Categorized | Education

Hawaii selected to improve early learning outcomes


In recognition of Hawaii’s progress toward improving access to early education, Hawaii was selected by the National Governors Association (NGA) as one of six states to participate in a joint effort to improve learning outcomes from early childhood through third grade.

To effectively prepare students for college and career, educators, practitioners and researchers have recognized the importance of all children having a high quality early learning experience.

As part of this partnership, Hawaii will receive guidance and technical assistance from NGA staff and faculty experts, as well as consultants from the private sector, research organizations and educators to develop and implement a plan to improve policies and practices that will support early learning academic success.

“Education, and in particular early learning, has been a priority of my administration,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Upon establishing the Executive Office of Early Learning last year, one of my stated goals was to ensure that every young child in Hawaii has access to high quality preschool. Our participation in this policy academy will help Hawaii learn alongside other states how to best implement and strengthen effective learning strategies.”

Charged with leading coordinated efforts, the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) formulated the application in partnership with Hawaii P-20.

“This joint effort brings us one step closer to meeting our goal of every child reading at grade level by third grade,” said Karen Lee, executive director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. “Early childhood education sets the foundation for lifelong learning and this partnership will provide the guidance and expertise to help us along the way.”

The goal of this policy academy is to help participating states build awareness and commitment among parents, educators and board of education officials to support a continuum of high-quality opportunities for early learning, as well as develop and begin to carry out a state-specific plan to implement learning objectives.

NGA will work with the selected states to improve policies and practices related to educator effectiveness and the use of appropriate assessment systems.

Funding for the policy academy is provided by the Alliance for Early Success, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Heising-Simons Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The Executive Office on Early Learning was established in 2011 to guide the development of a comprehensive and integrated early learning system for Hawaii. The goal is to ensure that all of Hawaii’s children are healthy, safe and ready for school.

In 2013, the Hawaii State Legislature along with the EOEL created the School Readiness Program that will enable children to have an early learning experience in the year prior to starting kindergarten, thus providing a solid educational foundation.

The EOEL also has implemented “Taking Action for Hawaii’s Children,” a strategic plan that focuses on coordinating programs for children prenatal to age 8.

Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the EOEL, the state Department of Education, and the University of Hawaii System.

This partnership is working to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve career and college success.

Hawaii P-20’s partners share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawaii’s educational outcomes in an increasingly global economy, and have established goals of 55 percent of Hawaii’s working age adults to have a two- or four-year college degree and for 100 percent of working age adults to be prepared for careers and college by the year 2025.

The Hawaii P-3 Initiative (Hawaii P-3), a program within Hawaii P-20, focuses on the critical, early-education component of the education pipeline.

With the goal of every child reading at grade level by third grade, Hawaii P-3 establishes partnerships with early learning providers to promote a cohesive continuum of experiences from birth to age eight.

Through the lessons learned by these partnerships, the P-3 Initiative is able to improve the alignment and integration of programs, strengthening the Hawaii P-20 education pipelines.

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