West Oahu Schools Win $75,000 Each For Turnarounds

The state DOE’s new Strive HI Performance System is paying important dividends for Palisades and Pearl Ridge elementary schools, which were among nine Hawaii schools to win a $75,000 reward last month for trying hard.

In other words, they met “highest performance” standards based on points earned from multiple indicators.

Both Palisades and Pearl Ridge also are Title I schools, which adds to their to-do list the challenge of serving and educating a large number of disadvantaged children from low-income families.

“To get to this point is not easy,” said state schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Yet these principals and teachers have shown what is possible through a unified effort, hard work and dedication.”

The cash rewards must be used to support pathways to success, so the Palisades and Pearl Ridge principals can make their spending choices from professional development, technology, musical instruments, science lab and equipment, and other improvement strategies.

Three schools earned $95,000 each for “highest performance and high progress,” and two others won $20,000 each for “highest progress.”

Strive HI was approved in May by the federal Department of Education to replace outdated aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The redesigned Hawaii standards now evaluate schools on several criteria, not just reading and math scores.

A school’s key measures of success now also include raising students achievement, enrollment, graduation rates, science scores, college readiness, attendance and closing the achievement gap between high-needs children and non-needs children.