Hawaii's Public Schools: Making the Grade?

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Exactly how are Hawaii's public schools performing, and are they making the grade? A number of national agencies compile statistics about student achievement and school rankings. KHNL News 8 sorts through the numbers.

To compare student achievement in Hawaii with the rest of the country, we turn to the National Center for Education Statistics. Last year 37% of public school eighth graders showed basic math skills compared with the national average of 39%. 18% showed proficient or advanced math skills, compared with 29% nationally.

39% of Hawaii eighth graders showed basic reading skills. That trails the 42% national average. 18% were proficient or advanced in reading, compared with 29% nationally.

The same pattern follows in science, with 29% in Hawaii showing basic knowledge, nearly even with the 30% national average. 15% in Hawaii were proficient or advanced compared with 27% nationally.

When it comes to school policy, Education Week magazine gave Hawaii a B+ for standards and accountability. Efforts to improve teacher quality rated a C-. School climate received a C.

Overall, Hawaii received a C+, the average score nationwide.

Education Week gave the Department of Education high marks for its efforts to sanction under- performing schools and provide them with assistance.