Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, April 6, 2023

Kili Namauʻu, Chairperson
Bill Arakaki, Vice Chairperson
Kaimana Barcarse
Lynn Fallin
Ken Kuraya
Lauren Moriarty
Bruce Voss, ex officio

Shanty Asher
Makana McClellan

ALSO PRESENT: Stephen Schatz, Executive Director, Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education
Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, Department of Education
Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Deputy Superintendent of Strategy, Department of Education
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Executive Secretary
Lady Garrett, Secretary

I. Call to Order

Committee Chairperson Kili Namauʻu called the Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) Meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. Committee Chairperson Namauʻu, Committee Vice Chairperson Bill Arakaki, Committee Members Kaimana Barcarse, Lynn Fallin, and Lauren Moriarty, and Ex-Officio Committee Member Bruce Voss were present.

II. Public testimony on Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) agenda items

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu called for public testimony.

Cheri Nakamura, HEʻE Coalition, testified on agenda item V.A, entitled “Presentation on College and Career Readiness Indicators for the Class of 2022.” She noted that using the economically disadvantaged student group as a proxy for high-needs students results in gaps, suggested using Dual Credit as an indicator of readiness because this indicator shows whether the barrier to access college is purely financial, and urged the Board to ask questions to get a greater understanding of what the public education system and schools can do to make progress.

Susan Pcola-Davis, PTSA, testified on agenda item V.A, entitled “Presentation on College and Career Readiness Indicators for the Class of 2022.” She posed a number of questions about the data presented by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education (“Hawaii P-20”), asked about the meaning of several terms used in the data, asked questions about strategies that might influence the data, and whether the data can be disaggregated by race/ethnicity.

Board members received written testimony before the meeting. (A listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting is included at the end of these minutes.)

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of October 6, 2022

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu asked Committee members to review the Committee’s October 6, 2022, meeting minutes.

Committee Vice Chairperson Arakaki moved to approve the Committee’s October 6, 2022, meeting minutes. Committee Member Barcarse seconded.

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu asked if there were any objections to the motion. No Committee member raised objections, and the motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present (Committee Vice Chairperson Arakaki and Committee Members Barcarse, Fallin, and Moriarty).

ACTION: Motion to approve the Student Achievement Committee October 2, 2022, meeting minutes (Arakaki/Barcarse). The motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.

IV. Public Testimony on Board Agenda Items

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu called for public testimony. No one testified at this time.

V. Discussion Items

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu called on Stephen Schatz, Executive Director, Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, to present the college and career readiness indicators for the high school graduating class of 2022.

Schatz stated that Hawaii P-20 has provided data to the Board for many years and noted that Hawaii can be proud of the data, which provides information on students while in school and what happens after students graduate. He noted that the data is for the Class of 2022 and that this class took these assessments in 2021 as juniors, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schatz explained that the data shows what happened to students from the Class of 2022 and whether these students went on to college, which includes trade and technical schools, across the United States. He noted that historically there was an emphasis on students going to 4-year colleges, but acknowledged that there are valuable programs in the trades, which do not require 4-year degrees.

Schatz reviewed the Class of 2022 profile and demographics and explained that students are considered economically disadvantaged if the student has been economically disadvantaged at any time during their K-12 school career. He also explained that the data includes charter school students. He noted that the college enrollment rate increased slightly since the drop during the COVID-19 pandemic, that 33% of the graduating class enrolled in a 4-year college and 18% enrolled in a 2-year college. Schatz explained that completers are those that graduate with a certificate, not just those who graduate with a diploma.

Schatz reviewed first fall enrollment by economic status, which compared fall enrollment rates of students who are economically disadvantaged at any time during their K-12 career and those who were not.

Schatz outlined the first fall enrollment by race/ethnicity, which showed enrollment trends for Native Hawaiians, Whites, Filipinos, Asians, and Others from 2018-2022. He emphasized that some student groups were impacted more than others and clarified that Dual Credit is when students in the public school system get credit for college while in high school with most of these programs at the community colleges. Schatz stated that early college is when a college employee teaches a class to sheltered high school students, and Running Start is where high school students go to college classes on college campuses. He also noted that an increase in online opportunities has helped more students in rural areas obtain college credits and emphasized that Dual Credit has enabled students who would not normally have attended college to earn college credits during high school. Schatz shared that there is a correlation between students who take Dual Credit courses and increased college graduation rates, persistence, and completion. He noted that this is a correlation and not causation, so taking a Dual Credit course does not mean that students would complete college, but it appears to contribute to students’ success in college.

