HAWAII STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


NEWS RELEASE



NEIL ABERCROMBIE
KATHRYN S. MATAYOSHI
GOVERNOR
SUPERINTENDENT

April 15, 2013


Public High Schools Initiate New Approach to Help Students Prepare for Future Education Opportunities

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) this month is initiating an unprecedented move designed to better prepare students for post-high school success. Approximately 50,000 students in grades 8 through 11 will take the ACT College and Career Readiness assessment. The nationwide testing date for the ACT assessment test for high school juniors will take place on Tuesday, April 23. All other grades will be taking their tests over a two-week window that also begin on the same date.

With the ACT College and Career Readiness System, the DOE for the first time will be able to comprehensively collect and examine college and career readiness data in reading, mathematics, science and English.

“College and career readiness is a key cornerstone of student success,” says Keith Hayashi, principal, Waipahu High School. Mr. Hayashi recently won the Tokioka Excellence in Leadership Award among island public school principals. He developed several programs at Waipahu aimed at helping students achieve their college and career goals.

Mr. Hayashi added, “One of the Department’s strategies is to provide better data on students’ academic progress. This ACT test will help tremendously in that area.”

"The DOE's decision to administer the ACT College and Career Readiness System for all students in 8 - 11th grades is evidence of their strong commitment to preparing students for postsecondary success," said Karen Lee, Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. "The data gathered from the assessments will be invaluable as we work together with institutions of higher education to reach the state's goal of 55 percent of working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree in 2025."

About the ACT

The tests for 11th graders will include all four of the areas, plus a writing section. The tests are designed to help students plan for future education opportunities and explore careers based on their skills, interests and ambitions.

Students in 8th and 9th grades will take the ACT EXPLORE; those in 10th grade will take the PLAN exam, and the ACT assessment in grade 11. The ACT College and Career Readiness System is benchmarked to both the expectations of higher education institutions and workforce.


The ACT aligns with Goal 1 of the DOE’s Strategic Plan. The Plan calls for specific measurable targets and goals for student achievement. It builds on key strengths and reform initiatives to ensure all students graduate ready to succeed in college or careers.

School communities, educators and students will benefit from ACT programs and services that reduce the need for remediation, align with state standards, and foster student success in postsecondary education. ACT’s unique student-level assessment data may also be used by counselors to improve the effectiveness of student-intervention plans.

In preparation for the tests, parents and students should be aware that each test is about four hours in duration. Cell phones of any type, and some calculators are not permitted in the testing areas as well. A website (http://www.act.org/aap/hawaii/) also provides more information about the testing. For more information about the ACT test, log on to http://www.act.org/aap/hawaii/.

The DOE Systems Accountability Office is leading the implementation of the ACT College and Career Readiness System. ACT, Inc. was awarded a contract totaling approximately $882,000 for the system’s assessment package, programs, and services for school year 2012-13.

To learn more about the DOE’s Strategic Plan and transformation in public education, please visit: http://hawaiidoe.org/curriculum/strategicplan2011-2018/update/index.htm.


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Donalyn Dela Cruz
Director of Communications
Phone: (808) 586-3232
E-mail: donalyn_dela_cruz@notes.k12.hi.us