What Every Parent Should Know About the Hawaii State Assessment

The purposes of the Hawaii State Assessment are to (1) meet or exceed the requirements of NCLB (2001), Chapter 302A of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, and Hawaii Board of Education Policy 2520-Statewide Assessment Program, (2) promote and measure the attainment of the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards (HCPS) in reading, mathematics, and science, (3) provide information to stakeholders about the achievement of students, schools, complex areas and the state relative to the HCPS, and (4) support instructional program improvement efforts.

The Hawaii State Assessments (HSA) in Reading and Mathematics are criterion-referenced assessments that are administered to students in grades 3 - 8 and 10. Criterion-referenced proficiency level scores are reported at the end of each school year and these scores are used to determine a school's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Students in grades 4, 8, and 10 also take the HSA in Science.

The Hawaii State Assessments in Reading, Mathematics, and Science are administered online using the American Institutes for Research (AIR) test delivery system.

You can find more information on the HSA at:

http://sas.sao.k12.hi.us/STATE/SAO/SASWebsite.nsf/By+Category/74AD3443EFFA4FDF0A2576340006576F?OpenDocument

HSA Q&A

Q: Why is my child being tested?

  • In 1999 the Hawaii State Department of Education established learning expectations, known as the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards, for Hawaii’s students. These high academic standards give students clear achievement goals and help guide instruction in the schools.
  • These standards identify important ideas, concepts, and skills students must learn and describe what students must do to show their mastery of the standards. The Hawaii State Assessment measures how well students are doing on the reading and mathematics standards.
  • State and federal laws require annual testing of students in reading and mathematics. In compliance with these laws, the Hawaii State Assessment provides clear information on how well your child is meeting these standards.

Q: When will I receive my child’s test scores?

  • Your child will be tested in the spring. You will receive your child’s individual scores for reading and mathematics from the school during the fall

Q: What types of scores will my child receive?

  • Your child will receive stanine and percentile rank scores for the Stanford Achievement Test’s Reading and Mathematics sections. These scores will provide a national comparison with thousands of other students in the same grade who took the test at the same time and under the same testing conditions as your child.
  • Your child will also receive proficiency level scores for reading and mathematics that indicate how well he or she is meeting Hawaii’s standards.

Q: What types of questions are on the Hawaii State Assessment?

  • For the two Stanford Achievement Test sections (Reading and Mathematics), your child is asked to answer multiple-choice questions.
  • For the Hawaii standards sections, your child is asked to answer two types of questions: multiple-choice questions that are similar to the ones in the Stanford Achievement Test sections and questions that require a written response. In the reading section, some questions may require that your child write a sentence or two, and some questions may require that your child write a paragraph. In the mathematics section, some questions may require that your child create a graph, diagram, or data table, or show his or her calculations.

Q: How can I prepare my child for the tests?

  • You can best help by providing the consistent day-to-day support that will help your child do well in school every day—adequate sleep, a nourishing breakfast, completed homework, and daily attendance. The Hawaii State Assessment is aimed at determining how well your child is meeting the academic standards, which are comprehensive in nature and will cover more than what your child could learn in a few hours of studying or overnight cramming.

Test Yourself

The standard and related benchmark that are being tested are listed at the end of each question. The answers can be found at the end of this booklet.

Reading

1. Grade 3 Multiple-Choice Reading Question
The two words that make up the word storytelling tell you that this word means that someone —
 
A  is reading a book to herself B  likes books better than songs C  is sharing something that happened with others D  knows a lot about different places
Content Standard and Benchmark
Conventions and Skills—Apply knowledge of the conventions of language and texts to construct meaning.
  • Apply knowledge of suffixes, prefixes, and word parts as meaningful cues to words.
2. Grade 4 Multiple-Choice Reading Question
What phrase best describes Smokey Bear?
A  A famous symbol B  A lonely animal C  A spoiled creature D  A mysterious character
Content Standard and Benchmark
 
Response—Respond to texts from a range of stances: initial understanding, personal, interpretive, critical.
  • State the important ideas and interpret author’s message, theme, or generalization.
3. Grade 5 Written-Response Reading Question
Being careful around the sea is important. Write a short paragraph about somewhere you have been where you had to be careful and how being there was similar to being near the sea.
 
Content Standard and Benchmark
Response—Respond to texts from a range of stances: initial understanding, personal, interpretive, critical.
  • Compare own ideas with ideas in text, and analyze similarities and differences.
4. Grade 6 Written-Response Reading Question
How does this information change your opinion of ancient Greek ruins?
 
