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HIDOE News Release: 2020-21 Strive HI performance data reflect national trends of pandemic impacts to student learning

Posted on Oct 21, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) shared its 2020-21 Strive HI Performance System results at today’s Board of Education (BOE) General Business Meeting. The data reflect downward trends in academic performance seen across the nation due to impacts from the pandemic.

For the 2020-21 school year that ended in May, the U.S. Department of Education offered states a waiver from certain accountability requirements, which included the waiving of the 95% participation rate requirement, acknowledging that all states would have difficulty administering tests due to the large proportion of students in blended or full distance learning environments.

A penalty is typically applied to proficiency results for all tested-grade students and subgroups if the 95% participation rate is not met. For the 2020-21 school year, 85% of students statewide tested in language arts and math, which is within the threshold for allowing decision-making using test-derived results.

“Even though this year’s results are not as comprehensive due to the lower participation rates, the data are still very informative for our schools, complex areas, administrators and teachers,” Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said.

“We know the pandemic has had and continues to have a major impact on student learning. On average 88% of students were learning in blended or virtual learning environments last school year when these performance results were captured. While there are some bright spots, the overall results emphasize the importance of having students back in the classroom for in-person learning and will help inform our plans for targeted supports and resources,” Hayashi said.

Key 2020-21 Strive HI findings

  • Overall statewide academic proficiency in English language arts, math and science decreased:
    • Language arts proficiency decreased 4 percentage points to 50% in 2021 from 54% in 2019.
    • Math proficiency decreased 11 percentage points to 32% in 2021 from 43% in 2019.
    • Science proficiency decreased 9 percentage points to 35% in 2021 from 44% in 2019.
  • Third-grade literacy (reading near/at or above grade level) increased by 1 percentage point to 76% in 2021 from 75% in 2019.
  • Eighth-grade literacy (reading near, at or above grade level) increased by 6 percentage points to 77% in 2021 from 71% in 2019.
  • Ninth-grade promotions decreased to 85% in 2021 from 93% in 2020.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) program completion increased to 61% in 2021 from 58% in 2020.
  • Graduation rate increased for the third-straight year, to 86% in 2020 from 85% in 2019.
  • College-going rate decreased by 5 percentage points, dropping to 50% in 2021 from 55% in 2020.

For the 2019-20 school year, the U.S. Department of Education offered states the option to waive required statewide assessments. As a result, comparisons of 2020-21 proficiency and other test-derived results such as growth, achievement gap and literacy rates are gauged against 2018-19 results.

Utilizing both Strive HI and universal screener data, schools will be making instructional decisions for academic intervention and acceleration which may include small-group instruction, intervention blocks, tutoring, out-of-school-time programs (after school, weekends, intersessions or summer), academic coaching, personalized activities, specialized services and other supports. Schools are also looking at behavioral and social-emotional needs of students to strategize necessary support for students in those areas.

“We are fully committed to bridging any gaps in student academic performance,” Hayashi added. “We already have learning loss mitigation plans in place and stand ready to do what it takes to ensure our students get back on track and succeed.”

Strive HI was launched in the 2012-13 school year as the state’s locally designed school improvement and accountability system that offered flexibility from the former federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. It includes multiple measures of school performance including proficiency in science, math and Language arts/literacy; achievement gaps; chronic absenteeism; academic growth; and graduation rates. The system was modified in 2017 to align with the revised HIDOE/BOE Strategic Plan and reauthorization of federal education law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Click here to view the 2020-21 State Snapshot of Strive HI indicators. For more information about the Strive HI performance system, see here.


Nanea Kalani

Acting Communications Director

Hawaii State Department of Education

(808) 784-6200