(1) Education Week. January 22, 1997. p. 9. at:

Other comments about NAEP:

"NAEP is now the only assessment that provides student scores that are comparable among the participating states and can be used to monitor trends in student achievement over time." NAEP: The Nation's Report Card. Education Week's Quality Counts. p. 27. Available at:

Forward to the 1996 Science Report Card, "NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas ... The Governing Board is responsible for ... developing standards and procedures for interstate ... comparisons."

Education Week also says, "The only comparable measure of student performance are the NAEP scores, and they are discouraging." Available at:

NAEP is also regarded by the professionals of DOE as the best way to compare states' results.

Dr. Mitsugi Nakashima (1997) Vice Chair, Hawaii State Board of Education is a member of the Governing Board of NAEP at:

For details of NAEP at:

(2) Education Week's Quality Counts ranks the states by the reading scores. Add the reading score to the math score for the combined score. NAEP scores by state are at:

All recent NAEP reports may be ordered or downloaded from:

State by state comparisons are only made for math, science and reading. You will need Acrobat 3.0 to read these reports. However, if you do not already have Acrobat you should go through the effort to download it. It is worthwhile for these and many other reports.

(Note: there is a tendency to gloss over the poor NAEP and SAT scores by American students. A good rebuttal is Stedman, Lawrence C. The Achievement Crisis is Real: A Review of The Manufactured Crisis. Stedman. Education Policy Analysis Archives, Volume 4, Number 1. January 23, 1996. At: )

The 1996 Science Report Card:

Table 2.2. Science Scale Score Results by Jurisdiction for Grade 8 Public Schools. p. 25.

Table B.2 Average Science Scale Scores by Race/Ethnicity. p. 103.

The 1996 Mathematics Report Card:

Table 2.2 Average Mathematics Scale Scores Grade 4 Public Schools. p. 28.

Table 2.3 Average Mathematics Scale Scores Grade 8 Public Schools. p. 30.

Table 3.2 Percentage Attaining Mathematics Achievement Levels Grade 4 Public Schools. p. 49.

Table B.3 Average Mathematics Scale Scores by Race/Ethnicity Grade 4, Public Schools Only. p. 113.

The 1994 Reading Report Card:

Table 2.3 Average Grade 4 Reading Proficiency Public Schools Only. p. 25.

Table 2.1 Average Reading Proficiency Grade 4 Public Schools, Nonpublic Schools, and Combined. p. 34.

Figure 2.4 Comparison of Average Reading Proficiency for Public and Nonpublic Schools Grade 4. p. 35.

Table 3.2 Grade 4 Reading Achievement Levels Public Schools Only 1992 and 1994. p. 47.

Table C.2B 1994 Average Grade 4 Reading Proficiency by Race/Ethnicity Public Schools Only. pp. 129-30.

Figure 4.6 Average Overall Reading Proficiency for Five Performance Bands (Quintiles). (back)

(3) The 1996 Science Report Card: Table B.2 Average Science Scale Scores by Race/Ethnicity. p. 103. (back)

(4) The 1996 Science Report Card: Table 2.2. Science Scale Score Results by Jurisdiction for Grade 8 Public Schools. p. 25. (back)

(5) "By 1898 when Hawai'i was annexed to the United States, Hawai'i's system was by the United States Congressional Subcommittee on Education as equal to mainland systems of education." Bean, Thomas W. and Jan Zulich. Education in Hawai'i: Balancing Equity and Progress. in Politics: Public Policy in Hawaii. 1992. (back)

(6) 1960-61 Hawaii Dept. of Education Annual Report. Available at Legislative Reference Bureau in Capitol basement. REF # LB2809 H38 H3

Hawaii also fell behind the U.S. average comparing 1974/5 with 1993/4 for combined math and verbal SAT scores. See Table 129, 1995 Digest of Education Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education. Available at: (back)

(7) Education Week's Quality Counts report at:

"We commend Education Week for undertaking this comprehensive look at our schools." Albert Shanker, President, American Federation of Teachers speaking about Quality Counts on January 16, 1997.