Content Standard and Benchmark
 
Comprehension Processes—Use strategies within the reading processes to construct meaning.
  • Revise interpretations in light of new information from reading, prior knowledge, and discussion with others.
5. Grade 7 Multiple-Choice Reading Question
If you did not know what the word barricade means in paragraph 4, which strategy would be best to try?
A  Sound out the word B  Identify the part of speech C  Continue reading, looking for clues D  Look for familiar word parts in the word
Content Standard and Benchmark
Comprehension Processes—Use strategies within the reading processes to construct meaning.
  • Use strategies for constructing meaning that include annotating, interpreting, connecting, and analyzing.
6. Grade 8 Multiple-Choice Reading Question
Which fact supports the idea that “the Hawaiian shirt has lost uniqueness”?
 
A  Hawaiian shirts became a fad in the late 1920s. B  Hollywood stars started wearing Hawaiian shirts. C  Many designs were implemented in the Hawaiian shirts. D  Factories produced Hawaiian shirts in mass quantity.
Content Standard and Benchmark
 
Response—Respond to texts from a range of stances: initial understanding, personal, interpretive, critical.
  • Support a conclusion or response based on facts, ideas, and/or arguments within the text and between texts.
7. Grade 10 Written-Response Reading Question
The author of this pamphlet urges divers to take a stand for cleaner aquatic environments. How do you feel about helping our waters and beaches become cleaner? Would you be willing to help? Explain your answer using information from the pamphlet.
Content Standard and Benchmark
 
Response—Respond to texts from a range of stances: initial understanding, personal, interpretive, critical.
  • Critique texts by questioning assumptions, and challenging or affirming the underlying values represented in text.

Mathematics

8. Grade 5 Multiple-Choice Mathematics Question
Judd created the following pattern as a puzzle for the math club.
42, 35, 28, 21, . . .
Which rule best describes the pattern?
A  Add 7. B  Subtract 7. C  Divide by 3. D  Multiply by 3.
Content Standard and Benchmark
Patterns, Functions, and Algebra—Understand various types of patterns and functional relationships.
  • Create, describe, analyze, and extend numeric and geometric patterns (e.g., growing and shrinking patterns and square numbers).
9. Grade 6 Written-Response Mathematics Question
Lani wants to buy Kona coffee to send to her family on the mainland. The coffee is priced at $7 per pound including tax. If Lani can spend $100, what is the greatest number of pounds of coffee she can buy? Write your answer in your response booklet and show or explain how you found your answer.
Content Standard and Benchmark
Number and Operations—Understand the meaning of operations and how they relate to each other.
  • Describe situations when addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers, rationals, and numbers involving whole number non-negative exponents are appropriate.
10. Grade 10 Multiple-Choice Mathematics Question
A scientist at a research facility on Maui has discovered a bacteria that can double its population every hour. What type of function can best be used to describe this situation?
A  Absolute value B  Quadratic C  Exponential D  Linear
Content Standard and Benchmark
Patterns, Functions, and Algebra—Understand various types of patterns and functional relationships.
  • Describe and use advanced functions (e.g., absolute value, piece-wise defined, step, trigonometric, logarithmic, exponential, polynomial).

Answers

1 C
2 A
3 A student response with a high score:
The sea is very fragile and many coral, seaweed, algae, and small fishes are in danger if you touch, catch or play with them they can die or break. To me it’s like a museum everything is fragile and it can easily break if you touch it so you shouldn’t play with it. That’s why they put things in glass cases, rope off the area or put up do not touch signs.
 
4 A student response with a high score:
This information changed my opinion because before I read the passage I thought that ancient ruins were only being discovered in a few places. Now I know that there are ruins being discovered and excavated all over Greece and the neighboring islands too. I also thought that the people who found the artifacts were the ones who got to keep them, I didn't realize that the Greek government has the control over artifacts found in Greece.
 
5 C
6 D
7 A student response with a high score:
I think the author is right. It’s important to keep our water clean and to keep our aquatic creatures healthy. Yes, I would be willing to help. I will not touch the aquatic organisms, and I will pick up any plastic wrapper and other debris that I can find in the waters. I can get involved in local environmental activities so that we may all live in a cleaner environment.
 
8 A student response with a high score:
$7 = 1 lb Lani only can spend $100.00. ıııııııııııııı = 14 pounds of coffee extra money $2 100 – 7 then – 7 then – 7 etc. Answer is 14 bags of Kona coffee with $2.00 extra
9 A
 
10 C