Schatz reviewed Dual Credit participation, which tracks both participation of students in Dual Credit as well as students who earn six or more college credits. He stated that Dual Credit is designed in to follow a particular pathway to help students reach their college goals in areas such as teaching, healthcare, and automotive mechanics. Schatz emphasized that early college with pathways allow students to use credits to move towards their goals.

Schatz reviewed Dual Credit participation by race/ethnicity and noted that the gaps evident here are the same gaps for third grade student achievement. He noted that both university and high school campuses are targeting groups of students and building programs for interventions so students see college as a viable opportunity. Schatz noted that a trade may not require college but most careers require some post-secondary training or workforce certification.

Committee Member Ken Kuraya entered the meeting at 11:26 a.m.

Schatz reviewed American College Testing (“ACT”) readiness benchmarks for those taking the ACT, as well as readiness in English, math, and science. He expressed caution in putting too much weight on these numbers, both increasing and decreasing, because the Class of 2022 took the ACT in 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that some colleges changed to testing optional or paused, while others have discontinued the test or gone back to requiring the test for college entry.

Schatz reviewed ACT participation by race/ethnicity and highlighted the precipitous drop in participation by Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian students in 2022. He stated that it is important to track this data to see if there would be a rebound in participation rates by these student groups.

Schatz reviewed ACT math readiness by race/ethnicity and stated that when students graduate from high school a lot of the Dual Credit focus has been on math. Schatz emphasized that math is very important and when students struggle with math in middle school there is a correlation with repeating grades. He stated that when students are not ready for high school math, it is a problem. Schatz noted that when students earn Dual Credit in math or English 100, they have a leg up. He stated that completing core math requirements before their freshman year or during their first year in college is highly correlated with graduating. Schatz stated that their k-12 career can prepare them for that math course, like providing the opportunity for early college or preparing for students for success with math while in high school.

Schatz reviewed the Fall 2022 enrollment at the University of Hawaii (“UH”), which includes 2-year and 4-year institutions. Schatz stated that there has been a decline in enrollment.

Board Military Representative Minuado asked if there was any information on why enrollment declined. Schatz replied that Hawaii has seen a smaller decline than most states, but when there are a lot of jobs sometimes individuals choose work over school. He also stated that there could be a post COVID-19 pandemic malaise and it would be interesting to see if there is a lost cohort of students and educators. He stated that schools need to think about how to re-engage these students so they have the opportunity to have a better career.

Schatz reviewed the data on University of Hawaii college level math by race/ethnicity. He noted that the system tracks completion of college-level math. Schatz explained that the reduced number of students in remedial classes indicates the k-12 system is getting better at preparing students for college-level math. He also noted that 50% of college level students are not enrolled in math and that by not taking math, students cannot improve. Schatz stated that the data is useful, especially for those at the school and complex area levels.

Committee Chairperson Namau’u asked if the data is being provided to the schools whether there is someone who can help the school identify what changes need to be made based on the data. Schatz explained that Hawaii DXP provides the most comprehensive dashboard with achievement data. He stated that Hawaii P-20 and others in the complex areas provide schools with data analysis support.

Committee Member Barcarse asked for clarification relating to comments from public testimony from HEʻE Coalition that schools should have access to raw data and whether P-20 can make this data available. Schatz replied that he is not clear on what raw data HEʻE Coalition referred to, but that he would continue to communicate with the Department and offered to speak with representatives from the HEʻE Coalition.

Hayashi shared that the schools use the data and that work is done with the complex areas and the state office to plan accordingly for ongoing school efforts. Schatz highlighted that the community colleges have expressed interest in this data as well to gain information on how schools are doing.

Committee Member Barcarse stated that given the analysis, he would like to know what kinds of interactions have happened to determine what data may need to be provided in order to customize what schools are trying to accomplish. Schatz stated that each year his team reviews what is missing to determine customizations and noted that some elements have been around a while others are new, like the certificate of biliteracy.

Committee Member Barcarse expressed appreciation for P-20’s willingness to adapt to meet the needs of the Department.

