Education Institute of Hawaii
An Independent Catalyst for Improving Public Education in Hawaii
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Conference 2016


2016 Hawaii School Empowerment Conference keynote speaker presentations can now be viewed on the following YouTube websites:


Finnish Lessons - What Hawaii Can Learn Educational Change in Finland.



Description:  Reign of Error:  The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools – Implications for Hawaii.



An Educator's Hope ... Preparing Our Students for Their Future, Not Our Past



Description:  “You Were Right About What’s Wrong With Education Today!”



Welcome Message for 2016 School Empowerment Conference by Hawaii’s First Lady



Welcome Message for 2016 School Empowerment Conference by Hawaii’s Chairperson of the State Board of Education


The 2nd Annual Hawaii School Empowerment Conference, “Engage, Empower, Innovate”, will be held on Sunday, January 24, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center.   

Opening welcome messages will be delivered by First Lady Dawn Ige and Board of Education Chairperson, Lance Mizumoto.   

Featured keynote speakers include:

  • Diane Ravitch – “Education Reform Across the Nation, and the Implications for Hawaii”

  • Pasi Sahlberg – “How Hawaii Could Benefit from Finland’s Successes and Failures”

  • Catherine Payne – “An Educator’s Hope … Preparing Our Students for Their Future, Not Our Past”

  • Ray McNulty – “ School Leadership for Hawaii in the 21st Century:  Vision, Empowerment,  and Innovation”

An award-winning educational documentary, Most Likely to Succeed, will be screened before and after the conference for anyone who has not yet seen this important and excellent film on education reform and the very meaning of education.  There will also be breakout sessions throughout the day for discussion of public education in Hawaii.

Diane Ravitch, a professor of education at New York University, is the nation’s most prolific and perhaps controversial researcher, analyst and writer on the subject of education.  She has authored many books, including a recent New York Times bestseller, Reign of Error, and her blog ( has attracted more than 24 million visitors in just the past three years.  Diane has been called and is widely considered, “the nation’s leading advocate for public education.”

Pasi Sahlberg, currently a visiting professor at Harvard, has been a schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and director general in Finland’s Ministry of Education.  His bestselling book, Finnish Lessons 2.0, has garnered prestigious awards from across the globe. 

Catherine Payne, currently chairperson of the Hawaii Charter School Commission, served for 37 years in Hawaii’s Department of Education, as a teacher at Kalani and Nanakuli, vice-principal at Waianae, principal for 10 years at Olomana School, during which time she received the National Milken Award, and then 15 years as Farrington High School’s principal. 

Raymond McNulty  is a Senior Fellow and past president of the International Center for Leadership in Education. Prior to these roles, he was a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where his work with leading educators from around the country focused on reinventing and improving our nation's high schools. McNulty is also a past president of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and currently serves as Dean of the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University. He began as a classroom teacher, Vice Principal, and Principal in the state of Massachusetts, before becoming Superintendent of Windham Southeast Supervisory Union in Brattleboro, Vermont. McNulty held the position of Superintendent for 11 years and was named Vermont Superintendent of the Year in 2000. From 2001–03, he served as Vermont’s Education Commissioner.   He is the author of It’s Not Us Against Them – Creating the Schools We Need.

Prior Access to the Film:  DVDs of the film, Most Likely to Succeed, are available for group viewings at individual schools and in other community settings.  For more information about the film contact Darrel Galera or 778-6378.

Conference Sponsorship:  This 2nd Annual School Empowerment Conference is presented by the Education Institute of Hawaii (HEI) in partnership with the Hawaii Center for Instructional Leadership.  The conference is made possible by a generous grant from the Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation.

Cost of Conference:  The cost of this conference is only $45.00 and it covers breakfast, lunch, and parking.  Payment options:

  • Credit card or charge card

  • Check payable to “Education Institute of Hawaii”

  • DOE purchase order to “Hawaii Center for Instructional Leadership” (P.O. Box 30483, Honolulu, Hawaii 96820) (Hawaii DOE Vendor ID # 145982)

Alignment to DOE Strategic Plan and School Academic Plan:  The content and information presented at the conference will include topics such as instructional leadership, effective teaching strategies, elevating the teaching profession, use of balanced curriculum, assessment for learning, project-based learning, school innovation, education reform, and implications of the new federal “Every Child Succeeds Act” (replacing No Child Left Behind), and much more.  These are all topics clearly related to the DOE Strategic Plan, Hawaii ESEA Flex Waiver, Strive HI Accountability, DOE Priority Strategies and school academic plans.