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Two-Thirds Of Hawaii Schools Do Not Meet Requirements

Despite Results, Officials Encouraged By Progress

POSTED: 5:58 pm HST August 18, 2005
UPDATED: 6:45 pm HST August 18, 2005

Public schools across the nation have been under growing pressure to improve math and reading scores. The latest test results show that two-thirds of Hawaii's schools did not meet current requirements.

Under federal law, Hawaii 's schools must make adequate yearly progress (AYP) or be "restructured" by an outside entity.

Of the 282 schools statewide, 185 did not make the adequate yearly progress.

Last year, Hawaii saw 24 schools begin the process of "restructuring," where the principals lose control of school spending. More were added to the list, which now totals 40 schools.

Despite the scores, the school superintendent is happy that many schools made progress over the last testing period.

It's important to note the benchmarks were raised to a far tougher level this year. In 2003, schools had to be 10 percent proficient in math and 30 percent proficient in reading. In 2004, the last testing period, schools had to be 28 percent proficient in math and 44 percent proficient in reading.

Officials said that if the same benchmarks that were used last year were still in place, the results would probably be reversed. Instead of 185 schools missing the requirements, 198 would have met them.

Pat Hamamoto is particularly pleased that several Leeward coast schools in some of the toughest neighborhoods made the benchmarks even though the standards were much higher this time around.

"On the Waianae coast, of the five elementary schools, four have made AYP and that is to die for. It's worth celebrating. What can we say? It's beyond words," Hamamoto said. "There's a lot of hope. There's a lot of excitement. There's a lot of feeling we can do. So, there's lots of celebrating going on tonight."

The four Leeward schools that met AYP are Leihoku Elementary School, Waianae Elementary School, Makaha Elementary School and Maile Elementary School.

The school board wants to celebrate the schools' success and may do that with an ice cream party to encourage the students' progress.

The Kaiser complex in East Honolulu was the only one to reach 100 percent compliance. Kauai remains the only island where there are no schools in restructuring.

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