Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, November 2, 2023
*This meeting was a remote meeting under Section 92-3.7, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The meeting recording is available here.

Bill Arakaki, Chairperson
Shanty Asher
Kaimana Barcarse
Kahele Dukelow
Warren Haruki
Ken Kuraya

Lauren Moriarty, Vice Chairperson

Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, Department of Education
Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Deputy Superintendent of Strategy, Department of Education
Heidi Armstrong, Deputy Superintendent, Department of Education
Teri Ushijima, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design,
Department of Education
Capsun Poe, Board Executive Director
Lady Garrett, Secretary

I. Call to Order

Committee Chairperson Bill Arakaki called the Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.

II. Discussion Items
Committee Chairperson Arakaki called on Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, Department of Education (Department) and Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Deputy Superintendent of Strategy to provide the review of Strive HI: 2022-23 State and School Performance reports.

Hayashi shared that Hawaii public schools saw an overall uptick in academic performance in academic and mathematics performance in the second full academic year, following the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that in language arts and science, results have maintained the gains from the prior year. He acknowledged that despite the positive information and data the Department still has more work to do in supporting our students and their performance which has not quite yet reached pre pandemic levels.

Hayashi shared that Oyadomari-Chun will provide more in depth information related to Strive HI results and expressed appreciation to teachers and school level administrators for their hard work to support students for their efforts.

Oyadomari-Chun stated that annually the Department of Education provides the Strive HI report on the performance of the prior school year. She explained that the report will cover last school year's performance which was based on the prior strategic plan's indicators. Oyadomari-Chun explained that transitions to the new strategic plan will also mean transitioning to the new indicators. The reports are available online and include the state, complex and school level so that users can do more user driven queries looking at the particular data or schools of interest.

Oyadomari-Chun reported that for the 2022-23 school year, the Department is still seeing the impacts on student learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She shared that the percentage of students who miss 15 days or more of instruction over the years has increased, with about 15%, chronic absenteeism which means that students were missing learning opportunities. Oyadomari-Chun noted that this year there has been improvement with chronic absenteeism dropping to 30% which is better, but still high. She explained that pre COVID-19 pandemic, the best attendance is at elementary schools and emphasized that when students are in school, they are best able to take advantage of the learning opportunities and support.

Oyadomari-Chun outlined the second measure relating to language arts and noted that the gains from last year at 52% of students proficient or better was maintained, two point gain in math scores, and science proficiency is at 40%. She stated that in relation to the nation in terms of COVID-19 pandemic impacts and recovery there is more work to do. Oyadomari-Chun stated that the National Assessment of Educational Progress results show that most of the states have had declines in scores, and Hawaii is one of the few states that had any gains over the last five years and is in fourth grade in mathematics. She shared that regarding the Smarter Balanced scores, Hawaii is faring pretty well compared to our peers with English language arts at 52% proficient, and 40% proficient in mathematics.

Committee Chairperson Arakaki called for public testimony on agenda items.

David Miyashiro, member of the public, testified that the Strive HI results are promising but it is an opportunity to build urgency and look deeper. He expressed support to prioritize summer learning, monitor transition years, especially from eighth to ninth grade, and focus on data and transparency with the use of ESSER funds. He noted that fourth grade and eighth reading results are listed as a strength for Hawaii, but only 18% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students were rated proficient in 2022.

Cheri Nakamura of HEʻE Coalition, expressed encouragement by the stable state results of our Smarter Balanced Assessment, which measures the percent of students who meet or exceed proficiency in Hawaii State Standards for ELA, math and science. She expressed concern about the stubbornly persistent achievement gap that does not seem to budge and expressed support for Miyashiro’s suggestion of an evaluation of academic recovery interventions, which are resourced by the ESSER funds over the past few years.

Committee Chairperson Arakaki expressed appreciation for the report especially to the teachers, the administrators support staff for their hard work. He noted that while attending the National Association of School Boards of Education conference, Hawaii was mentioned for the progress being made for our students.

Committee Member Barcarse expressed appreciation for the great work and emphasized that it is encouraging to know that things have stabilized, especially after the tumultuous times. He expressed support and requested that the Department continue to share constant updates on the progress of our students.

Committee Member Haruki expressed appreciation and echoed comments of support. He asked what critical programs contributed to the success and how can the Department try to scale up or ramp up efforts faster.

Heidi Armstrong, Deputy Superintendent of Academics replied that system wide practices are put in place that really help the schools identify the strength and need areas for their students. She also stated that requiring every school to implement a universal screener three times a year, has identified touch points that really give deep information into the strength and need areas of their students in the areas of language arts and math. Armstrong shared that the comprehensive literacy grant in some of our schools has helped to show significant gains, especially in the early literacy, and math programs that engaged the interest of the students was key.

