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Friday, March 23, 2012
Accountability: DoE Prepares to Fake It as Feds Arrive on Inspection Tour
By News Release @ 1:10 PM :: 5845 Views :: Education K-12

News Release from Hawaii Department of Education

The state Department of Education is preparing for an on-site visit March 27-30 from the U.S. Department of Education.

During the visit, federal officials will examine the State’s Race to the Top progress by looking at the five specific assurance areas to determine if the State is meeting the deliverables outlined in its scope of work.

In addition, the U.S. DOE will conduct a fiscal review and use the visit as an opportunity to reassess Hawaii’s “high-risk” status.

“We are looking forward to the U. S. DOE visit,” Office of Strategic Reform Assistant Superintendent Stephen Schatz said. “It will give the State an opportunity to show the significant progress we’ve made on many of the ongoing key projects to transform Hawaii’s public education system. We have clear evidence to show to the federal review team during their on-site visit.”

Some key accomplishments to highlight (by assurance area) include:

Assurance A: Reform Support and Building Capacity

* Reorganization of HIDOE State Offices

A strategic reorganization of the department’s state offices is completed. Changes include the establishment of the Office of the Deputy Superintendent and Office of the “Senior” Assistant Superintendent to align departmental offices.

* National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Hawaii public schools celebrated marked improvements in its mathematics and reading scores this past November when the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released “The Nation’s Report Card” spring 2011 state-by-state results.

Assurance B: Standards and Assessments

* Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Hawaii was a leader in adopting rigorous common standards and assessments in English language arts and mathematics. The new internationally benchmarked standards will prepare students for success in college and a career.

* Career- and College-Ready (CCR) Diploma

A new college- and career-ready diploma is now in place, which calls for higher graduation standards. The CCR diploma will be implemented two years ahead of schedule, with the class of 2016.

Assurance C: Data Systems

* Longitudinal Data System (LDS)

The LDS is a data warehouse that longitudinally tracks an individual from kindergarten through high school, and provides data to inform decision making for governance, management, resource allocation, student choices, curriculum, and instruction. Current usage data shows all school principals have accessed the system to utilize the data provided.

* Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)

This statewide project, managed by the University of Hawaii, will bring greater connectivity to every public school, higher education facility and public library on all islands throughout the State of Hawaii. BTOP upgrades have already been implemented in four high schools in the Zones of School Innovation. HIDOE is assisting with site surveys, schedule coordination, and equipment delivery to other schools in order to facilitate BTOP installation.

* Data for School Improvement (DSI)

The Data for School Improvement (DSI) system was introduced in all traditional public schools (2010-11 school year), offering classroom teachers an online formative assessment tool. The system allows educators to gauge the effectiveness of their instruction by administering tests using an online bank of more than 15,000 standards-aligned English language arts and mathematics items.

Assurance D: Great Teachers and Leaders

* New Teacher Evaluation Systems

The state has made great progress in establishing key elements of a new teacher evaluation system. Currently, a pilot program is underway in the 18 Zones of School Innovation (ZSI) schools. More than 60 schools will be added to the pilot program in the 2012-13 school year.

* Improved Induction and Mentoring for New Teachers

HIDOE adopted the Hawaii Teacher Induction Program Standards; considered “extremely high quality” by national experts. The new standards establish a common, higher bar for quality, such as requiring that all new teachers receive mentoring and develop a professional growth plan.

Assurance E: Zones of School Innovation (ZSI)

* Agreement on Extending Learning Time and Professional Development Days

Teachers in the Zones of School Innovation (Nanakuli-Waianae and Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa complexes) and at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind (HSDB) voted to ratify an agreement for extended learning time and additional professional development days on Feb. 27.

In Summary, the one-year agreement provides compensation to teachers for extending the school day and work year (2012-13 school year):

  • Teachers will work an additional hour on most instructional days, except Fridays, Professional Development Days, and the last two weeks of the school year.
  • Twelve (12) extra days will be added for Professional Development.
  • Teachers will be fairly compensated for the additional requirements.

— Find out more:


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