A new school year is under way, and there are signs that our schools are getting closer to meeting federal standards for reading and math proficiency.
According to a July 18 story in The Maui News, 10 Maui County public schools met fed benchmarks for adequate yearly progress in the 2011-2012 class year, four more that last year. Other schools that didn't quite make AYP showed progress and barely missed.
Maui County schools that showed adequate yearly progress this year were Waihee, Haiku, Makawao, Pukalani, Pomaikai, King Kamehameha III, Kaunakakai, Kilohana and Maunaloa elementary schools and Molokai Middle School.
According to Bruce Anderson, superintendent of the Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex Area, "One of the real bright spots that we had in Central Maui was our middle schools were real close to making AYP. Kalama and Maui Waena only missed by two cells. It's encouraging because we used to miss by more cells.
"We're getting better. We're doing a lot better job of recognizing the differences in kids, so we're doing a better job of teaching."
The Department of Education also announced that math and reading test scores for public school students jumped 5 percentage points statewide. Those are huge gains.
So there is reason for real optimism in classroom performance as the new school year begins. Now, if the governor and the teachers union could just find a solution to their contract impasse, it might be the beginning of happy days on school campuses in Hawaii.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.