Grading the Public Schools: The 2010 Grades
This is the fifth time we’ve published our “Grading the Public Schools” chart, a comprehensive report card on Hawaii’s 257 public schools. We first brought you this list in 2003, using the DOE’s own data—standardized scores in reading and math as well as satisfaction scores from surveys taken by teachers, parents and students.
One note: The satisfaction segment of our chart has changed since we last compiled it in 2007. The DOE is no longer asking the specific survey questions we had been using. (Parents: “I would recommend my child’s school to other parents.” Teachers: “I would send my own child to this school.” Students: “If I could, I would go to a different public school.”)
As a replacement, we’re now using the overall positive satisfaction scores for each school. As we noted in our 2009 Public Schools coverage, the DOE’s new survey questions have been made more generic and tend to garner a higher percentage of positive responses, but it remains possible to rank Hawaii’s schools relative to each other. At the same time, we didn’t feel it was quite fair to compare this year’s school rankings with those from 2007, so we have not included the previous year’s rankings for the schools.
A GUIDE TO THE CHART
1 Rank: This list ranks public schools by overall score, from 1 to 257.
2 District: The statewide school system is divided into seven administrative districts, including Oahu’s HONolulu, CENtral, LEEward and WINdward districts; the Big Island’s HAWaii district; Maui, Molokai and Lanai’s MAUI district; and the KAUai district. We’ve also noted schools that are CHarter schools, which are not considered traditional DOE schools.
3 Teachers: Percentage of teachers who gave an overall positive response to the Satisfaction section of the DOE’s 2009 School Quality Survey. The three questions were: “I am satisfied with the overall quality of this school”; “I am satisfied with how well my students are achieving the Standards”; and “I am satisfied with my school’s leadership.”
4 Parents: Percentage of parents who gave an overall positive response to the Satisfaction section of the DOE’s 2008 School Quality Survey. (Due to a DOE error in the distribution of the 2009 SQS Parent Surveys, the completed surveys could not be accurately assigned to schools, and the DOE decided not include the parent survey results in any of the 2009 SQS reports. HONOLULU Magazine used the 2008 results instead, the most recent data available.) The four questions were: “I am satisfied with the variety of courses and programs offered at my child’s school”; “I am satisfied with the overall quality of this school”; “I am satisfied with how much my child is learning at school”; and “I feel the work in my child’s classes is important and valuable for my child’s future.”
5 Students: Percentage of students who gave an overall positive response to the Satisfaction section of the DOE’s 2009 School Quality Survey. The five questions were: “I am satisfied with the education I am receiving at my school”; “I enjoy coming to school”; “Overall, this is a good public school”; “I am learning a lot from my teachers”; “I like the kinds of things I am learning at school.”
6 Math: Percentage of students whose proficiency meets or exceeds Hawaii
Content and Performance Standards (HCPS III) in Math, the state DOE’s baseline for determining whether schools meet academic benchmarks under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
7 Reading: Percentage of students whose proficiency meets or exceeds Hawaii Content and Performance Standards (HCPS III) in Reading, the state DOE’s baseline for determining whether schools meet academic benchmarks under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
8 Score: Average of the five measures of satisfaction and student performance.
9 Letter Grade: Once we ranked the schools by overall score, we assigned a letter grade to each, grading on a curve.
Orange Listings indicate schools not in good standing under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), according to standards set by the state DOE. Schools must meet performance benchmarks that measure adequate yearly progress in math and reading, participation and proficiency, graduation/retention rates, as well as other educational indicators, such as teacher qualification. Missing any one of these criteria for two years in a row or more can result in corrective sanctions, up to and including restructuring.
A Note on Incomplete Scores:
All but six of the 257 schools on our chart have full scores: Waialae Elementary, Waihee Elementary, Kualapuu Elementary, Waimea Middle, Ka Waihona o ka Naauao and Konawaena Middle. In these cases, data was unavailable from the DOE. We have also excluded schools that were missing more than two of the five measures of satisfaction and student performance, giving us an incomplete picture of their overall performance. That includes the majority of Hawaii’s charter schools.
UPDATE 5/4/2010: Ahana koko lele
In the print edition of our May 2010 "Grading the Public Schools" chart, the column labels for each school's math and reading scores were mistakenly switched. The raw data are correct, as are the overall school scores and rankings, but each school's math proficiency score is labeled as "reading," and vice versa.
Read the May 2009 feature "Do Teachers Make the Grade" for an evaluation of teacher quality and how Hawaii's Department of Education is doing at hiring, keeping and training highly effective teachers.
Also from the May 2009, see "Gaming the System", a look into the changes the DOE made to its satisfaction survey.
See the 2008 Public Schools Chart if you'd like to compare and contrast your school's progress.
HONOLULU’s sister magazine, Hawaii Business, is also covering public education in its May 2010 issue. Check out their coverage, which includes stories on our state’s public charter schools, as well as an interview with the man who created what many educators call the best public school district in North America. HB also features Hawaii’s Children First: A declaration from Hawaii’s three living, former governors on transforming our schools, and a panel discussion on the future of public schools from six local education leaders.
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