Categorized | Education

Governor receives BOE first year report, enacts bills


The inaugural appointed Board of Education (BOE) has released its first year report to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent of Education Kathryn Matayoshi, and other stakeholders.

The report provides a list of BOE actions that focused on changes in student achievement, service support improvements and staff development.

“This list of actions clearly shows that this appointed Board came in with a clear mission on improving public schools, and they have not hesitated to make the necessary changes,” Abercrombie said.

BOE Chairman Don Horner said: “The Board began its work by reaching out and listening to the many stakeholders of public education including parents, students, educators, staff, unions, community groups, as well as the Legislature and Executive Branch of state government. Over the year, we worked on a number of changes for student achievement, and there are more positive changes to come.”

One of the most notable changes was the BOE’s adoption of policies for teacher and principal evaluations that include student performance measurements and future changes to tenure, as well as improved professional support.

Other highlights from the year include:

* Reorganized the BOE to focus on student achievement

* Developed better communications with stakeholders including the Legislature, Executive Branch, parent groups, student organizations, UH, Teacher Standards Board, and military

* Deployed new on-line tools for teachers and administrators to track student progress to inform instruction, school planning, identify students for interventions, and hold relevant parties accountability

* Adopted new graduation requirements that will ensure that students are prepared for success after high school in their choice of college or careers. These new requirements are nationally and internationally competitive and will begin with incoming 9th graders.

There are nine members on the BOE – three from Oahu, three at large, and one each from Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai. A student and military representative serve as ex-officio members. The members serve the State of Hawaii on a volunteer basis.

For the BOE first year report, visit:

Education Bills Enacted

Abercrombie also enacted education-related measures including Senate Bill 2115 which replaces the chapter governing charter schools based on the recommendations of the Charter School Governance, Accountability and Authority Task Force established by Act 130, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011.

SB 2115 promotes high quality charter schools by maintaining autonomy for charter schools to innovate while ensuring that schools are accountable for student learning and growth as well as organizational viability and fiscal responsibility.

This measure also changes the composition of the governing bodies for charter schools, both at the state-level to approve charter schools and at the school-level to manage the charter schools.

“Senate Bill 2115 is an example of true collaboration that will enable further innovation among our public charter schools and meet the needs of our children while ensuring accountability for learning and state resources,” Abercrombie said.

Senator Jill Tokuda, Chair of the Education Committee, added, “SB 2115 is a real game changer in the way we govern our charter school system, with a clear balance between accountability and autonomy that will result in increased student achievement.”

Governor also signed into law the following education measures:

* HB 2513 – Provides the Department of Education flexibility in administering and implementing the health services program for students.

* SB 243 – Establishes the Hawaii Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (Hawaii WICHE) and allows Hawaii WICHE to establish a repayment policy for students who receive financial support from the Hawaii commission.

* SB 1382 – Requests the Auditor to examine the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 and make recommendations to ensure compliance of institutions offering post-secondary educational programs.

* SB 2116 – Supports implementation of SB 2115 to improve charter school governance and accountability through provisions of the law including performance contracts.

* SB 2540 – Amends or repeals various provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to remove outdated policies or programs or policies redundant with federal law, Board of Education or Department of Education policies, or other provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

* SB 2773 – Authorizes the State Librarian to appoint a secretary and contract for exchange of librarians with other states.

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