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How did Hawaiʻi’s students perform on 2022 Nationʻs Report Card?

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The Hawaiʻi results of the 2022 Nation’s Report Card: Chart Source: Hawaiʻi State Department of Education

Hawai‘i’s fourth-graders performed above national averages in reading and math — and the state’s eighth-graders performed at the national level for the first time in reading, but slightly below the national average in math, according to the 2022 “Nation’s Report Card” released today.

The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed Hawaiʻi’s steady performance during a period when the pandemic’s adverse impact on student learning led to national across-the-board declines.

The Nation’s Report Card, an assessment program by the National Center for Education Statistics, provides comparable results across states on select subjects.

It is typically administered every two years to a representative sample of fourth- and eighth-graders nationwide. Approximately 8,000 Hawai‘i public school students enrolled at 140 schools took the tests in the spring of 2022, the first time the assessments were administered since 2019.

“The fact that our students held steady on three out of the four NAEP assessments, compared to national drops across the board, speaks to the resilience of our students and the dedication of our educators,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “Still, from the NAEP and our own data, we know that our math performance — especially in our middle school grades — continues to lag below our state targets and national levels.


“As we continue to analyze these and other performance indicators, we are doubling down on our efforts to determine where more support and interventions are needed to improve learning and achievement for all students.”

Fourth-grade reading:

Hawai‘i’s average scale score increased by 1 point from 2019 levels. While Hawai‘i’s year-over-year increase is not statistically significant, it is 3 points higher than the national average for fourth-grade reading, and Hawai‘i’s performance above the nation is statistically significant.

The Nation’s Report Card results are reported in four achievement levels: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. The percentage of Hawai‘i fourth-graders performing at the proficient and advanced levels in reading increased by 2 points from 2019, and is 3 points higher than the national average.

Over the past decade, while the national average essentially remained unchanged and then declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawai‘i’s average scale score has shown a significant and steady increase.


Fourth-grade math:

In fourth-grade math, Hawai‘i’s average scale score decreased by 2 points. It is 2 points higher than the national average for fourth-grade math.

Eighth-grade reading:

In eighth-grade reading, Hawai‘i’s average scale score increased by 1 point from 2019 — matching the national average.

The percentage of Hawai‘i eighth-graders performing at the proficient and advanced levels in reading increased by 2 points from 2019, and is 2 points higher than the national average.


Eighth-grade math:

Eighth-grade math continued to be a challenging area. Hawai‘i’s average scale score decreased by 5 points from 2019.

By comparison, of the 53 jurisdictions that participated in NAEP (50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Department of Defense Education Activity schools), none showed an increase in average scale scores for eighth-grade math from 2019.

The national results are among the multiple measures that the Hawai‘i State Department of Education uses to gauge the progress of students and public schools. The Nation’s Report Card results validate the state department of education’s recently released annual Strive HI performance results that showed overall gains in academic performance across core subject areas on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which measures whether students are on track for college and career success throughout grade levels.

Hawai‘i’s proficiency levels on Smarter Balanced English language arts was the highest among 10 states reporting 2021-22 scores, and was near the highest-performing states in mathematics.

“As measured by our state assessments, students’ language arts and mathematics proficiency dropped during the pandemic, then improved last year with the return to in-person learning, despite a record number of students being absent,” Deputy Superintendent Tammi Oyadomari-Chun said. “The NAEP and Smarter Balanced Assessment results indicate that our students, for the most part, are performing at the same level as or above their national peers, and that the nationwide pandemic impacts have been more severe in many other states.”

Dewey Gottlieb, state coordinator of National Assessment of Education Progress, said: “While it’s helpful to be able to compare pre- and post-pandemic scores, one of the really powerful ways of using NAEP data is to take a step back and look at long-term trends.

“Over the last 15 years our fourth-grade reading scores have shown a continuous upward trajectory, which is true for about only eight other states.”

Gottlieb attributed that growth in part to the HIDOE’s coordinated efforts to boost literacy.

For more information, visit the NAEP website at https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.

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