Standardized Tests Place Hawaii’s Centralized Education District in National Cellar

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    Standardized tests of reading, science and math
    place the statewide district operated by the Hawaii
    Department of Education in the national cellar.

    By some measures, we are dead last.


    Across the United States, as districts increase in
    size, per pupil costs rise, standardized test
    performance falls, and the score gap between children
    of poor parents and the children of wealthy parents
    increases. Aggregation of students and resources into
    large districts intensifies the contest for control of
    school policy. In small districts, with no large asset
    at stake, parents win this contest. In large
    districts, insiders win. When public sector unions,
    construction contractors, and suppliers take from
    parents the control of school policy, children of poor
    and minority parents suffer most. Political control of
    school harms most the children of the least
    politically adept parents.

    Every debate over reform of the Hawaii DOE is itself
    an argument for multiple school independent school
    districts or a voucher-subsidized market in K-12
    education services. If we disagree over ultimate goals
    and values, differences are irreconcilable and a
    winner-take-all contest for control of a statewide
    monopoly must create unhappy losers. With “public
    school choice” and multiple independent districts, or
    a voucher-subsidized market, unhappy parents may take
    their children and the taxpayers