State DOE:
Superintendent's Annual Report
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School Year 2008-2009

Published February 2010

20th Annual Report - Selected Highlights


Enrollment of 177,871 students for school year 2008-09 reflects the slight but steady decline over the past four years.

Special Needs Students

Students with special needs have constituted a majority of those enrolled in Hawaii public schools. They do so once again in 2009 with 52% having special needs. The challenge and cost of educating these students have become state and national issues.

Teacher Characteristics

The percentages of teachers with advanced degrees (31%) and fully licensed teachers (90%) have increased gradually over the past four years.

Graduation and Dropouts

Hawaii is one of the few states able to calculate its graduation rate by tracking the cohort of first time 9th graders to their 4th (senior) year. This method, considered more accurate than others that are based on approximations, revealed that our four-year graduation rate is 79.9%, about the same rate as in the past three years. However, the dropout rate based on a National Center for Education Statistics definition is calculated to be between 15% to 16%. This translates to a high side estimate because students classified as "unknown leavers" are required to be included in this calculation. The remaining percentage is either continuing with their high school education or has completed school with a special education certificate.

High School Diplomas

For the past four years, nearly a third of the senior class has earned the more challenging Board of Education Recognition Diploma, which requires additional credits and a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

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