Categorized | Education

Hawaii files ESEA Flexibility application


The state Department of Education (DOE) has filed its application for ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Flexibility with the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

“Hawaii’s ESEA Flexibility plan will drastically improve our accountability system and provide a rigorous alternative to the current No Child Left Behind one-size-fits-all approach,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe.

“With multiple accountability measures, we will improve the quality of instruction in our schools and provide additional targeted interventions,” Nozoe said. “At the end of the day, this is about ensuring that every child is prepared for success in college or careers.”

During the public outreach period for Hawaii’s ESEA Flexibility application, the DOE conducted in-person meetings with principals, vice principals, and community stakeholders across the islands. As a direct result of the feedback gained, the State has modified the following aspects of its application:

* Redefining “Reward Schools” with the label “Recognition Schools” to better reflect the State’s culture and values

* Adjusting the weights for elementary, middle, and high school measures in the Hawaii Academic Performance Index

* Adjusting the weights attributed to mathematics, English language arts and science Hawaii State Assessment results

* Adding Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander as additional distinct ethnic subgroups

* Integrating school-level Academic and Financial Plans (AcFin Plans) into the ESEA accountability system

* Adding more robust interventions and supports for Focus and Priority schools, as informed by best practices in the field and ongoing work with community stakeholders

* Clarifying language dealing with the expectations for charter schools

* Adding information on the State’s Native Hawaiian Immersion program.

If Hawaii’s application for ESEA Flexibility is approved, it will:

* Support ongoing efforts to raise expectations for students and better support educators

* More accurately and fairly identify schools’ strengths and areas for improvement

* Target interventions and support strategies to reward high-performing schools and address areas for school improvement

* Support effective instruction and leadership

* Be implemented for school year 2013-14

The USDE has offered each state educational agency this voluntary opportunity to request flexibility regarding specific requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.

— Find out more:

ESEA Flexibility Application

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