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DOE releases first round of Strive HI test scores


Fourteen public schools racked up the most points on the Department of Education’s new performance scale that goes beyond standardized test scores and looks at, for example, a school’s attendance, graduation and college-going rates, and the achievement gap between a school’s high-needs students and their peers.

The department this morning released the first round of results using its so-called Strive HI system.

Officials say the system is designed to support the state’s efforts to better prepare students for success in college and careers. It largely replaces academic mandates under the federal No Child Left Behind law that required schools meet rising reading and math proficiency targets or face sanctions.

“The Strive HI system really focuses on a continuum of improvement concept. No Child Left Behind was either ‘met’ or ‘not met’ — that’s it. It didn’t give schools a whole lot of detail about what was working at their schools,” said DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe.

 Schools are assigned a score out of a possible 400 points that determines where they place on one of five category “steps.” The 14 top schools — 13 elementary and a K-8 charter school — earned spots in the “recognition” category.

Manoa Elementary scored the most points statewide, with 387 points. Ke Kula Niihau o Kekaha, a small charter school, posted the lowest score, with 17 points.

The bulk of the state’s 286 schools, or 80 percent, ranked in the second-highest category, “continuous improvement.” The remaining 15 percent of schools were designated “focus” or “priority” schools. (No schools were placed in the bottom category, “superintendent’s zone,” for the initial ratings.) 

The improved standings are a marked contrast with how schools fared last year under the federal guidelines. For the 2011-12 school year, 51 percent of Hawaii’s 286 public schools did not meet NCLB adequate yearly progress targets, according to DOE data. That year, 82 schools were in restructuring mode — the most serious consequence under the law.

Overall, Hawaii schools collectively edged up in both reading and math proficiency for the 2012-13 school year. Seventy-two percent of students tested proficient in reading, up from 71 percent last year. Sixty percent of students tested proficient in math, up from 59 percent.

Meanwhile, over the past two years, the state as a whole narrowed by 12 percent the achievement gap in test scores between high-needs students — English language learners, those economically disadvantaged or with disabilities — and their non high-needs peers. 

The 2013 Strive HI Index List of Schools can be found under “Related Downloads” at

To view a school’s rantk follow these steps:

>> Go to the DOE website’s homepage ( and click on “Find Schools” (upper left-hand corner). Type in school name in “Find by school name” box, then click on “Show results.” After the school name appears, click on “Read more.” Under reports, click on Strive HI Performance System School Report. For charter schools, go to the charter schools page on the DOE’s website. 

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