Report In-line With Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s Core Efforts to Support Education
HONOLULU (December 15, 2015) – In a special edition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2015 Leaders & Laggards report series, Hawaii is profiled as one of top states that have made continuous gains. The report, titled Laggards to Leaders: How Three States Found Their Way Forward, addresses how the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) overcame adversity to manage and sustain improvement.
“We want to congratulate the Department of Education and its leadership for the positive recognition in this national report,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii president & CEO. “Our public school system plays a vital role in our community by educating future leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and community members. We share the commitment to prepare Hawaii’s children to become productive, global citizens and will continue to support HIDOE’s efforts.”
The Chamber has supported various public/private partnerships with the HIDOE and other organizations that help students understand the importance of education and learning. The statewide business advocacy organization will continue to work with policymakers, the business community, and educators to continue a reform agenda that stays the course on accountability and focuses on a high-quality education for every child.
The report, which was released last week, shows Hawaii as ranking second among states with the highest aggregate gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) between 2005-2013. According to the report, there are a variety of factors contributing to this increase. However, it is not the typical policy driven change seen in other states. The report credits the HIDOE’s ability to collaborate, foster relationships with the community and apply ongoing pressure to strive higher for its increase in NAEP scores.
A number of business and community stakeholders provided input as to the possible factors contributing to Hawaii’s educational growth including Terry George, president & CEO, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation; Don Horner, former chairperson, Hawaii Board of Education; Jill Tokuda, Hawaii State Senator; and Donald Young, dean, University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Education.
Since 2007, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued its Leaders & Laggards report to shed light on how schools progress in K-12 and higher education measures including student success, use of funding and data management, and factors leading to change and success.
“We remain committed to continuing the growth in our school communities and appreciate the Chamber’s recognition and support of Hawaii’s public schools, our students and teachers,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
The report can be found at

As the “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the state’s leading advocacy organization. Established in 1850, the Chamber works on behalf of its approximately 1,000 member companies and the business community, as a whole, to advance the state’s economic climate and help businesses succeed. The Chamber supports its members with training, business building and networking opportunities; coordinates advocacy activities for members’ involvement; and serves as a liaison between civilian and military communities in Hawaii. Visit

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Contact: Lori Abe
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