(8) Education Week's accompanying article on Teaching Quality is at:

Education Week's rating of the states for Teaching Quality is at:

25% of grade is given for % of secondary teachers who hold a degree in field in which they teach. Hawaii is slightly above average for this. Scores are at:

30% of grade is given for how well states follow the recommendations of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. Scores are at:

The National Commission of Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) is at:

45% of grade is given for other indicators. Scores are at: (back)

(9) Historical data available at:HEDSTATS.gif (back)

(10) There are some discrepancies in the Education Week report concerning per student spending. Education Week uses the NCES Current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education, by state: 1959-60 to 1995-96. at: (Note that you can download this in .WK1 format.)

However, there is a major difference between these NCES data and those of the NEA. The NCES data shows a 19% drop in current expenditures from 1994 to 1995. Total current spending of $998,143,000 in 1994 and $ 807,600,000 in 1995. Clearly an error. NEA data are at:

In any case, there is no correlation between spending and student performance. For verification of this review a graph comparing the per capita student spending vs. NAEP student scores for each of the 50 states at: NAEPV$.gif

Nor is there any relationship between money spent and Education Week's Quality of Teaching Rating. See the relationship on my graph at: SPENVTEA.gif

There is more of a relationship between Quality of Teaching and NAEP scores. For this relationship see my graph at: NAEPVTQ.gif (back)

(11) As an example of this see the difference in staffing in various countries. Others have far fewer staff members in relationship to their classroom teachers. Belgium has about one staff member to four teachers and Japan about one staff member to three teachers whereas the U.S. averages 1.5 staff members to each teacher.

Public expenditures by student for various countries are at:

To see how other countries use their education funds more effectively visit the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) website at: (back)

(12) Both of these reports are cited by Education Week at: (back)

(13) The NCTAF recommendations in full are at:

NCTAF deals with the reallocation of state funds on a nationwide aggregate basis. Nationally, we have 42 million K-12 students and NCTAF recommends re-allocation of $40 billion, or approximately $1,000 per student, of state and local funds from non-teaching to teaching functions. The other allocations are made on the same basis. (back)

(14) The following quotes from President Clinton, the heads of the two teachers' unions are indicative of major forthcoming changes on the mainland.

Excerpts from tje President's 1997 State of the Union address:

"... no child should move from grade school to junior high, or junior high to high school until he or she is ready."

"We should reward and recognize out best teachers. And as we reward them, we should quickly and fairly remove those few who don't measure up."

"... every state should give parents the right to choose the right public school for their children. Their right to choose will foster the competition and innovation that can make public schools better."

"We should make it possible for more parents and teachers to start charter schools ..."

"And we must ... remove disruptive students from the classroom ..."

At the recent Education Summit he said, "... there should be a process for removing incompetent teachers that is fairer and faster." The speech is at:

Bob Chase, President of the National Education Association, the largest teachers' union, spoke on February 5, 1997, to the National Press Club. He made the following remarks:

"America's public schools do not exist for teachers and other employees. They do not exist to provide us with jobs and salaries. Schools do exist for the children -- beginning with a quality teacher in every classroom ... Simply put, in the decade ahead, we must revitalize our public schools from within, or they will be dismantled from without."

"... we aim not so much as to redirect NEA, as to reinvent it."

"In the 1960's, we took a rather quiet, genteel professional association of educators, and we reinvented it as an assertive -- and, when necessary, militant -- labor union ... we modeled it after traditional, industrial unions."

"... there are indeed some bad teachers in America's schools. And it is our job as a union to improve those teachers or -- that failing -- to get them out of the classroom."

"We know what our schools need: higher academic standards; stricter discipline; and end to social promotions; less bureaucracy; more resources where they count, in the classroom ..."

"... we accept our responsibility to assist in removing teachers -- that small minority of teachers -- who are unqualified, incompetent, or burned out."

Albert Shanker, President, American Federation of Teachers spoke on Quality Counts on January 16, 1997. He said, "High academic standards, classroom discipline, and teacher quality are key principles ..." (his emphasis).

