HONOLULU – A student survey being administered in Hawaii’s public schools through Oct. 18 will provide educators with critical classroom feedback aimed at improving teaching and learning.
Students from kindergarten through grade 12 are taking the Tripod Student Perceptions Survey, which measures effective student-teacher relationships and elements of teaching quality.
“Students interact with their teachers every school day. Their insights and reflections on classroom experiences will provide valuable information for educators and schools,” said Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The data we receive will allow us to focus on building on the strengths and working on the challenges in our classrooms. This is aligned to the goals set in our Strategic Plan to transform public education.”
The research-based, voluntary survey is part of a new Educator Effectiveness System (EES). Beginning this school year, survey results will be included as one of multiple measures of the EES, which was developed based upon recommendations from teachers.
The survey allows students to assess their engagement and generates information about how they experience teaching practices and classroom learning conditions. Survey data can be used, for example, to tailor professional development for specific needs or track school progress on initiatives. Results will also capture information about school climate and youth culture.
Students in grades 3-12 will use a 5-point scale to rate statements such as “My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day,” or “In this class, we learn to correct our mistakes.” Kindergartners, first and second graders will have similar age-appropriate statements proctored by a different teacher and use a 3-point scale in their answers. Students’ names will be kept confidential from teachers and administrators.
“We are excited and proud of the hard work by schools, educators and staff in establishing a system to collect quality student feedback statewide,” said DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “We all value student voices as an important component of our comprehensive support system for educators.”
The survey, which will be administered twice during the school year (once in the fall and in the spring), was developed in a partnership between Cambridge Education and Dr. Ronald Ferguson, the director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. Students in hundreds of schools in more than 25 states have used the survey.
Tripod Student Survey Assessments are featured in the Gates Foundation MET study of teaching quality. Using a sample of more than 44,500 students, the results of the MET study reinforce a growing consensus that integrating student survey assessments with high-quality observations and student achievement gains creates a much more valid and reliable teacher evaluation system compared to current standard practices.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.
Maui continues to lead the state in growth of both visitor arrivals and spending. However, the growth “spurt” for the state is tapering off. Hawai’i Tourism Authotity CEO Mike McCartney issued the following overview:
“As we come out of the peak summer travel season, visitor arrivals and spending for the year continue to surpass 2012. While the growth in August was not as robust as in previous months, it is important to note that due to continued efforts to increase distribution statewide, we have been successful in increasing total expenditures on the neighbor islands. Year-to-date tourism has contributed $1.04 billion in state tax revenue, $50 million more than same period last year.
“Year-to-date, Maui continues to experience steady growth in arrivals at 3.9 percent. Visitors from Japan (+19% to 54,117) increased by double-digits for the first eight months of the year with U.S. West (+3.2% to 768,669), U.S. East (+2.1% to 453,795) and Canada (+2.1% to 175,743) arrivals remaining stable. For the first eight months of the year, Maui’s per person per day spending increased (+5.2% to $192.80) contributing to an overall increase in expenditures (+9.1% to $2.5 billion).
“We anticipate seeing a slowing in arrivals and expenditures as we enter the fall shoulder season. We will continue to monitor the fluctuating fuel costs, strengthening of the dollar against international currencies and other economic conditions, which have been impacting visitor length of stay.
“It is important that we recognize that the volatility of the market and competition could hinder the growth of our state’s lead economic driver and resource, which currently supports 170,000 jobs statewide, one Hawai‘i job for every 47 visitors.
“Our visitor industry connects the Hawaiian Islands to 50 gateway cities from around the world, and we will continue to work with our airline partners to expand direct service and frequency to the Hawaiian Islands. Diversifying and increasing access from growing and emerging markets like Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Auckland and secondary U.S. cities help us to maintain and grow market share for Hawai‘i.
“We want to extend a sincere mahalo to the community for their support and for playing a crucial role in our tourism industry’s success. Our people, place and culture is our competitive advantage and make the Hawaiian Islands a one-of-a-kind destination. Tourism benefits us all, and it is important that we work together to ensure its sustainability and success.”
Read the entire visitor statistics report here.
