Cultural (1)

DOE, Let's make a Change

Aloha Everybody!My name is Ku'ulei Hanohano and as part of my Modern Hawaiian Issues class at Maui Community College I am required to set up a blog about the issues we are facing here in Hawai'i. This is my first entry so please bare with me.I work as an Education Assistant so the recent decision on furloughs directly affect me. As many of you may know there will be a total of 17 furlough days. That's a lot of days of school children will be missing. The first question I want to ask is; how students expected to pass Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) testing with less days of school? In the 2008-2009 school year 101 out of the 284 schools who participated in the testing passed. That is only 36 percent of the DOE schools. A 36 percent on anything would be equivalent to an F! The AYP test is a test created by the state. So the state is failing its own test. That kind of sucks. Something I also noticed while looking at last years AYP summary is that 3 out of 17 Hawaiian charter schools passed AYP. That is a 17 percent of Hawaiian Charter Schools. Yes that might be low but those 3 schools are Hawaiian immersion schools. So how is it that those three schools passed the AYP test which is in English while majority of regular DOE schools did not? This gives a thumbs up to cultural based education. Maybe there is something the rest of the DOE schools can learn from these schools. Obviously the academic structure of DOE schools are not doing its job.While talking with my father he brought up an important point. He said (not in his exact words) a child must first learn their connection to a place, people and culture to give them the foundation to learn anything and everything else. I would have to totally agree with him. With the less school days children will have, there needs to be a change in the DOE system. Incorporating the Hawaiian culture and values into the DOE system may be just the thing we need to not only boost test scores but also give children a more valuable education.Malama Jah Bless,Ku'ulei Hanohano
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