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Help map the direction for public education in the coming years

By Staff | Aug 25, 2016

Last year, Democrats and Republicans in Congress could agree on at least one thing: the No Child Left Behind Act is idiotic and must be scrapped.

The George W. Bush era act placed a premium on students’ performance on standardized tests and linked progress on scores to a school’s ability to receive federal funding.

Now, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Board of Education (BOE) are engaging the public about what is truly important during the update of the joint Strategic Plan.

“It is important for us to dialogue with members of all sectors of our communities as we work on strategies towards achieving student success,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, adding that education affects all of us.

Storyline Consulting, a third-party facilitator brought in to ensure the objective report of community input, reported on the first phase of HIDOE’s community outreach that included 108 focus groups on six islands and 1,429 online survey responses.

The Phase I report noted the following emerging themes as community-based descriptors of student success:

1) Giving back to the community, environment and world;

2) Discovering and pursuing passions, so students can reach their full potential;

3) Demonstrating strong academic and soft skills, and showing an ability to think critically, solve problems and apply knowledge to new situations or contexts;

4) Being prepared for life after high school, including setting clear goals and developing short- and long-term engagement in learning;

5) Exhibiting strength, confidence and resilience in their every day lives and being generally healthy and happy;

6) Gaining a strong sense of cultural understanding and appreciation for Hawaii.

These goals and a well-rounded education are far more important than a score on an annual test. Add your views and join the conversation at #HIQualityEd on social media.

“Since we embarked on community engagement in April, we have received tremendous amounts of valuable information that will help us craft a Strategic Plan that meets the ever-changing needs of our students and community,” said Tammi Chun, assistant superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance.

For more information, visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org. Help chart the direction for public education in the years to come.