The British Labour Party's Excellence for Everyone platform included the following statement, "It currently takes up to nine months or more to remove a poor teacher. Labour (Party) will streamline this procedure."

(15) Teacher salaries and the Honolulu CPI-U as reported by the Hawaii Dept. of Planning, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). At: HEDSTATS.gif

It is not sound to argue that Hawaii's teacher salaries should be deflated to take into account the differences in cost of living in Hawaii. Other Hawaii public employees are paid on a basis comparable to mainland public employees. See Government in Hawaii 1995: A Handbook of Financial Statistics. Tax Foundation of Hawaii. 1996. Table 41. p. 50. This also holds true I believe for most private employees; it is the "price of paradise." A better argument is that the overall U.S. market for teachers requires us to pay more if we are to get the teacher quality we want.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports higher actual salaries than DBEDT. For example, NCES shows Hawaii teachers earning 13% more in 1995 than 1990 whereas DBEDT shows only 11%. In addition, to allow for inflation NCES uses national CPI data.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Table 80 is available at: (back)

(16) Charter schools review by U.S. Dept. of Education at: (back)

Op/ed page article - Honolulu Advertiser - 6/15/97
Teacher quality must be improved

By Cliff Slater

Hawaii's public school students perform poorly compared to those of other states. The authoritative Education Week considers the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), "the single best source of national data on student performance." (1)

Combining Hawaii's NAEP scores for reading and math puts us ahead of just three states -- Mississipi, New Mexico and Louisiana. (2)

Hawaii's appallingly low scores go across racial lines. Caucasians, Asians and Pacific Islanders in Hawaii all do far worse than their mainland counterparts. For example, comparing only Caucasian students' science scores, Hawaii rates as the worst state of all. (3)

It goes across ability lines too; the science scores of the top 10% of Hawaii students are third from last when compared with the top 10% of other states. (4)

The tragedy is that a hundred years ago the U.S. Congress considered Hawaii's education system the equal of mainland systems. (5) As recently as the early 1960's, we were still ahead of the national averages in math and reading. (6)

A recent major study by Education Week and the Pew Charitable Trusts focused on quality of teaching. (7) They scored all 50 states on 20 different factors -- such as adequacy of teaching qualifications and training -- and Hawaii rated the worst. (8)

It is not the money. Hawaii spends today, even allowing for inflation, 75% more per student than we did in 1970 (9) and we are in the top one-third of spending per student of the 50 states. (10)

Proper management is what is needed. Hawaii is not spending resources on classroom teachers as we should; we are wasting them on additional staff and bureaucracy. (11)

A Harvard study showed that "each additional dollar spent on more highly qualified teachers nets greater gains in student performance than any other use of school resources." A New York City Board of Education study comparing elementary schools with similar student characteristics found that differences in teacher qualifications accounted for more than 90% of the variation in student achievement in reading and mathematics. (12)

Hawaii must follow the recommendations of the blue ribbon National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. First, reallocate a $1,000 per child from non-teaching functions to classroom teaching. For Hawaii that amounts to about $190 million of our education budget. Second, reallocate $250 per child, or nearly $50 million of our budget, to restructured compensation systems that reward teacher knowledge and skill. Third, spend $125 per child, or $25 million, on improved recruitment, teacher education, and professional development. (13)

Then we must persuade Hawaii's unions to allow us to release ineffective teachers and principals. We must also persuade the unions to allow us to offer merit pay to the most effective teachers and to offer incentive pay to attract teachers to blighted areas. (14)

Most of our teachers are generally underpaid anyway. Allowing for inflation, we pay them 20% less than we did 20 years ago. (15) Unsurprisingly, many of the better ones have chosen to teach elsewhere.

We should aim to organize public education as successfully as the 70 private schools who are members of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. Their common problems and opportunities are handled by a staff of just four people. Charter schools established by the DOE could operate the same way. (16)

Unless we quickly make radical changes to Hawaii's public education it will continue to drift. Every child in Hawaii deserves an opportunity for a first-class education and there is no objective reason why it cannot happen.

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