Board Military Representative Minuado expressed appreciation for the information and asked what happens with Advanced Placement (“AP”) testing. Schatz explained that AP testing is included in the presentation but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the data was not highlighted.

Board Military Representative Minuado asked about economically disadvantaged students and whether finances are ultimately the barrier to college. Schatz stated that economically disadvantaged students have lower achievement rates and enroll at lower rates in comparison to non-economically disadvantaged students. He stated that based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid data, there is a true affordability question and a perceived affordability issue because there are more parents that think college than there are parents who actually cannot afford college.

Schatz stated that people need to be made aware of what is available to help people see college as an investment. He stated that there was a study done and a 2-year college degree equates to an additional $350,000 in lifetime earnings and a 4-year college degree equates to an additional $1 million in lifetime earnings. Schatz noted that UH President David Lassner emphasized that college does not only provide economic incentives because there are many other advantages to being a college graduate.

Board Military Representative Minuado stated that getting students to college requires a lot more effort. Schatz expressed agreement and emphasized that counselors are an important part of the process.

Committee Vice Chairperson Arakaki stated that Hawaii P-20 provides support for teachers and expressed support that the data includes trade school persistence. He asked if there are opportunities for students to speak with individuals who can assist with the college application process.

Schatz stated that a lot of professional development has been done for counselors and would continue to work with the Department on professional development activities. Committee Vice Chairperson Arakaki expressed support for the professional development opportunities.

Committee Member Fallin expressed appreciation for the highlights on key issues, such as economic challenges, educational readiness, and social emotional issues. She asked if Hawaii P-20 plans to track how many students enrolled in preschool and then go on to 2-year or 4-year colleges since a huge financial investment is being made in early education. Committee Member Fallin also asked if data is kept on how many students in 2-year colleges continue onto 4-year programs. Schatz stated that the data exists and could be useful but clarified that Hawaii P-20 deals with cross agency data.

Committee Member Fallin stated that some students may want to attend a 4-year college but might not ready so 2-year is a better option. She expressed interest in this type of data. Schatz acknowledged that data relating to 2-year and 4-year college completion is important. Committee Member Fallin stated that it would help to increase opportunities for economically disadvantaged students who may want to continue with college but for whatever reason may not be able to do so.

Committee Member Voss, Ex-officio, stated that Hawaii has always been in the bottom 10% for ACT participation rates, but in 2022 there was a significant decrease of 17% and the performance was sobering. He expressed discouragement with this data and asked if the numbers are movable in the short term or is this a long term issue. Schatz replied that there are some numbers that you can change in the short term, but others can only be moved over a longer term. He detailed the example of math achievement, and noted that Grades 8 and 9 math scores are very important because you cannot fix Grade 11 math scores while students are in Grade 11. Schatz cautioned the Board about drawing conclusions and encouraged them to compare the ACT data to other data points.

Committee Member Voss, Ex-officio, stated that the strategic plan focuses on transitions from elementary to middle and then to high school. Schatz stated that transitions matter for students who are prepared and those unprepared. He stated that transitions are not only academic, they are also related to students feeling at home in their schools.

Committee Member Moriarty stated that the trends and details are important to move forward to make actual progress. She asked about context, causes, and what is next. She asked Schatz to provide some context for the data and detail what is needed when there are nationwide studies that show 75-80% of jobs would require a college degree.

Schatz replied that the 75-80% number comes from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which has stated that 75-80% of jobs would require some post-secondary education experience. He stated that the system should be built for the greatest good for the greatest numbers. Schatz stated that the public education system should strive to encourage entrepreneurial leadership to create future jobs, particularly because Hawaii has not been able to sufficiently diversify its economy.

Committee Member Moriarty stated that if the most important thing is for students to be able to earn a living wage, then the data shows that students are not even close and some student groups are way below. She also noted that ACT numbers show that only a small percentage of students are college-ready, and that this assessment does not provide information on whether students are able to complete college. Committee Member Moriarty noted that the numbers show that the k-12 public education system has a lot of work to do, but that she appreciates the truth reflected in the numbers.

Committee Member Moriarty asked Schatz to explain any possible causes and asked how much can the data be trusted. She asked what does this data tell us about the quality of a Hawaii public high school degree and expressed concern that students need to graduate from high school with honors in order to succeed in college.

