H.B. NO.



H.D. 1


S.D. 1














     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 functioned to ban 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, ka papahana kaiapuni, 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 ka papahana kaiapuni.  Because English is not formally introduced in ka papahana kaiapuni 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 ka papahana kaiapuni.  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 ka papahana kaiapuni students.  These translated assessments contained numerous flaws, including inconsistent and inaccurate translations, and as a result, failed to accurately measure ka papahana kaiapuni students' academic achievement.

     However, according to 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."

     Act 134, Session Laws of Hawaii 2013, appropriated $1,000,000 to the department of education for the development of "a common core state standards assessment in the Hawaiian language." In 2014, the department of education entered into a three-year memorandum of agreement with the university of Hawaii to develop non-translated Hawaiian language assessments for ka papahana kaiapuni students in grades three and four.

     The purpose of this Act is to require the department of education to report on the status of annual non-translated assessments in the Hawaiian language for language arts, mathematics, and science subjects, in accordance with federal accountability assessment requirements, to be administered to ka papahana kaiapuni students in certain grades and to develop a long-term plan to administer the assessments.

     SECTION 2.  No later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2016 and 2017, the department of education shall prepare and submit a preliminary and a final report, respectively, to the legislature on:

     (1)  The status of the development and administration of the non-translated Hawaiian language assessments pursuant to this Act;

     (2)  The status of federal compliance issues relating to the non-translated Hawaiian language assessments, including the status of any waivers sought from the United States Department of Education; and

     (3)  Any other actions taken to comply with this Act;

provided that the final report include the department's long-term plan to develop and administer non-translated Hawaiian language assessments, for each of the grade levels required for federal accountability purposes, including funding projections and any federal compliance issues.

     SECTION 3.  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 to report on the status and long-term development and administration of annual non-translated 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 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.



Report Title:

Ka Papahana Kaiapuni; Hawaiian Language Assessments; Report; Appropriation



Requires the department of education to report on the status and long-term development and administration of non-translated annual assessments in the Hawaiian language for language arts, mathematics, and science for ka papahana kaiapuni students.  Makes an appropriation to carry out the purposes of this Act.  (SD1)




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