HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Despite the furlough-shortened 2009-2010 school year, the latest results from Hawaii State Assessment Tests are showing signs of improvement at Hawaii's Public Schools. Over 93,000 students took part in the tests. The results were released Thursday by the Department of Education.
Overall percentages of students testing proficient in reading rose from 60% in 2007 to 67% this year. Those testing proficient in math went from 38% three years ago to 49% this year. The biggest gains in reading and math went to eighth-graders, who improved 12 percentage points in reading and 18 points in math.
"Despite the economic challenges and pressures, Hawaii's public schools continue to move forward and defy the odds as demonstrated by this year's assessment scores and Adequate Yearly Progress results" said Interim Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
This year, 141 schools reached the benchmark of AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). That's 49% of Hawaii's public schools. In 2009 only 36% of the schools met AYP standards.
"We didn't win the super bowl, we didn't even win the divisional playoffs. This is like we just scored a touchdown in a pre-season game, we have a long way to go. But, it does show that when we stay focused on the mission we can get it done," said acting Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe.
The tests are part of Hawaii's compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act and are given to students in grades 3-8 and also to tenth graders.
"We may never know the true impact that furloughs had on achievement but… these gains may not have been possible had we laid off thousands of teachers last year" said Toguchi.
"This is the first step in the mining of the data. This gives us an overall sense of where we're going. Now we've got to look at it more closely and see what were those things that really made a difference," said Matayoshi.
To see how your school did, read the results here (PDF file)