Schatz stated that Board members should consider multiple data points and noted that it is valid to consider areas for improvement. Hayashi stated that the Department has been looking at the data to identify areas of improvement while making sure classes are rigorous and working toward ensuring students demonstrate progress in school, especially in the area of math.

Tammi Oyadomori-Chun, Deputy Superintendent of Strategy stated that the data represents a collaborative effort with Hawaii P-20 and the Department. She reiterated that the Department is not looking at single data points but reviews multiple measures to see if students are successful in high school. Chun explained that the ACT is useful for those students looking at 4-year colleges and students on a higher end of achievement. She stated that entrance exams are not required in Hawaii and when graduating from high school and earning a diploma the question to ask is if the rigor of our high schools prepare students for success.

Chun noted that the students in the Class of 2022 went into lockdown during their sophomore year and experienced a lot of disruption. She expressed support for making sure students entering the community colleges receive appropriate support or interventions are put in place knowing that college patterns were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Committee Member Moriarty stated that earning a high school degree does not mean that students are college-ready, but her question relates to what needs to change for these students since less than 50% are ready to go to college. She stated that she would like to gain an understanding on the reasons which lead to students not enrolling in college, such as finances, access to information, or other areas.

Schatz stated that there are a lot of reasons why students are not enrolling in college, including perceived affordability. He noted that there is a lot of work being done in this area, including ensuring a seamless application process for students going to University of Hawaii campuses. Committee Member Moriarty asked if there is research that explains which area is most important to focus on because it is important to prioritize. Schatz replied that there is research that shows that three areas (finances, knowledge about navigating the college system, and academic readiness) are important; however, the research does not prioritize the areas.

Chun stated that research is available in all of the areas but noted that academically prepared low income students go to college at the same rate as the lowest prepared high income students. She also explained that there are a lot of factors relating to culture, sense of identity, economic pressures, family expectations, and other competing factors and emphasized that a longstanding focus should be to help college going rates increase higher.

Committee Member Moriarty stated that she would like to ask the same set of questions that she asked regarding the ACT data to understand the causes and what is taking place with regards to college enrollment. She suggested that it would be important to figure out what would need to be fixed first and emphasized that it is critical to focus attention on the causes to effectuate real returns.

Committee Member Moriarty asked Schatz to describe what he thought was exciting in the data, what he thought were the scariest things reflected in the data, and what he thought the Board should be paying attention to. Schatz replied that the positive trajectory is good and there is a good collaborative structure between the Department and Hawaii P-20. He noted that the most important indicator to track is math because that data would correlate with graduation rates, college going rates, college completion rates and general academic achievement.

Committee Member Moriarty asked the Department to comment on what in the data is the most exciting, scariest, and should be most focused on. Hayashi replied that due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic there are efforts and renewed collaboration. He stated that the Department reviewed the data and identified that approved budgetary requests would improve alignment. Hayashi highlighted that there are some areas of struggle is relating to secondary mathematics and middle schools, but work would continue with schools to make gains and move forward.

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu expressed concern regarding Schatz’s statement that gaps in Grade 3 correlating to college. Schatz stated literacy and the importance of reading on grade level by Grade 3 correlates with outcomes along the way and it is not determinative, but there is a correlation. Committee Chairperson Namauʻu emphasized that the Department really needs to make sure students are reading on grade level by Grade 3.

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu stated that that previously students expressed frustration with not being able to get past remedial math classes to get into Math 100. She asked if there is similar coursework being offered to help students pass Math 100.

Schatz replied that Dual Credit is college-level math (Math 100), but there is a co-requisite for support provided while students are attending classes at the universities. He also explained that there is a transition course for ELA and math for high school seniors who are not ready for college level math as a preparation course to align for what would be needed when these students go to college.

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu expressed support and suggested that the Department should do more of these types of programs. Schatz confirmed that the Department is doing this work.

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu asked if it is possible to differentiate the data between Running Start and Dual Credit. Schatz replied that he would need to check if the data can be provided.

VI. Adjournment

Committee Chairperson Namauʻu adjourned the meeting at 12:36 p.m.

List of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting

Agenda Item
David Miyashiro
IV.A. Presentation on CCRI for the Class of 2022
Cheri Nakamura
HEʻE Coalition
IV. A. Presentation on CCRI for the Class of 2022
Susan Pcola-DavisIV.A. Presentation on CCRI for the Class of 2022