H.B. NO.














relating to the hawaiian language immersion program.





SECTION 1. The Hawaiian language, the native language of the Native Hawaiian people, was once a thriving language used by Native Hawaiians and foreigners alike. However, by the late twentieth century, the Hawaiian language was pushed to the brink of extinction due to a number of factors, including an 1896 law that banned the speaking of the Hawaiian language in Hawaii schools. Fortunately, the Hawaiian language was saved by several historic initiatives, including the department of education's Hawaiian language immersion program, which was launched in the 1980s. The Hawaiian language immersion program, the kaiapuni educational program, is offered at twenty public schools and educates more than two thousand students in kindergarten through the twelfth grade.

Federal accountability assessment requirements present a challenge for the kaiapuni educational program. Because English is not formally introduced in kaiapuni educational program classrooms until the fifth grade, third and fourth grade kaiapuni students have been offered assessments in the Hawaiian language in order to comply with federal accountability assessment requirements. Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year and through the 2010-2011 school years, these students were offered the Hawaiian aligned portfolio assessment, which was developed in the Hawaiian language, specifically for the kaiapuni educational program. During school years 2011-2012 through 2013-2014, English-to-Hawaiian translations of the Hawaii state assessment were instead offered to third and fourth grade kaiapuni students. These translated assessments contained numerous flaws, including inconsistent and inaccurate translations, and as a result, failed to accurately measure kaiapuni students' academic achievement.

However, according to Hawaii state board of education policy 2105, "the program's effectiveness requires the development and proper administration of appropriate formative and summative assessment tools. These program evaluation tools should be in alignment with the State's kaiapuni curriculum and measure student growth and proficiency with the goal to prepare students for success in college, career and community."

The purpose of this Act is to require the department of education to develop annual assessments in the Hawaiian language for language arts, mathematics, and science subjects, in accordance with federal accountability assessment requirements, to be administered to students in certain grades of the kaiapuni program.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to subpart A of part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Hawaiian language immersion assessments. (a) The department shall develop and implement annual assessments in the Hawaiian language for language arts, mathematics, and science for ka papahana kaiapuni students. The assessments shall be:

(1) Aligned with the vision, mission, and programmatic goals of ka papahana kaiapuni;

(2) Aligned with applicable state academic content and achievement standards;

(3) Valid, reliable, and consistent with relevant, nationally-recognized professional and technical standards;

(4) Compliant with applicable federal accountability assessment requirements; and

(5) Not Hawaiian translations of the general state assessments.

(b) The department, with the assistance of the Hawaiian language community, including the Aha Kauleo Kaiapuni Hawaii, members of ka papahana kaiapuni schools; the Hawaiian language programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo; University of Hawaii at Manoa; office of Hawaiian affairs; and other Hawaiian language community organizations, shall establish procedures for the development of the assessments specified in subsection (a).

SECTION 3. The department of education shall prepare and submit a preliminary and final report to the legislature on the status of the procedures the department is establishing for the development and administration of assessments in the Hawaii language, pursuant to section 302A-  , Hawaii Revised Statutes, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2016 and 2017, respectively.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the development and administration of annual assessments in the Hawaiian language as required by section 2 of this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2015.








Report Title:

Ka Papahana Kaiapuni; Hawaiian Language Assessments



Requires the Department of Education to develop and implement annual assessments in the Hawaiian language that are not translations for Ka Papahana Kaiapuni students.




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