The Importance of Culture in Assessment: Developing Culturally Relevant Assessments in Support of Hawaiian- focused Charter Schools


Hawaiian-focused Charter Schools (HFCS) were created in the early 2000s to offer families additional learning environments that emphasize Hawaiian language, culture, and values. In 2019, the Hawaiʻi public school system includes a total of 17 HFCS located on four islands. Collectively, HFCS serve over 4,000 students, 81% of whom are part Hawaiian. The importance of cultural diversity in conducting evaluation is moving more into mainstream evaluation; however our ability to design and conduct culturally responsive evaluations is constrained in part by the lack of assessment tools and methodologies that reflect the worldview outside the dominant Euro-American culture. Presenters will share deliverables from a Culturally Relevant Assessment project that developed culturally responsive tools to assess; 1) student knowledge, skills, and perspectives that are aligned to ancestral learning, 2) community/college/career, 3) growth focused assessments that are rigorous, relevant and vision/mission driven. This presentation focuses on the development and use of alternatives to Hawaiʻi state assessments to understand and report learner growth and presenters will share the impetus for the work, six assessment tools, and next steps.