Amid historic levels of learning loss nationally, Hawaii’s test scores remain mostly steady

Your top local headlines for Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 7:23 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 24, 2022 at 1:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite historic declines in learning across the U.S. due to the pandemic, there’s a bit of good news for Hawaii students.

According to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress results released Monday, Hawaii’s fourth-graders performed above national averages in reading and math.

In reading, Hawaii’s average scale score for fourth-graders increased by 1 point from 2019. While that’s not statistically significant, Hawaii was 3 points higher than the national average for fourth-grade reading.

Over the past decade, the national average remained largely unchanged and then declined during the pandemic as schools went to remote learning or hybrid options. That was largely the case in Hawaii, too.

Test scores show historic COVID setbacks for kids across US

For fourth-grade math, Hawaii’s average score decreased by 2 points. However, the state’s score was 2 points higher than the national average.

According to the report, Hawaii’s eighth-graders performed at the national level in reading for the first time but fell slightly below in math.

“The fact that our students held steady on three out of the four NAEP assessments, compared to national drops across the board, speaks to the resilience of our students and the dedication of our educators,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said, in a statement.

Still, many Hawaii public school students have a lot of catching up to do.

The latest state data shows students are still below pre-pandemic 2019 levels when it comes to proficiency in reading, math and science.

“As we continue to analyze these and other performance indicators, we are doubling down on our efforts to determine where more support and interventions are needed to improve learning and achievement for all students,” Hayashi said.

The NAEP — also known as “The Nation’s Report Card” — is based on test scores of fourth- and eighth-graders across the country to provide a comparative look at students’ performance in various subjects. Roughly 8,000 Hawaii public school students from across 140 schools took the test in the spring of 2022.

The national results showed the pandemic caused historic learning setbacks for children. Across the country, math scores saw their biggest drop ever — and about 40% of eighth-graders failed to even grasp basic math concepts.

Reading scores fell to 1992 levels.