The governor seems to have a comprehensive education plan to ensure that the money appropriated by the Legislature gets to the classroom for that purpose — instead of half of that money being diverted to bureaucratic overhead and career aggrandizement and advancement. But in order to effect this requires local school boards to replace the present Department of Education, which does not support this objective — of getting at least 90 percent of the money to these classroom/instructional purposes.
Local school boards are not something new in Hawaii; they are the private schools, charter schools and home schools that are the success stories of education in Hawaii. Now we just think with its time-proven success, that model should be adopted by the citizens of Hawaii as the model for the public schools — if they are to remain viable and equally worthy of achievement, respect and continued support.
In the past 20 years, the number of students has stayed the same but the number of Department of Education employees has doubled, when anybody familiar with the technological advances of the past 20 years, would sense that just to keep pace, one should be expecting 10 times the results with half the manpower.
It’s not that we want to put on all these educational “administrators” out of work but we need to be able to free up limited resources for other urgent needs — like the prisons and highways.
In fact, that might even be a smooth transition — of moving top-of-the-scale education employees to properly educate those who need education and rehabilitation the most, as a worthy proving ground for their educational theories and instructional abilities.
Having quite a long involvement in the educational process at every level myself, the overwhelming success story of the past half a century is the emerging leadership of the community colleges/alternative education classes in defining practical instructional effectiveness.
Key to that success has been that many, if not most of their instructors, are not professional educators — but successful practitioners of what they are instructing, even the pioneering experts on what they are instructing, not from textbook learning but hands-on, real-world, real-time experience.
By the traditional education rules, Bill Gates and Michael Dell would not be qualified to instruct or advise in the area of their expertise — without the proper certifications from the education hegemony. It seems that in the education schools, how to teach is much more important than having anything to teach.
And thus it is frequently remarked, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” And now apparently, those who can’t teach, become education administrators — that multiply faster than the need for actual classroom instructors, apparently, when the educational professionals are left to supervise themselves.
And that is why there should be the return of this trust and responsibility ”’to the people”’ — and not continually given away by legislators acting ”’for the people.”’ To which one has to ask, “Are you working for me — or am I working for you?”
Should the people at large have this trust and responsibility for education returned to them or must it remain irrevocably in the hands of the professional self-interest groups — who despite at least 20 years of increasingly unsatisfying performance, and decreasing cost-effectiveness, keep demanding more ”’from”’ us?
”’Mike Hu is a resident of Honolulu and can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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