Disputing Star-Bulletin Story on Decentralization of Hawaii’s Public School System

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    The ”’Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s”’ editorial states that “Gov. Lingle has not connected the dots” to prove that smaller school districts improve student achievement. (”’Honolulu Star-Bulletin”’ Editorial, Debate on school boards, 2/19/04)

    However, only the opinion of Univ. of Hawaii College of Education Dean Randy Hitz, as well as one Education of the States policy analyst — whose research specialty is inclusion of ESL students in state assessments, not district size analysis–are offered to the public in counterpoint to the governor’s proposal.

    Hitz states, “…there is no such body of research on small school districts.” His comment is dead wrong.

    There is research as current as January 2004 validating the governor’s proposal.

    See: http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/article.php/414.html Extensive supporting research can be found in the ERIC database.

    Conversely, there is absolutely zero research showing large districts lead to better student achievement. We don’t need studies to tell us that: we have firsthand experience with the dismal failure of the DOE to use $1.9 billion in taxpayer monies to achieve more than bottom-of-the-barrel student results.

    ”’Laura Brown is the education reporter and researcher for HawaiiReporter.com and the education policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. She can be reached via email at”’ mailto:laurabrown@hawaii.rr.com

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