In an Oct. 12 letter to parents, Hawaii Department of Education (DoE) Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said that the state was discontinuing its use of the online curriculum Acellus Learning Accelerator.
Kishimoto said that the decision followed an internal review of the curriculum that was prompted by “numerous parent, school, and community complaints around issues of questionable and inappropriate content, rigor, and alignment to standards.”
DoE said that the review team recommended the program should be discontinued as a primary curriculum “due to its inconsistency in quality and rigor.” The letter said that reviewers did find that some of the content was acceptable and aligned with standards, so DoE will be working with schools using Acellus to leverage appropriate content.
Kishimoto said that Acellus was deployed over the summer in “an effort to respond quickly” for “families reluctant to physically send their child to school when the school year opened.” Additionally, it was used by schools as a supplemental tool to support distance learning needs.
In recognition that there are families who will continue to utilize full distance learning, the DoE is in the process of finalizing a transition plan for Acellus users. Kishimoto’s letter did address how the move away from Accelus will impact both secondary and elementary students.
“For secondary students pursuing credits for graduation using this program, the Department does not want to jeopardize students’ current progress,” she wrote. “Secondary schools will address issues in collaboration with concerned parents to ensure students are supported through the school year.”
For younger students, DoE is “working to provide options schools can offer as supplementary learning opportunities to families whose children are in distance learning.”