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DOE Expanding Hawaiian Education Assessments in Public Schools

June 29, 2017, 11:01 AM HST (Updated June 29, 2017, 8:51 AM)
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Hawaii DOE logoThe Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) is expanding Hawaiian language assessments for Hawaiian immersion students in a collaborative effort with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Hawaiian language advocates.

HIDOE is currently seeking federal approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for the expansion of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KAEO) to Grades 5 through 8. KAEO students in Grades 3 and 4 have been taking the assessment since the 2014-15 school year.

“The collaborative work to expand Kaiapuni assessments for more students honors our commitment to assure that a Hawaiian language education pathway is strengthened and realized in our public school system,” said HIDOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “A lot of work has been done to ensure that these tests are rigorous and meet a standard of education that provides high quality assessments for our Kaiapuni students.”

The desire to expand Hawaiian assessment was openly voiced by advocates for Native Hawaiian education during the Hawai‘i Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) public comment period, and in testimony before the Board of Education.

The USDOE has approved HIDOEʻs requests for extended waivers during the last two years to allow KAEO students to take a specialized assessment in place of the state’s English language arts and math student assessments.

HIDOE is now requesting a USDOE double-testing waiver for KAEO students in Grades 5 through 8. If approved, the waiver will allow these students to take the KAEO field tests in language arts, mathematics and science in place of the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in language arts and mathematics, and the Hawai‘i State Science Assessment (HSA-Science).

“The previous waivers granted by the USDOE have lifted the burden of having our Hawaiian language students take double the amount of assessments,” stated Tammi Chun, assistant superintendent, office of strategy, innovation and performance. “The work put into the expansion of assessments for Kaiapuni students is unprecedented.”

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A seven-day public comment period will open on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, and close on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Those interested in submitting comments can email ESSA@hawaiidoe.org.

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