“Guy Ontai Image”

Despite calls by Democrats that the state has no money for education, House Democrats voted to refuse federal money to avoid meeting “No Child Left Behind” education standards.

House Higher Education Committee Chair Mark Takai, D-Pearl City, says that is because Hawaii’s schools would fail to reach education standards set down in the “No Child Left Behind Act,” a federal bipartisan measure backed by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, and U.S Representatives Neil Abercrombie and the late Pasty Mink.

So House Democrats backed a resolution that rejects federal money given to improve education here if Hawaii follows “No Child Left Behind” guidelines (HCR 147). Republicans and one lone Democrat voted to keep the federal funds.

My feeling is Hawaii should not let fear of failure scare us into returning the much needed federal funds.

Our expectations for our schools are too low. Let’s not step away from this challenge. Let’s not be afraid to fail. Hawaii must step forward to meet this challenge.

The danger is that my colleagues think of this as a potential failure. If you think this way, you have lost.

In fact, it’s okay to fail a test if we go on to clean up our act, wipe off the blood, and pass the test the next time.

If we fail, let’s find out what’s wrong with our education system and correct it rather than say we don’t want to play.

It’s time we stepped up to the plate. Instead of asking for the slow pitch, let’s ask for the high heat.

”’Rep. Guy Ontai, a Republican representing Mililani, is a former high school physics teacher and former West Point Assistant Professor of Physics.”’

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