Strive HI’s performance report shows the impacts of a pandemic on student learning



The Hawaii State Department of Education shared its Strive HI 2020-21 performance system results at Thursday’s Board of Education general meeting. The data reflects the declining trends in academic performance seen across the country due to the impacts of the pandemic.

Photo file. PC: State of Hawaii, Office of the Governor.

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

A penalty is generally applied to proficiency scores for all students and subgroups tested if the 95% participation rate is not reached. For the 2020-21 school year, 85% of the state’s students were tested in language arts and math, which is within the threshold for making decisions using test scores.

“Even though this year’s results are not as comprehensive due to lower participation rates, the data is still very informative for our schools, complex areas, administrators and teachers,” Acting Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. .
“We know that 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 year when these performance results were captured. While there are some bright spots, the overall results underscore the importance of bringing students back to the classroom for in-person learning and will help inform our plans for targeted supports and resources, ”said Hayashi.

Key Findings from 2020-2021 Strive HI (The full report is published here)

  • Overall statewide academic skills in English language arts, math, and science have declined:
    • Master of Language Arts decreased by 4 percentage points to 50% in 2021 from 54% in 2019.
    • Mastery of Mathematics decreased by 11 percentage points to 32% in 2021 from 43% in 2019.
    • Scientific competence decreased by 9 percentage points to 35% in 2021 from 44% in 2019.
  • Literacy in third grade (reading near / at grade level or above) increased by 1 percentage point to 76% in 2021 from 75% in 2019.
  • Literacy in eighth grade (reading close to, equal to or above grade level) increased by 6 percentage points to reach 77% in 2021, up from 71% in 2019.
  • Ninth year promotions decreased to 85% in 2021 from 93% in 2020.
  • Completion of the vocational and technical training program rose to 61% in 2021 from 58% in 2020.
  • Graduation rate increased for the third year in a row, to 86% in 2020 from 85% in 2019.
  • University attendance rate decreased by 5 percentage points, falling to 50% in 2021 from 55% in 2020.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the US Department of Education has offered states the option to waive required statewide assessments. As a result, the 2020-2021 skill comparisons and other test-derived results, such as growth, achievement gap, and literacy rates, are compared to the 2018-19 results.


Using both Strive HI and Universal Screening data, schools will make instructional decisions for school intervention and acceleration that may include small group teaching, intervention blocks, tutoring, extracurricular programs (after school, weekends, intersessions or summer), school coaching, personalized activities, specialized services and other supports. Schools also look at the behavioral and socio-emotional needs of students to develop a strategy of support needed for students in these areas.

“We are fully committed to closing the gaps in the academic performance of students,” said Hayashi. “We already have learning loss mitigation plans in place and we are ready to do whatever it takes to get our students back on track and succeed. “

Strive HI was launched in the 2012-13 school year as a locally-designed, state-designed school improvement and accountability system, providing the flexibility of the old federal No Child Left Behind law. It includes several measures of academic performance, including mastery of science, math, and language arts / literacy; success gaps; chronic absenteeism; academic growth; and graduation rates. The system was changed in 2017 to align with the revised HIDOE / BOE strategic plan and the re-authorization of the Federal Education Act under the Every Student Succeeds Act.


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