How Did Hawai‘i’s Public Schools Rank in 2017–2018?

Since 2003, HONOLULU Magazine has been publishing a chart that ranks Hawai‘i’s public schools.
Grading schools


We know ranking schools is controversial. But we also know how useful it can be for families. The way we do it has changed a bit over the years, but we’ve always used official data from the DOE. To give a more well-rounded snapshot of how public schools fared in the 2017–2018 school year, this year’s chart factors in new statewide student success indicators—such as school climate, which has to do with quality of instruction, safety and relationships—from the DOE/BOE Strategic Plan 2017-2020.


We also selected the performance measures we thought families and taxpayers would be most interested in seeing here, including math, science and reading scores, and graduation rates. We couldn’t fit every measure into the chart, but the overall score for each school still incorporates the complete list of measures. You can find a detailed explanation of how we came up with the final scores here.


While we try to be as objective as possible when coming up with our methodology for grading schools, you may prioritize things differently. So take this list with a grain of salt. We think our ranking is pretty solid but it’s not an official report card. If there’s certain criteria you as an educator, parent or concerned citizen want to know more about, we encourage you to check out the full performance reports for individual schools at You can also download the DOE’s master spreadsheet of 2017–2018 raw data.


SEE ALSO: Why Do We Rate Public Schools?


A Guide to the Chart


RANK: This list ranks public schools by their overall scores, with separate rankings for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.


SCHOOL: Name of the school.


DISTRICT: The statewide school system is divided into seven administrative districts, including O‘ahu’s HONolulu, CENtral, LEEward and WINdward districts; the Big Island’s HAWai‘i district; Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i’s MAUi district; and the KAUa‘i district. Some CHARter schools are also included.


TITLE I: Indicating, Yes or No, whether the school was a Title I school in 2017–18, meaning at least 40 percent of a school’s students were from low-income families, as defined by the federal government.


MATH, READING, SCIENCE: The percentage of students enrolled the full school year that scored proficient or higher in these three subjects on assessments that include Smarter Balanced Assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and math; HSA science and high-school Biology I end-of-course exams; HSA alternate assessments in ELA, math and science; and the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes.


MATH GROWTH, READING GROWTH: For SBA students, a school’s median (middle) student growth percentile, which measures how much individual students progressed from one year to the next, in math and ELA. For HSA-Alt and KAEO students, it’s the percent meeting growth. KAEO scores are marked with an asterisk.


CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM RATE: Indicates the percentage of students enrolled for the full school year who missed 15 or more days of school.


SCHOOL CLIMATE: The percent reporting positively on the School Climate Dimension of the Tripod Student Perception Survey, which asks students about the quality of their instruction, and safety and relationships.


MATH GAP RATE,  ELA GAP RATE: This number measures the achievement gap between high-need students and non-high-need students for 2017–18, by comparing the percentage of each group of students who scored proficient or above in math and ELA. A smaller percentage-point spread is better.


3RD GRADE LITERACY (ELEMENTARY SCHOOL): The percent above or at/near third-grade-level standards for reading.


8TH GRADE LITERACY (MIDDLE SCHOOL): The percent above or at/near eighth-grade-level standards for reading.


GRADUATION RATE: (HIGH SCHOOL): The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, based on the percentage of a high school’s students that graduated within four years. This column uses data from the 2016-2017 school year.


COLLEGE-GOING RATE (HIGH SCHOOL): The percentage of a high school’s graduates that enrolled in college by fall of the next year.


CTE: (HIGH SCHOOL): The percent of 12th-graders completing a Career and Technical Education program of study with a grade of C or higher.


9TH GRADE PROMOTION (HIGH SCHOOL): The percentage of first-time ninth-graders promoted to 10th grade on time.


2018 SCORE: The school’s overall score, out of 400 points.


GRADE: A letter grade assigned by HONOLULU Magazine, based on a standard curve using the school’s index scores.


N/A: Indicates that data is not available, usually because the DOE has redacted results from small classes/schools for privacy reasons.


View the Chart

(Click the images to enlarge.) Elementary Schools 1 Elementary Schools 2 Elementary Schools 3 Middle Schools High Schools