Final Approval of Hawai‘i’s ESSA Plan Announced

January 20, 2018, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated January 19, 4:44 PM
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The Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) received approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) of its plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Federal officials shared the authorization of the plan during a call with HIDOE leadership on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018.

Federal officials shared the authorization of the plan during a call with HIDOE leadership this morning. Photo Credit: Department of Education

“The goals and measures of success outlined in our approved state plan shows Hawai‘i’s continued commitment to providing equitable access to quality education, and empowers our educators to innovate and design schools that meet the needs of their communities,” said Hawai‘i State Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “This plan is a reflection of the voices of our students, teachers, parents, administrators and community partners that worked together to offer their recommendations on the direction of public education in Hawai‘i.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also signed off on plans today for Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Montana and New Hampshire.

“I am pleased to approve these plans which comply with the requirements of the law,” said Secretary DeVos. “I encourage states to use their plans as a starting point, rather than a finish line, to improve outcomes for all students.”

The Hawai‘i ESSA plan is designed to support HIDOE’s Strategic Plan objectives, which provides common direction for public schools to empower students in their learning. The following are highlights from the plan shared by the USED:

  • Uses the state’s Board of Education and Department of Education Strategic Plan and Blueprint for Public Education as the foundation, which allows Hawai‘i to lead with its own vision of what public education should look like in a multicultural island state.
  • Measures student success with 14 indicators including chronic absenteeism, inclusion rate, teacher retention, facility repair and maintenance backlog and family engagement.
  • Continues the efforts and commitment to strengthen School Design, Student Voice and Teacher Collaboration.

“Today’s approval is good news for Hawai‘i,” added Gov. David Ige. “We’re moving ahead to better prepare our students to be competitive in today’s global innovation economy.”


ESSA is a reauthorization of the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the prior reauthorization, most commonly known as No Child Left Behind Act. For more information, click here, to read the approved state plan, click here.

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