Maunaloa Elementary School on Molokai was the only public school of the more than 30 in Maui County to achieve the highest level of "recognition" status in the state Department of Education's first report card on how schools are doing under a new accountability system, called Strive HI Performance System.
Out of a possible 400 points, Maunaloa received 343, ranking it 11th among schools statewide, according to information released by public schools officials Monday. Maunaloa students achieved 80 percent reading proficiency, 71 percent math proficiency and 53 percent science proficiency.
At the other end of the spectrum, Iao Intermediate School in Wailuku scored only 97 points. Its students demonstrated 65 percent reading proficiency, 40 percent math proficiency and 11 percent science proficiency. Lahainaluna High School had the second-lowest rating among Maui County schools, with 184 points. Its students had a reading proficiency of 64 percent, a math proficiency of 34 percent and a science proficiency of 14 percent.
Iao and Lahainaluna were among 29 schools statewide rated third-level "focus" schools requiring high levels of state intervention and involvement.
Kihei Charter School achieved a score of 235, with its students recording a reading proficiency of 91 percent, a math proficiency of 68 percent and a science proficiency of 63 percent. However, the report on the school classified it as a "priority" because of its low on-time graduation rate of 51 percent.
Most Maui County schools were in the second-tier "continuous improvement" category, with 228 schools statewide.
Those schools and their scores were: Kihei Elementary, 348; Kahului Elementary, 305; Kualapuu Elementary, 290; Kaunakakai Elementary, 275; Kilohana Elementary, 273; Waihee Elementary, 267; Lihikai Elementary, 260; Kamalii Elementary, 256; Pomaikai Elementary, 254; Princess Nahienaena Elementary, 246; Baldwin High, 227; Kula Elementary, 225; King Kekaulike, 224; Maui High, 220; Lokelani Intermediate, 217; Lanai High and Elementary, 205; Haiku Elementary, 203; Kamehameha III Elementary, 201; Molokai Middle, 200; Hana High and Elementary, 199; Molokai High, 192; Paia Elementary, 187; Kalama Intermediate, 181; Pukalani Elementary, 181; Wailuku Elementary, 168; Makawao Elementary, 165; Lahaina Intermediate, 165; and Maui Waena Intermediate, 144.
The new accountability system largely replaces the state's reliance on the 12-year-old No Child Left Behind adequate yearly progress measures, a move made possible through the state's waiver from the federal education reform law.
In releasing the performance results, public school officials reported that more Hawaii public school students are graduating on time and enrolling in college, according to what they said is a "comprehensive picture of the health of the islands' schools."
The figures are based on data from the 2012-13 school year.
Statewide, students achieved 72 percent reading proficiency, 60 percent math proficiency and 34 percent science proficiency.
"We are extremely pleased to see significant improvements statewide on key college- and career-readiness indicators as we set a higher bar for students, teachers, as well as ourselves as educational leaders," said state schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "The new Strive HI Performance System allows us to do a much better job of measuring, understanding and supporting school progress. The results are very encouraging and a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers."
Of the state's 14 top-performing schools, nine are so-called "Title I" schools, meaning they serve a larger proportion of disadvantaged students from low-income families with children receiving free or reduced-price lunches. And most of the state's lowest-performing schools have made "tremendous growth" after receiving targeted support, school officials said.
In addition, the public schools' on-time graduation rate (83 percent) and college-enrollment rate (63 percent) have been steadily rising over time, they said.
Reading and math proficiency improved slightly, the officials said, with the percentage of students proficient in reading increasing to 72 percent, from 71 percent a year ago, while math proficiency likewise rose a percentage point to 60 percent.
The 2013 Strive HI index list of schools can be found under "related downloads" at bit.ly/StriveHISystem.
The new accountability system comes after the federal government in May approved Hawaii's Strive HI Performance System. Officials said it replaces "outdated aspects" of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Under the former No Child Left Behind system, schools were rated on whether students met escalating annual reading and math benchmarks. These were known as "adequate yearly progress," or AYP. In that system, yearly progress status was a single indicator and a "crude instrument that led directly to a series of strict, escalating consequences," state school officials said.
The new system provides a "diagnostic tool to understand a school's performance and progress on multiple, research-based indicators, including reading, math and science scores, achievement growth and gaps, chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, college readiness and enrollment."
"By valuing more than just test scores, we are taking a comprehensive look at the successes and challenges of schools," said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. "This wealth of data will allow educators, school leaders, parents and the community to have meaningful conversations about what is working and where they need to improve to prepare all students for college and careers."
Based on their performance, schools are classified in one of five Strive HI Steps, each carrying varying degrees of rewards, supports and interventions to meet individual school needs. From highest to lowest, the steps include recognition, continuous improvement, focus, priority and superintendent's zone.
To find information about an individual school, go to HawaiiPublicSchools.org and click on "Find Schools," which is in the upper-right corner of the page. Then, type in the school in "Find by school name" and click on "Show Results." When the school shows up, click on "Read More."
For charter school reports, go to www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/EducationInnovation/CharterSchools/Pages/home.aspx.
* Brian Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.