01 Oct 2011

Kymberly Pine on Education

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The DOE to Allow Advertising on School Properties

The Department of Education has proposed to allow advertising on school property. While it is intended to raise money, what kind of effect will it have on our children? What type of advertisers are appropriate for our children?

Read the full article on the Honolulu Star Advertiser by clicking here.

How Are Our Students Getting To School?

Check out this Civil Beat article:

“Taken For a Ride: Why Didn’t Audits Catch Lack of Competition?”

For the past four years, every contract put out for bid by the State for a regular school bus contract received only one response.  According to the article, the FBI is looking into possible “collusion in setting prices.”  Both the Department of Education and State Auditor’s office could not explain why only one bid was put out.  According to a Civil Beat investigation, “11 years of bids revealed that competition among school bus companies dropped to zero suddenly in 2008, and that school bus contract prices have risen sharply since then, from $47 million per year to $72 million per year.”  Marion Higa noted that it would have taken a “special management and performance audit” to find out that there was indeed a lack of competition in our state for school buses.  The last time an audit of this magnitude occurred was in 1973.  As the gubernatorial candidate, Duke Aiona wanted an audit done of the entire DOE system, but Neil Abercrombie “criticized” his request.  However, Don Homer, chair of the Board of Education has revived the notion of an audit by forming an audit committee on the board.  According to Randy Moore, assistant superintendent for facilities and support services, “When we put the bids out, we typically only get one bid back and it’s usually from the company that held the contract before.”  Ms. Higa noted that “If it’s a legislative request that comes as part of a concurrent resolution or a proviso in the budget bill, those are requests that we must fill, after that, if we have the time and staff to do it, we can initiate projects ourselves.”  This year’s state budget bill included a mandate requiring the DOE to provide its own detailed report on the school transportation program.  Speaker Say gave a response by stating that, “If there is a need for a management audit, it could be that the DOE could say yes or no that an audit is needed.”

The D.O.E. Beefs Up Diploma Standards

The Hawaii State Department of Education will require geometry and biology for students to graduate from high school.  This is a good step forward to moving students toward a better science and math education to better prepare them for the workplace.  This is a policy that is worthy of support.

Read the full article on the Honolulu Star Advertiser by clicking here.

Hawaii Students Score Lower Than Peers on the S.A.T. Exam

Overall, scores are down a little bit this year in Hawaii and flat nationally.

We reported earlier this year that studies show Hawaii students are not ready for college when they matriculate, but they’re not alone in their lack of preparation.

There is a lot of interesting data in Hawaii’s SAT report, which you can read in full here, and the national report, here. What do you want to know about the state’s college-bound seniors?

Read the full article on Civil Beat by clicking here.

Congratulations to the Campbell High School Class of 2011!

Representative Pine attended the ceremony of the graduating seniors of James Campbell High School to wish them well as they continue on to new endeavors.

JCHS By the Numbers

  • $12,062,155: Total amount of scholarship funds awarded to this year’s graduating class – the most in JCHS history!
  • 539: Number of graduating students in the Class of 2011
  • 9: Valedictorians that graduated with a 4.0 GPA or higher
  • 680: Size of the entering JCHS Class of 2015

2011 Valedictorians

  • Rachel Lew
  • Stephanie Ullegue
  • Kristen Fernandez-Kong
  • Christina Bowen
  • Ashley Hung
  • Geraldine Ragsac
  • Alexis Tsutsumi
  • Juan Carlos Nieves-Perez
  • Edward Parish
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