Monday, August 25, 2014

Student Achievement Data

Today, the Hawaii Department of Education released the most recent achievement results for our schools.  This report, called Strive-HI, replaces No Child Left Behind for accountability.

Last year, our third, fourth, and fifth graders took the Hawaii Bridge Assessment which was based on the Common Core State Standards.  This statewide assessment was designed to prepare for this year's Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).  Like the rest of the State, our scores for Reading Proficiency and Math Proficiency dropped a bit due to the increased rigor of the CCSS.

In 2012-2013, 62% of our students were proficient in math and 77% were proficient in reading.  In 2013-2014, that number dropped to 57% for math and 68% for proficiency compared to the state average of 59% for math and 69% for reading.  In science, 63% of our fourth graders met proficiency in 2012-2013, and this past year, that number was 61% compared with the state average of 40%.

Achievement data, student growth in math and reading scores, chronic absenteeism, and gap rate are the measures used to determine a school's Strive-HI status.  Hale Kula students improved in our math growth from 42 points to 57 points and in our reading growth from 47 points to 52 points.  Chronic absenteeism, which we really targeted last school year, went from 16% in 2012-2013 to 5% last school year.  This is a phenomenal improvement, and we intend to continue to stress being in school, on-time and ready-to-learn.  The gap rate, however, increased from 17% to 36%.  This means that the achievement gap between those with greater challenges -- disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and Special Education students -- widened.  This is an area we need to focus on to ensure that ALL students continue to progress on grade level expectations.

Some states are opting to pull out of their commitment to implement the Common Core State Standards. Hawaii is not one of those states.  The CCSS are more rigorous and require students to think critically and reflect on their learning.  Instruction focuses on higher-level thinking skills, not just memorization and rote learning.  It is more challenging for teachers and students, but in the long run, our students will be better-prepared as we empower them to explore, discover, create, and share through project-based learning that integrates the use of technology and Web 2.0 tools.

We are proud of our school's continued progress towards implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  At this week's Parent-Teacher Conference, you will be receiving a Parent's Guide to the CCSS. Please take time to read this pamphlet, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

If parents are interested, we can plan a Common Core State Standards information session where you will have a chance to learn more about the standards and ask questions so you know how to support your child at home. Here is a link to indicate your interest in attending a session:

We are committed to continuously improve at Hale Kula Elementary School.  As a school with high transiency, we know that we need to prepare our students, not just for academic success, but for life.

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