 31,2013 | 03:45AM
localguy wrote:
Noissues8all - I'm assuming you took this right out of the education union contract, ensuring the union is in no way responsible for any failure in graduation rates. Spinning their failure on everyone else.
on October 31,2013 | 04:55AM
Steve96785 wrote:
If only we required evidence of an actual education for home school students. Actually, according to the original intent of home schooling, principals were to examine the curriculum and monitor progress. A few parents do submit annual reports and even take advantage of state testing, but no many. No principal that I know of follows any such procedure. New practice mandates that as soon as we receive written notification of intent to home school, at any age level, we create a 4140 withdrawal, and that student does not count against our graduation rate.
on October 31,2013 | 04:06PM
Galatians52223 wrote:
DOE should use the 25 year old check. Check the percentage public school graduates that are productive members of society when they are 25 years old.
on October 31,2013 | 04:34PM
Breaking News