Hawaii's efforts to improve math outcomes to be presented at national meeting in Washington, D.C.

University of Hawaiʻi
Carl Takamura, (808) 956-5551
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
Posted: Dec 8, 2008

HONOLULU — Hawaii‘s efforts to improve students‘ success in mathematics in the Department of Education (DOE) and the University of Hawaii (UH) are being featured on December 8 at a national meeting on math education, "College Readiness for All". John Morton, UH vice president for community colleges, and Wesley Yuu, Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education senior associate, will be speakers at the national meeting on math education to be held on December 8 and 9 in Washington, D.C. This invitational meeting is being sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE), Achieve, and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas, Austin, and higher education and K-12 leaders from fourteen states that are participating in a common high school Algebra II end of course exam have been invited to attend. The goal of this meeting is to explore how this exam can serve as a catalyst to drive improved student achievement and college readiness.

"Hawaii is to be applauded for its commitment to improving student achievement in mathematics and ensuring that its high school graduates are ready for the demands of postsecondary education," said Sandy Boyd, vice president for advocacy and outreach at Achieve. "High school graduates that succeeded in advanced math courses, such as Algebra II, will have the problem solving and critical thinking skills they need to be successful in an increasingly complex and competitive world."

The development of the Algebra II end of course exam was instigated by state leaders who wanted to increase the number of high school graduates prepared for college-level math courses and for the workplace. Other goals of the multi-state exam include improvement of high school Algebra II curriculum and instruction and the development of a common measure of student performance across states.

In their presentation, Morton and Yuu will discuss how the University of Hawaii and the State Department of Education have been working together to increase the rigor and improve the alignment of their respective math courses. In May, the DOE administered the Algebra II end of course exam in high schools statewide as a baseline pilot. University campuses also volunteered to administer the exam to student volunteers. A Mathematics Summit was convened in October and math faculty from both the university and DOE shared information and brainstormed about possible ways to address K-16 math issues. In future meetings, the group will examine how the Algebra II end of course exam can be leveraged to upgrade high school Algebra I and II standards, improve the math course sequence between the DOE and the university, and identify implications for teacher training at the university.


Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the Good Beginnings Alliance, the Hawaii State Department of Education, and the University of Hawaii System with the goal of improving educational outcomes for Hawaii. Hawaii P-20 works to strengthen the pipeline so all students, from early childhood through higher education, achieve college and career success. For more information visit www.p20hawaii.org .