WAILUKU – Maui County Councilmember Elle Cochran joined the nation’s leadership ranks once more with her nomination to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties confirmed by NACo President Linda Langston in a letter dated Sept. 5, Councilmember Cochran’s office announced today.
Councilmember Cochran served on the Environment, Energy and Land Use NACo Steering Committee for the 2011-2012 term.
NACo’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee members play a critical role in advancing legislative and policy priorities important to the nation’s counties, such as renewable energy, food safety and conservation. The committee members also help establish goals and priorities for the organization.
“I am honored to join fellow county elected officials from across the nation who share my passion for agriculture and land preservation,” said Councilmember Cochran, who will serve for the 2013-2014 term. “I am particularly looking forward to learning what other jurisdictions are doing on issues important to Maui County, such as food safety and support for our farmers.”
Councilmember Cochran chairs the Council’s Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee. She holds the residency seat for West Maui, where she is a lifelong resident.
“I have deep respect for our farmers and feel that I can give them a voice,” she said.
Councilmember Cochran plans to continue her active participation in NACo’s committee work, which includes conference calls, legislative strategy development and advocacy. She is requested to attend NACo’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. next winter and Annual Conference in New Orleans next summer.
By Jeff King
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced the Department of Health & Human Services’ (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families will award $157,142 for the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) in Honolulu on O’ahu where instances of domestic violence are the highest in the state. Schatz wrote a letter in support of this grant to DHHS in August highlighting the valuable protections and services that DVAC provides.
The DVAC currently serves the Island of O’ahu, including 315,000 people on the Leeward Coast, and assists large communities of traditionally underserved populations, in particular women of Native Hawaiian and Filipino descent. The funding will go towards establishing the Ho’oikaika ‘Ohana Program (the Strengthen the Family Program), which will establish a group of community leaders, survivors, cultural experts and navigators, and specialists in the field of treating traumatic events in order to better assess and define the needs of the historically underserved Native Hawaiian community.
“This grant will allow the Domestic Violence Action Center on Oahu to design culturally specific program services for Native Hawaiian survivors and their families, which is a critical step towards interrupting the cycle of violence,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “The effects of domestic violence do not end with the victim. Violence hurts our families, children, and communities. The DVAC continues to do excellent work, and I know that these funds will have a positive impact on one of our traditionally underserved communities.”
As one of his first acts in the U.S. Senate, Schatz cosponsored legislation reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act, which President Obama signed into law earlier this year. The bill made significant improvements to the law by strengthening sexual assault prevention and broadening the communities it protects.
“Senator Schatz actively worked with his colleagues for the successful reauthorization of VAWA, and these funds are an extension of his efforts,” said Nanci Kreidman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center. “Upon his swearing in, Senator Schatz immediately began collaborating with the community, policy makers and Hawai‘i government entities. By working to bring these resources to Hawai‘i, he is helping to ensure that the Native Hawaiian community will receive the expertise and focus needed to address domestic violence.”
By Jeff King
The search resumed this morning at first light for a hiker, reported missing late last night at Haleakala National Park. Maui Fire Department rescue crews were dispatched at 11:22 p.m. Wednesday to the crater.
A 67 year-old man – reported to be a frequent visitor and familiar with the crater trails – did not return from his hike. His wife last saw him yesterday morning. Fire fighters located his car at the 8000 foot level with his cell phone on the front seat of his car. There have been no further developments reported yet today.
HILO, Hawaii — The Coast Guard is assisting Hawaii County Police and Fire in the search for a missing 48-year-old man, Wednesday.
Missing is Richard Gomez of Hilo.
Gomez departed Hilo in a small boat at 10 a.m., Friday and has not been seen since. He was reportedly headed for South Point.
An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point is searching the waters off the east side of Hawaii and crewmembers from the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake are en route to join the search.
Gomez is described as 6 feet tall, 175 pounds and bald with green or hazel eyes.
The Coast Guard is asking people on shore and on the water to keep an eye out and report all sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.
Anyone with information on Gomez’ whereabouts is asked to call the Hawaii County Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.
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