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Hawaii Policy Profile

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Teaching Standards and Leadership Standards

Teaching Standards

Is working with and meeting the needs of students with disabilities addressed in state teaching standards?

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (HTSB) adopted the Interstate New Teacher Assessment Consortium (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards as Hawaii’s Teacher Performance Standards in August 2011. State-approved teacher education programs must incorporate these Performance Standards into their programs no later than July 1, 2014. These new standards also replace the prior Teacher Performance Standards for teachers renewing their licenses that expire on or after July 1, 2014. Multiple elements of the Performance Standards address students with disabilities:

Standard 2: Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.


  • The teacher makes appropriate and timely provisions for individual students with particular learning differences or needs.
  • The teacher accesses resources, supports, and specialized assistance and services to meet particular learning differences or needs and participates in the design and implementation of the IEP, where appropriate, through curriculum planning and curricular and instructional modifications, adaptations, and specialized strategies and techniques, including the use of assistive technology.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The teacher utilizes resources related to educational strategies for instruction and methods of teaching to accommodate individual differences and to employ positive behavioral intervention techniques for students with autism and other developmental disabilities.
  • The teacher understands students with exceptional needs, including those associated with disabilities and giftedness, and knows how to use strategies and resources to address these needs.

Standard 6: Assessment. The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in examining their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision-making.


  • The teacher prepares all learners for the demands of particular assessment formats and makes appropriate accommodations in assessments or testing conditions, especially for learners with disabilities.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The teacher understands how to prepare learners for assessments and how to make accommodations in assessments and testing conditions, especially for learners with disabilities.

Critical Dispositions:

  • The teacher is committed to making accommodations in assessments and testing conditions, especially for learners with disabilities.

Standard 7: Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.


  • The teacher plans collaboratively with professionals who have specialized expertise (for example, special educators) to design and jointly deliver, as appropriate, learning experiences to meet unique learning needs.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The teacher knows when and how to access resources and collaborate with others to support student learning (for example, special educators).

Standard 8: Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.


  • The teacher uses appropriate strategies and resources to adapt instruction to the needs of individuals and groups of learners.

Critical Dispositions:

  • The teacher is committed to deepening awareness and understanding the strengths and needs of diverse learners when planning and adjusting instruction.

Standard 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The teacher understands laws related to learners’ rights and teacher responsibilities (for example, appropriate education for learners with disabilities).

Source: Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (HTSB), Teacher Performance Standards

School Leadership Standards

Is knowledge of working with students with disabilities included in leader standards?

The Principal Leadership Practices that account for half of each principal’s evaluation rating includes five leadership and performance areas:

  • Professional growth and learning
  • Schools planning and progress
  • School culture
  • Professional qualities and instructional leadership
  • Stakeholder support and engagement

However, the practices do not specifically address the needs of students with disabilities.

Source: Hawaii Department of Education, Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators

Teacher and Principal Preparation

Teacher Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Required course work in teaching students with disabilities/diverse learners

The HTSB adopted the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards as Hawai’i’s Preparation Program Performance Standards in 2014. While the state does not have specific coursework requirements, CAEP Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge, stresses the learning needs of “all P-12 students” which it defines as “including…students with disabilities or exceptionalities.” Further, in addition to the CAEP Standards, preparation programs must provide evidence that their candidates are prepared to incorporate into their practice, “working effectively with students with disabilities, including training related to participation as a member of individualized education program teams.”


HTSB, Preparation Program Performance Standards

HTSB NBI 13-24

Clinical time in diverse settings/teaching special populations

The HTSB adopted the CAEP Standards as Hawai’i’s Preparation Program Performance Standards in 2014. CAEP Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice, requires program providers “to design clinical experiences of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence, and duration to ensure that candidates demonstrate their developing effectiveness and positive impact on all students’ learning and development.” CAEP Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge, stresses the learning needs of “all P-12 students” which it defines as “including…students with disabilities or exceptionalities.”

The HTSB’s New Business Item (NBI) 09-77, Requirements for Clinical Experience During Preservice Teacher Preparation, approved in 2010, establishes the minimum length of a supervised clinical program experience to be 450 hours. The HTSB’s NBI 13-24, passed in 2014, establishes that clinical experience is not required for all teacher candidates. Alternatively, candidates may: demonstrate teaching proficiency through a combination of documented satisfactory work experience and observation by the program provider; or passing a board-approved performance assessment normed for Hawaii.

The HTSB’s NBI 12-27, Regarding Student Teaching Policy in Hawaii P-12 Teacher Education Programs, approved in 2013, requires all teacher candidates enrolled in Hawai’i teacher education programs to be placed in student teaching settings at the appropriate grade levels and in the subjects or school roles (e.g., school counselor, school librarian) for which they are seeking a license. Candidates who enter a program which leads to a K-12 or P-12 license on or after January 1, 2014 must have separate student teaching experience at every level for which they will be recommended for licensure, including: Early Childhood PK-3; Elementary K-6; and Secondary 6-12.


Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (HTSB), Preparation Program Performance Standards

Email communication from HTSB, September 3, 2014

HTSB, NBI 09-77

HTSB, New Business Item 12-27

HTSB NBI 13-24

Teacher Preparation – Accountability

Quality of teacher preparation programs

Hawaii utilizes CAEP accreditation standards, as encompassed in its Preparation Program Performance Standards, for preparation program approval. The HTSB requires a yearly Annual Report from each Educator Preparation Provider (EPP). These can be found on the HTSB website. Additionally, this information is compiled into an Educator Preparation Program Annual Report that compiles and compares the data from each EPP. Information in this document includes charts comparing the number of candidates and completers in each traditional and alternative route program and a chart showing the license fields of completers. There are also individual EPP reports which include specific details including any changes to the program within the past year, steps taken towards national accreditation, and progress made towards areas of improvement on current state or national approval.

Source: Email communication from HTSB, September 3, 2014.

Principal Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Require course work in leading a school/district that serves students with disabilities/diverse learners

Our state policy analysis did not generate evidence about such required course work.

Principal Preparation – Accountability

Are programs reviewed based on outcomes of graduates’ success? Can school principals be linked back to institutions of higher education and preparation programs?

Our state policy analysis did not identify such a state accountability system for principal/administrator preparation programs.

Teacher and Principal Certification/Licensure

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Structure

Is a specific certificate, license or endorsement related to special education required?

Hawaii offers both K-12 and grade-specific certification for special education teachers. It does not hold its elementary special education teachers to the same preparation and testing requirements as general elementary teachers. Secondary special education teachers are not required to pass content tests.

Source: National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in Hawaii

Teacher Certification – Examination

Does the state require teachers to pass a basic skills exam for initial certification? What are the pass rates on the exams? Does the state require Praxis II or more pedagogical assessment for licensure? Does it include anything about teaching diverse learners or special populations?

Beginning teachers in all content areas must pass all three Praxis I (reading, writing, mathematics) tests in either format. As of August 2011, applicants that complete a state- approved teacher education program no longer are required to take a Principles of Learning and Teaching test. The HTSB discontinued this requirement because preparation programs are required to integrate pedagogy in coursework and extensive clinical experiences.


Hawaii Test Requirements, ETS

HTSB, Licensure Tests

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is professional development around working with special populations required to move from initial to a professional license?

Hawaii offers a three-tiered licensing system: Standard (category A-F, Provisional, and Advanced). Our state policy analysis did not identify any required professional development around working with student special populations to move from initial to professional license.

Candidates applying for the Advanced License must demonstrate completion of a master’s, specialist or doctoral degree in a field that improves the practice of teaching. This degree could potentially be a specialization in working with special populations, but this particular specialization is not a requirement.

Source: HTSB, Licensing & Permits

Principal Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is prior teaching experience required to become a principal and/or a superintendent? Is specific coursework or other evidence required around working with special populations?

Hawaii requires school leaders to have prior teaching experience and complete a state-approved preparation program. Principal candidates must have no less than five years of appropriate school-level experience of which at least three years shall have been as a teacher. There are no specific requirements around working with special student populations.


Hawaii Revised Statutes §302A-605

George W. Bush Institute, Operating in the Dark

ECS, Administrator License Requirements, Portability, Waivers and Alternative Certification

Teacher and Principal Induction

Teacher Induction

Is mentoring required for all new teachers and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically address teaching diverse learners?

In 2011, the Hawaii Department of Education (HDE) released Hawaii Teacher Induction Program Standards. They require all first- and second-year teachers to receive intensive support from full-time mentors, with services available for third-year teachers. All beginning teachers must have a professional growth plan that addresses specific skills and content knowledge. All mentors receive extensive research-based training. The standards include a specific focus on diversity, including supporting beginning teachers “in creating a positive, inclusive and respectful environment for a diverse population of students” and “in designing instruction that addresses the diverse learning needs of students.”

New Teacher Center operates the state’s induction and mentoring program, working with complex areas (school districts) to develop and implement high-quality induction programs advocating for one-on-one mentoring and professional development support for beginning teachers.


New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction

New Teacher Center Policy Map

Hawaii Department of Education, Induction and Mentoring

HDE, Professional Development

Principal Induction

Is coaching/mentoring required for all new principals/administrators/ superintendents and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically serving diverse learners?

State policy does not require induction support for new school administrators. However, the HDE operates two initiatives that prepare and support beginning school administrators.

The Hawaii Certification Institute for School Leaders (HICISL) serves as the Department’s primary certification vehicle for certificated leaders who wish to pursue a career pathway in school administration. The two-year HICISL program promotes the performance of aspiring school leaders in their role through coaching, coursework and residency components. Through a series of monthly seminars, professional development focuses on instructional and change leadership around a school improvement process to advance a high performing culture that is student learning-focused.

The Alternative Certification for School Administrators Program (ACSAP) serves as the Department’s alternate certification vehicle aimed at expanding the Department’s administrator preparation program by attracting exceptional applicants who may not have been K-12 educators and who have demonstrated leadership effectiveness, increasing the administrative applicant pool, and addressing shortages in high-need schools and areas. The two-year school administrator preparation program is an integration of the major tenets of school administration, from technical knowledge through personnel development, with the expectation of developing highly effective instructional leaders through intensive coaching, coursework and residency components. Regular professional development training sessions facilitate continued professional development by focusing on instructional and change leadership around a school improvement process to advance a high performing culture that is student-focused.


New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction

HDE, Professional Development

Teacher and Principal Professional Development Standards

Teacher Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for teacher PD?

Our state policy analysis did not identify state professional development standards for teachers.

Principal Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for leadership PD?

Our state policy analysis did not identify state professional development standards for school leaders.