State DOE:
Superintendent's Annual Report
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School Year 2009-2010

Published February 2011

21st Annual Report - Selected Highlights


Enrollment of 178,649 students for school year 2009-10 reflects an increase of nearly 800 students from the school year prior.

Special Needs Students

Students with special needs have constituted a majority of those enrolled in Hawaii public schools. They do so once again in school year 2009-10 with 55% 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 (32%) and fully licensed teachers (93%) 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 79.3%, a slight dip from the 79.9% rate reported in school years 2007-08 and 2008-09. However, the dropout rate based on a National Center for Education Statistics definition is calculated to be about 16% over the past three years. 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

In past years nearly a third of the senior class would earn the Board of Education Recognition (BOE) Diploma which required 24 credits, versus 22 credits for a Regular Diploma, and a minimum 3.0 grade point average. For school year 2009-10, graduates needed to earn 24 credits to earn a Regular Diploma. To earn the more challenging BOE Diploma, a one credit senior project was added along with the minimum 3.0 grade point average. The substantial drop in students earning the BOE Diploma (17.8%) is likely a result of this new, more demanding requirement.

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