Girls dancing in Hawaii

Proficiency-Based Pathways in Hawaiian Education

Written by contributing blogger Brooke Taira, institutional analyst, and Kauʻi Sang, director, of the Office of Hawaiian Education, Hawaiʻi Department of Education, this Education Week article discusses how the state of Hawaiʻi is addressing culturally responsive assessment in their schools.

According to the article, “Native Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian indigenous students comprise the largest ethnic group in the state’s K-12 schools at 28 percent,” and Hawaiʻi has the largest population of Asian/Pacific Islander elementary and secondary school students in the United States. Generally, the community of learners in Hawaiʻi “face widening opportunity gaps,” but this is especially true for those who have “experienced historical marginalization.”

To respond to this population of students, the Hawaiʻi DOE’s Office of Hawaiian Education is conducting a “proficiency-based pathway to prepare students for college, career, and community in Hawaiʻi and beyond,” which is funded by an Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) grant. This “proficiency-based pathway” is called the HĀ Assessment.

As a term, HĀ stands for “a set of interdependent learning outcomes for use throughout the K-12 public education system in the state,” and consists of 6 elements: Place, Performance, Proficiency, Partnering, Practices, and Process.

The HĀ Assessment model provides a “unique opportunity for assessing shared experiences of HĀ to broaden and deepen these experiences for more learners.”

Nā Hopena A’o or HĀ, is a model of interdependent learning outcomes that are grounded in Hawaiian values, language, culture, and history including Belonging, Responsibility, Excellence, Aloha, Total Wellbeing, and Hawaiʻi. According to the article, with the HĀ framework “Hawaiʻi can prototype a proficiency-based advancement pathway using standards of academic achievement alongside socio-emotional progress and character development.” And importantly, for the first time, “the Hawaiʻi DOE has strategically aligned practice and policy in collaboration with schools and communities.”

To read further about these latest culturally responsive practices in Hawaiʻi, assessment and methodologies, please find the complete article here.

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TWIN-CS advances the Catholic tradition of academic excellence by empowering Catholic schools to systematically transform from a monolingual to multilingual educational model in the service of vibrant culturally diverse populations.

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