Department of Education Needs to Be Dismantled

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I am a substitute teacher and I am teaching short and long term assignments, full time. I have taught in 12 of Kauai’s 15 public schools. I have experienced at first hand the quality and caliber of the Dept. of Education’s leadership and managerial abilities. The DOE’s performance is dismal and I agree with Hawaii’s present Superintendent of Education, Patricia Hamamoto, that Hawaii’s educational system has and is failing the children of Hawaii. The DOE has been cheating the children of Hawaii for years and in effect stunting their futures.

The problem with education in Hawaii is the Department of Education and it needs to be dismantled and replaced with another system. One suggested alternative is the governor’s initiative which is outlined in HB 2331. There is also an alternative plan outlined in HB 1895. I am wholeheartedly in support of the governor’s plan, HB 2331, and against the DOE suggested plan, HB 1895.


However, my personal opinion is not the issue. The issue is that this is such a highly charged and important topic that it needs to be decided by a vote of Hawaii’s voting public. It should not be decided by a Commission of a few in the halls of the Legislature who ”’have no idea”’ of what teachers and substitute teachers face every day. Bureaucratic busy work interfering with our teachers ability to teach. The lack of disciplinary policies that remove and keep out, disruptive students from the classrooms and many, many, many, many more problems. Education is a discipline. Without a strong disciplinary policy in the classroom, there will be no learning. Hawaii’s parents know this and Hawaii’s children in the classroom know this. This issue ”’must”’ be decided, not by a few, but by the registered voters of our Island State.

Years of “studies” here in Hawaii have continually resulted in conclusions agreeing with a consensus that local schools boards will function better than a highly centralized DOE. Why not listen to the very studies that we taxpayers have paid for?

Listen to the experts the Legislature has hired. Let Hawaii’s voters decide if they want local school boards or not.

Again, Hawaii’s children and parents have the right to be heard and represented inan open and fair manner. They have been cheated and short changed too long by a failing system and deserve to exercise their birthright of deciding this issue via the ballot. There are only two States that I know of that utilize such a highly centralized educational system. The State of Hawaii and the Peoples Republic of China. Let us not resort to the tactics of the latter.

”’John Hoff is a substitute teacher in Lawai, Kauai, and can be reached via email at:”’

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