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Hawaii News

Schools’ goals get ‘C’ grade

Reading and math learning goals for Hawaii public schools are "mediocre" and "often vague," says a new national report that gives the state a "C" for its educational standards.

But the report points out that when Hawaii adopts common national standards in the 2011 school year, its standards will improve. The report gives the national standards a B-plus for English and an A-minus for math.

"Hawaii has raised the bar by adopting the common core," said Michael Petrilli, vice president for national programs and policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which was scheduled to release its standards report today. "There are going to be much higher expectations."

The state Department of Education said yesterday it agreed with the report’s findings.

"With the adoption of the common core internationally benchmarked standards, Hawaii is moving forward with its education reform efforts to ensure that our students graduate college- and career-ready and are able to successfully compete nationwide and globally," DOE spokeswoman Sandy Goya said in an e-mail statement.


A new Thomas B. Fordham Institute report gives Hawaii public schools a "C" for reading and math education standards. For more information or to see the report, go to www.edexcellence.net.

The Fordham Institute report gives a state-by-state analysis on educational standards, in part to gauge what effect the Common Core Standards will have on the learning expectations of America’s youth.

The report says only two states—California and Indiana—and the District of Columbia have educational standards for English that are "clearly superior" to the common core and that 11 states are "too close to call."

In 37 states, including Hawaii, standards for English are "clearly inferior" to the common core, the report says.

Five states, including Nebraska and Montana, got an "F" for their English standards.

Meanwhile, Hawaii and 38 other states had math standards "clearly inferior" to the common core.

No states had math standards "clearly superior" to the common core, but 11 states and the District of Columbia were "too close to call."

Forty-eight states have pledged to adopt the Common Core Standards, which the Obama administration has endorsed as a key step in improving education in the United States.

Performance standards spell out what students in each grade level are expected to learn. With no national standards, students have different learning expectations state by state.

The voluntary, state-led movement toward national learning standards is aimed at ensuring rigorous academic progress in U.S. schools and better preparing students for college or the workplace.


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