East Hawaii News

New School Year in Hawai`i Brings New Standards

August 7, 2013, 2:07 PM HST
* Updated August 8, 8:55 AM
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For better or worse (depending on which parents you ask), summer break is officially over for the more than 23,000 keiki enrolled in public school on the Big Island.

As they bid farewell to the long empty days of weeks past, Hawai`i Island teachers and students are heading into the 2013-2014 school year facing a new set of more rigorous standards to gauge student progress.

Called “Common Core Standards,” the new benchmarks are set to replace the “Hawai`i State Assessment,” which had seen a 20-30% gain in student scores over the last decade. Testing under the CCS system won’t begin until the 2014-2015 school year, but the new guidelines are already being phased into the classroom.

Under the new standards, students are expected to make steady gains in reading proficiency with a renewed focus on non-fiction material and persuasive writing. In math, students will be taught a more streamlined set of skills, but will be expected to display a thorough understanding of the concepts.

The new standards are part of a broader national effort, and have already been adopted in 39 other states.

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