HSA testing to start soon

Amanda Muramoto, editor

Like last year, the Hawaii State Assessment (HSA) will be administered online three times. It’s mandatory for sophomores to take the first session of the test on November 7-8, testing them on math. The first session will determine whether they have to retake the test again on that respective subject. The second session will be held once again for the entire class of 2014 on November 14-15. The third session will be held in early April 2012, and will only be for sophomores.

With testing comes target goals. For the HSA, standards, otherwise known as adequate yearly progress (AYP), allow schools to know where students stand and what subjects they need improvement in. These target goals have been increasing. In the 2006 school year, the goal was 44% in reading and 28% in math. At that time, MHS had 44% and 34% proficient in reading and math, respectively. The goal for 2014 is 100% proficient.

“It’s [an] impossible [goal] for students, although everyone should try,” said Passina Abe (10).

Needs assessment coordinator Lisa Panquites recommended ways for sophomores to prepare for the upcoming test.

Panquites said that by “attending class, learning what they can, and keeping up-to-date with school work,” they should be able to do well.

U.S. education secretary Arne Duncan issued a waiver for schools. Instead of focusing so much on test scores, schools can do other things like aid teachers and principals, and work on restructuring their own school systems. States have to apply for the waiver and must meet requirements like explain their plan to increase student achievement and agree to higher standards for student preparation for careers and college.

Hawaii has applied for the waiver and is waiting for approval to put the waiver to use for this school year.