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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
McDermott: Early Education Proposal Inadequate
By News Release @ 9:10 PM :: 3323 Views :: Education K-12

Representative McDermott finds Governor Abercrombie’s early education proposal “inadequate.”

News Release from Office of Rep Bob McDermott

Honolulu—Following Governor Abercrombie’s State of the State presentation, Representative Bob McDermott quickly reacted to the early education proposal as “inadequate.”

“The Governor’s proposals on early education are commendable, but represent only a small portion of the comprehensive reform that is needed in our education system,” said Rep. McDermott. “Preparing our preschoolers simply to enter one of the least effective public school systems in the country is not providing them any advantages.”

McDermott cited the Berman Report originally commissioned by Hawaii’s Business Roundtable in 1988. “The Berman Report gave us a complete and functional plan for education reform, and has been supported by Governors Waihee, Cayetano and Lingle, but it has failed to survive legislative inaction and open opposition.”

“What we need it the political will to do more than talk about fixing the education system,” added McDermott. “We know what needs to be done…and our children’s future depends on it.”

McDermott also released this prepared statement:

“The Governor promised significant educational reforms in his new day plan and I was hopeful we could reinforce the core responsibilities before embarking on costly new initiatives.”

“I believe comprehensive educational reform can still be done, but not with the ill will the current administration has sown among the educators.  The teachers feel betrayed because the Governor misleads them.  He promised to end furlough Fridays; he did in the sense that furloughs are no longer on Friday, but on different days. They are now called DWOPS, directed days off without pay.”

“Teachers thought they had a friend in the Governor, but DWOPS and the current net negative 2% proposal before them, including health care costs, have led them to believe otherwise.”

“They are demoralized, feeling that they have been betrayed. The recent report in the Star Advertiser (1/13/13) noting the 17 days sick leave a year that teachers take was a clear indicator of this, far above the private sector employee average.  Increase pay will not assuage this morale problem over the long term, only improved working environment where they feel empowered and freed from the shackles of a burdensome bureaucracy.”

“Proposing another centralized statewide program is a prescription for the same results we have gotten for a long time, why should we expect anything other than the flexibility of the IRS and the speed and efficiency of the post office.”

“Further, why has it taken three years to address education, the most important issue before the State?  It is the biggest component of our State Budget being responsible for over 34,000 full time equivalent full time employees.   Aside from supporting the governance issue of Board of Education appointments, this administration has done precious little to follow through on their New Day Promises regarding education. 

“Now, the break with the teachers and empty promises has assured us that we shall receive zero meaningful reform from this administration.  Their hearts are in the right place, they just lack the necessary leadership skills to execute.”


LINK: 1988 Berman Report

HFP: Abercrombie 'School Readiness' Plan Based on Proven Failure?


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