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Monday, June 1, 2009
Governor: DoE to establish curriculum
By News Release @ 10:34 AM :: 7054 Views :: Energy, Environment

(ED NOTE:  In the name of "academic freedom" the DoE currently has no core curriculum.)

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle and State School Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto today announced Hawai‘i’s participation in a nationwide program led by the states to ensure public school students have the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the global economy.

Governor Lingle and Superintendent Hamamoto have co-signed a Memorandum of Agreement that commits Hawai‘i to participate in the process of developing a common core of state standards that are internationally benchmarked. The national effort will be led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

These standards will be research and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills. Governor Lingle will join 49 governors from throughout the United States to help develop a set of common core standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades K through 12. 

“I look forward to joining my fellow governors to ensure the education standards for Hawai‘i and the rest of the nation are rigorous and aligned with college and work expectations,” said Governor Lingle. “The fact that many of our high school graduates require remedial assistance in college and in the workplace demonstrates the critical importance and urgency of this effort.”

“Our ongoing partnership and work with the University of Hawai‘i to refine curriculum benchmarks in Hawai‘i’s public schools will be further validated and strengthened through the adoption of nationwide educational standards grounded in research,” added Superintendent Hamamoto.  “A seamless pre-kindergarten through college continuum of learning will ensure that all Hawai‘i high school graduates are ready for college, careers, and success in today’s global economy.”

Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi noted the pact has both academic and financial advantages.

“By collaborating with other states, schools will benefit from a rigorous, common curriculum that ensures children have the skills to succeed in college and in their careers, wherever they may choose to study or work,” Toguchi said. “Meanwhile, this initiative allows states to share ideas as well as costs in developing standards. It also will certainly help the Board of Education monitor student performance and evaluate state-level educational policies.”

“The development of rigorous and internationally benchmarked standards is the foundation for defining what it takes for students to be ready and successful and college and the work place. By signing this agreement, Hawai‘i is a leader in ensuring all children are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities a knowledge-based economy has to offer,” said Dane Linn, director of education, NGA Center for Best Practices.

The voluntary effort gives states the option of adopting the common core standards and including a limited number of additional state standards beyond the common core. Participation in this project will help Hawai‘i meet the assurance on standards outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As a result, the state’s participation in this effort may improve Hawai‘i’s ability to compete for “Race to the Top” funds under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This Act provides $5 billion in competitive grant moneys to states that demonstrate how they will significantly improve test scores and student performance.

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