HONOLULU – The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation announced today it is doubling its funding and committing $10 million to Hawai‘i’s public education over the next four years (2012 through 2015) to provide meaningful support to the state’s planned education transformation and the bold goals set out in its Race to the Top plan.
“Now is the time to transform our system into one that truly puts children first, builds teaching into a respected and effective profession, and recruits, trains and supports principals and complex area superintendents to create an organizational culture based on high performance,” said Mitch D’Olier, president and CEO of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.
The announcement was made in the library of Royal School in front of a class of fifth graders, who are set to graduate from high school in the summer of 2018, the state’s deadline for goals set in its Race to the Top plan. A check for $10 million representing this commitment was also presented today.
“The State of Hawaii, the Board of Education and private philanthropies are all coming together for students,” Governor Neil Abercrombie said. “Everyone wants to see the success of our public schools, and having us all work toward the same goals is an important achievement.”
This public-private partnership aims to help the state accomplish several goals included in its Race to the Top plan:
· Recruit, train and place 36 new “turnaround principals” in schools by 2014;
· Ensure that education administrators in every region are a part of a highly effective professional learning community by 2014;
· Accelerate the work of the Great Teachers and Great Leaders workgroup to maximize this group’s ability to ensure that all goals are met;
· Support at least 55 percent of the principals leading high-poverty and/or high-minority schools being evaluated as effective by 2015; and
· Ensure that every new teacher will have a full-time, highly experienced and trained mentor by 2013.
“Partnerships are essential to developing a shared vision of student success and achieving sustainable change,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “By working together, we will continue to transform our public schools, achieve our Race to the Top goals and, in doing so, bolster the achievements of our students in college, career and life.”
“Especially when it comes to educating our children, government cannot and should not do it alone,” said Senator Jill Tokuda, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “Our ability to ensure that every child can and will succeed in school and in life is directly connected to private entities like the Castle Foundation stepping forward to help our students and school communities.”
The Foundation has spent more than $10 million over the past eight years to support principal leadership in an effort to reduce the achievement gaps that poor children face and college-preparation gaps that high school students face. Through this initiative, the Foundation will double its giving by investing $10 million over four years in public education.
The Foundation supports Hawaii’s Race to the Top Plan, which aims to build a school system that puts children first and insists on a highly effective teacher in every classroom and highly effective principal in every school. Other goals in the Race to the Top plan include closing the achievement gap for poor and for Native Hawaiian students, 100 percent of high school graduates prepared for college and career success, having all students scoring at or above proficiency in reading and mathematics, raising the graduation rate to 90 percent and to be in the top half of states in the number of high school graduates immediately enrolling in college.
The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation is committed to closing the achievement and preparation gaps in public education so that all Hawaii’s children have access to high-quality pre-K-12 education that prepares them for success in college, career and citizenship.