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Hawaii Board of Education

Public Meeting Broadcast Recordings
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HIBOE General Business Meeting Agenda
Public Testimony
Superintendent's Report
Hawaii Business Roundtable Presentation on Strategic Priorities
State Public Charter School Commission's Annual Report
Board Approval of 2017 Legislative Report on the State's public charter schools - Board Annual Report
Board Approval on School Community Council request for exceptions to collective bargaining agreements, statutory waivers, and waivers of Board policy for School Year 2016-2017 for Baldwin High School, Aiea High School, and Maui High School
Board Approval on appointment of Board Designee, Rodney Luke to the School Community Council Exception Review Committee

HIBOE Student Achievement Committee Meeting Agenda
Public Testimony (none)
Complex Area Superintendent Report: Special Education in the Farrington - Kaiser - Kalani Complex Area

HIBOE General Business Meeting Agenda
Public Testimony
Superintendent's Report
Board Approval of amendment to BOE Finance & Infrastructure Committee Charter recommending, in addition to other changes, that members "will either possess or obtain basic abilities in financial matters".
Board Approval of amended School Food Services Follow-up Review with updates to the management plan and updates on the completion of progress of completion for the action plan to be reported to through the audit committee quarterly updates.
Board appointed member Kili Namau'u as the Board's liaison to the Hawaii State Public Library System.
Board Approval to amend the superintendent evaluation general timeline for the 2017-2018 school year,

HIBOE Student Achievement Committee Agenda
Public Testimony
Complex Area Superintendent Report: Special Education in the Pearl City - Waipahu Complex Area
Presentation on annual reporting of the 2017-2020 DOE & BOE Joint Strategic Plan Indicators for Goal 1 (Student Success)
Committee Action on designation of Hawaii State Public Library System Liaison

HIBOE Audit Committee Agenda
Agenda Discussion Item(s): Presentation of the Department of Education's Internal Audit Plan -- Quarterly Update through September 30, 2017
Action Item(s): Committee Action on School Food Services Follow-up Review -- Amended
Public Testimony: none

HIBOE General Business Meeting Agenda


Discussion Items - Community Stakeholder Presentations

Decision-Making in Schools Should Be Made by Those Closest to the Students

Roberta Mayor, EIH Chairman & President

Roberta Mayor, EIH Chairman & President

by Roberta Mayor, President Education Institute of Hawaii, 8/21/16 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

It is heartbreaking that the leadership of the Hawaii DOE takes pride in the “common trends” elicited as public feedback to the DOE’s Strategic Plan that was shared in the August 3rd commentary by Superintendent Matayoshi.  These identified trends are not new…they are critical pieces of a basic education program.  It should be obvious that they are emerging because they are perceived as lacking in our current state education system.

The “common trends” shared by the DOE include a desire for a well-rounded curriculum that goes beyond reading and math; a need to embrace the arts, music, history, science, Hawaiian culture, and more; the importance of a caring and supportive teacher; the importance, not only of students’ academic growth, but also of their social, emotional, and physical well-being.  What is new or different about these?  

The DOE’s current strategic plan was implemented in 2012 and has not been reviewed in this manner until now. Why has it taken four years to realize that our children are not universally receiving these key elements as part of our public education model?

What will the DOE change after receiving this feedback?

The Education Institute of Hawaii has been advocating for changes that will return decision-making about all of these issues to those closest to the students.  We believe that principals and teachers will make good decisions about how individual student success, and improvements in our overall system, can best be accomplished.

The DOE has consistently held to current practices that have reduced the rich curriculum and reduced support for the overall social, physical, and emotional needs of children in public schools.  DOE leaders have said that they are only planning to “refresh” their strategic plan and will continue to assess schools by the Strive HI metrics. The new federal education law (ESSA) recognizes that many past practices of No Child Left Behind and Strive HI are either problematic or not effective. We hope that DOE leadership will also recognize this as they move forward with their strategic plan.

A majority of teachers and principals are asking for reconsideration of testing practices and a reduction in the number of instructional days devoted to mandatory testing. Many are also asking for authentic assessments that allow students to demonstrate learning in different ways. The new ESSA law allows states to determine their individual accountability processes within broad federal parameters and provides an opportunity for states to pilot new assessment systems.  We feel it is unfortunate that Hawaii is not applying for that option.

We believe that students will achieve more when their teachers are able to provide the curriculum and instruction that meet the unique needs of school communities. We also believe that our growing teacher shortage is compounded by the frustration many feel when their professional judgment is diminished and they are required to use common curriculum materials and lesson scripts.  Teachers have shared that they are restricted in the choice of literature they may use to teach important historical and ethical concepts.  Opportunities to think deeply and critically about social issues and the human condition are further reduced when literature is replaced by more technical reading and writing in English classes.

There is still time to make your voices heard at various town hall meetings around Hawaii. Everyone who cares about education needs to hold DOE leadership accountable for making changes that will move our state’s public education system toward excellence.

Dr. Roberta Mayor is Board President of the Education Institute of Hawaii, an organization committed to improving education in Hawaii through greater empowerment of local schools. She is a former principal and superintendent and is joined in these comments by fellow EIH Board Members and educators: Ray L’Heureux (former Asst Supt), Joan Husted (former HSTA Executive Director), Marsha Alegre (former principal) and Roger Takabayashi, (former HSTA President).