Committee Member Haruki asked if the math program at Honouliuli was funded by ESSER monies and how will these programs continue. Armstrong replied that there are a variety of supplemental programs or experiences that the schools are doing and she would not want to limit the success to one particular program or strategy.

Committee Chairperson Arakaki expressed appreciation and noted that this report is from the year before, and is a work in progress.
Committee Chairperson Arakaki called on Armstrong and Winston Sakurai, Director, Curriculum, Innovation Branch, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design, regarding Act 174 Session Laws of Hawaii 2023 (House Bill 503, relating to computer science education) and Senate Concurrent Resolution 56, 2023 requesting the Board of Education to review various programs and subject matter areas for implementation in public schools.

Armstrong expressed appreciation to update the Board on three very important topics that bring great passion to both educators and the community alike and that's civic education, financial literacy, and computer science. She stated that our students need to be empowered as citizens to actively contribute to the decision making processes that will shape their lives in their communities and must have the ability to understand personal financial management and budgeting, computer science doesn't only prepare our students for the future, but it gives them some very real life day to day skills such as problem solving, collaboration, adaptability, and persistence.

Sakurai stated that the legislature asks that the Board work with the Department to analyze making computer science a graduation requirement by the 2030-31 school year, and determine whether making computer science a graduation requirement will be in the best interest of public school students. He explained that there are three action items to convene a task force to realign the high school framework to current and projected community and workforce needs, which includes piloting and evaluating a redesigned personal transition plan, identifying effective models and providing appropriate support and offering students financial literacy opportunities through various means. The Department took a look at graduation requirements across 50 states so one of the things that we found is that it is constantly in flux because changes are being made in every state almost every single year. There may be challenges associated with scheduling, and students meeting graduation requirements in a timely manner and asked if the Board could help to ensure that our high school framework aligns seamlessly with the needs of our community and the evolving workforce.

Committee Chairperson Arakaki called for public testimony on agenda items.

Celeste Endo, member of the public, testified that many individuals have been learning computer science since kindergarten, which provides a rainbow of opportunities for future success. She expressed support for computer science which allows ways to keep learning.

David Miyashiro, HawaiikidsCAN, testified in support of computer science and noted that computer science is a foundational area of education in 2023 and beyond. He expressed support that today’s discussions can lead to increases in equity and access to computer science courses for all of Hawaii's students.

Amber Davis, member of the public, testified in support of computer science and shared that the passage of Act 174 was a great catalyst for discussing the inclusion of computer science as a graduation requirement for all students. She noted that in a 21st century economy, computer science gives students the chance to learn how to create technology, and use critical thinking and problem solving skills to solve problems that solve the problems of tomorrow.

Cheri Nakamura, HE'E Coalition, requested to be considered as part of the workgroup or task force to engage in this very critical decision of graduation requirements, and what a portrait of a graduate means in our state.

Danson Honda, member of the public, testified in strong support of the Department's proposed action items to convene a task force to review and realign the high school framework, pilot and evaluate the design personal transition plan and offer students financial literacy learning opportunities through various means.

Committee Chairperson Arakaki expressed appreciation for all the testimonies and noted that the Board will continue to have discussions with all stakeholders relating to Act 174.

Committee Member Haruki asked what the Board can do to ensure that relevant education is being provided and what is the timing for when things will happen. Sakurai replied that computer science involves problem solving and students learn a specific coding language that sometimes is very outdated by the time they even go through their first year of college. He explained that the Department is using tools that will change over time because it is impossible to keep up with the technology.

Committee Member Barcarse stated that there is general agreement that these are important areas and it is important to keep up with the times. He asked where the rubber meets the road and how can the Department proceed without creating too much burden.

Hayashi expressed support and noted that the Department is committed to focusing on workforce development, and being able to work with our partners for our students' future success.

Student Representative Ahryanna McGuirk shared that she is enrolled in a computer science course, offered by Hawaii online courses and it is definitely a lot of coding. She asked if there is any specific feedback or specific questions for the Hawaii State Student Council that might be helpful in figuring out how to move forward. Armstrong replied that the Department will definitely have students on this task force, because their input is crucial.

Committee Chairperson Arakaki noted that businesses also expressed interest in serving on the task force. Armstrong acknowledged that their interest and will also invite Board members to the meetings C

III. Adjournment

Committee Chairperson Arakaki adjourned the meeting as of 2:49 p.m.

List of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting

Agenda Item
Cheri Nakamura HE’E CoalitionII.A. Review of Strategic Plan Desired Outcome 1.1.1: All entering kindergarten students are assessed for social, emotional and academic readiness and provided necessary and timely support to develop foundational skills for learning