Grades 4, 6, 7 show low proficiency in math test
Only about a quarter of Hawaii's fourth-, sixth- and seventh-grade public school students met or exceeded proficiency in math on the 2005 Hawaii State Assessment test, state education officials said yesterday.
The students fared nearly twice as well on the reading portion of the test that measures student progress in mastering the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards, the Department of Education said.
The students in grades 4, 6 and 7 were given the assessment test for the first time this year to prepare for 2006, when the federal No Child Left Behind Act will require test results from grades 3 through 8 and 10th grade.
For fourth-graders, 28.8 percent met or exceeded proficiency in math, while for sixth-graders it was 24.9 percent and 22.5 percent for seventh-graders.
In reading, 55.2 percent of fourth-graders met or exceeded proficiency, compared with 49.9 percent of sixth-graders and 44.2 percent of students in seventh grade.
"What (the scores) are saying is that we are making progress," state schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto said last night. "Overall, our students will make the goals we set for them."
Results of test scores for grades 3, 5, 8 and 10, which were required to calculate the status of schools under the act, were released in August.
The Department of Education released the additional assessment test scores a day after national test results showed the state's public school fourth- and eighth-graders rank among the worst in the nation in math and reading.
Hawaii ranked among the bottom eight states in all test results, and the state's eighth-grade reading scores were the lowest in the nation, according to the 2005 scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal test considered the best measure of how students in every state perform on core subjects.
Hamamoto defended those results, saying fourth-grade students continue to show gains in reading.
"For grade-8 scores, both NAEP and the Hawaii State Assessment indicate that we need to focus more on aligning middle school curriculum, instruction and assessment," she said.
Star-Bulletin reporter Mary Vorsino contributed to this report.