28 more schools
being restructured

Recent test scores prompt
the DOE to more than double
its overhaul efforts

» List of schools

The number of struggling public schools targeted for state-directed "restructuring" will more than double to 52 this year, the state Department of Education confirmed yesterday.

The 52 campuses include 24 identified last spring and now undergoing overhaul, plus a fresh batch of 28 schools that will be targeted due to their students' performance in the most recent round of standardized state tests.

The numbers came out yesterday as the department briefed the Board of Education on a new approach it will take in reforming the new batch of schools.

The 28 new schools will undergo a three-stage assessment by department officials to identify the "root cause" of under-performance and recommend solutions.

The department hopes that the assessments will reveal the need for "targeted" changes that the department itself can provide.

The approach is aimed at building the state's own ability to reform schools without the help of expensive school-reform firms for guidance.

The plan differs markedly from last spring, when most of the original 24 schools were assessed by private firms that are now implementing comprehensive schoolwide reform plans.

But many of the new schools on the list need help only in specific areas, department officials said.

"Some of them came close (to the test-score targets), so maybe restructuring everything might not be the appropriate response," said Robert Campbell, the department's director of program support and development.

The federal No Child Left Behind law mandates that schools reach state-set targets on the standardized tests. Repeated failure eventually triggers state-directed "restructuring," or the option of converting to a charter school.

State schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto has said the past reliance on private firms to do the restructuring was due to the department's lack of understanding of the restructuring process. Those providers cost already cash-strapped schools about $400,000 per year.

Assistant Superintendent Kathy Kawaguchi told the board that in the end some schools might be entrusted to private reformers if schoolwide overhaul is deemed necessary.

But she said the department will be looking for areas that can be addressed in-house, such as assigning "academic coaches" to help train teachers, or making, for example, an experienced math teacher available to help shore up instruction at a school that might be struggling in math.

Kawaguchi conceded that finding enough in-house personnel might be a challenge. She said the department is formulating plans to try to lure back highly qualified retirees, train them to act as "mentors," and then make a list of such consultants -- and their various specialties -- available to the needy schools.

The federal law requires that the schools have a restructuring plan ready by late November.

The number of schools undergoing restructuring had been expected to grow significantly after the 2005 test results were announced last month. Only about one-third of state schools met state test targets.

However, 10 of the 28 new schools are actually one rung up from official "restructuring" status and the state is not federally required to restructure them. But the department decided to proactively begin the process now "so that when they do actually get to restructuring status, the systems and planning will already be in place," Kawaguchi said.

Efforts to contact principals at some of the 28 schools yesterday were unsuccessful.

Department of Education


More schools
are restructuring

The Department of Education said yesterday that the following 28 schools would be targeted for state-directed reform due to disappointing results on state tests. They join 24 schools that have already begun the restructuring process.

» Benjamin Parker Elementary
» Haleiwa Elementary
» Kaala Elementary
» Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate
» Kalihi Kai Elementary
» Kamaile Elementary
» Kau High and Pahala Elementary
» Kaunakakai Elementary
» Kealakehe Elementary
» Laupahoehoe High & Elementary
» Naalehu Elementary & Intermediate
» Nanakuli Elementary
» Puohala Elementary
» Wahiawa Elementary
» Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate
» Waipahu Elementary
» Keaukaha Elementary
» Kilohana Elementary
» Keonepoko Elementary
» Koloa Elementary
» Waimea Canyon Elementary & Intermediate
» Waianae Elementary
» Kalihi Elementary
» Kula Kaiapuni 'O Anuenue
» Ilima Intermediate
» Waianae High
» Lihikai Elementary
» Waimea Elementary

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