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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Abercrombie: HSTA Contract will help Save Race to The Top Grant
By Selected News Articles @ 4:00 AM :: 5621 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

(Duncan hasn’t seen the contract yet. All the public knows is that HSTA has accepted a six year contract with no drug testing.)

FULL TEXT: Race to the Top - Hawaii Report, Year 1: School Year 2010-2011

DOE falls far short of grant's targets

SA: In its first year of a four-year, $75 million Race to the Top grant, Hawaii missed "the majority" of its education reform milestones, a new U.S. Department of Education report says.

Some of the state's "significant delays" stemmed from a months-long dispute with the teachers union, but others were linked to staffing issues, miscalculations on the amount of time needed to complete projects and misconceptions in the state's Race to the Top plan about what authority the state Department of Education has -- and doesn't have.

The 18-page report, scheduled to be released today, sheds more light on why the U.S. Department of Education took the major step last month of placing Hawaii's Race to the Top grant on "high-risk" status, with a warning that the money could be lost if more gains are not made.

In releasing the progress report, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Hawaii had a "challenging year" with "little progress."

But Duncan also commended the state for reaching a tentative agreement Friday aimed at ending a labor dispute with the Hawaii State Teachers Association. The deal for a six-year contract with wage increases at the back end still must be ratified by teachers. The union hopes to hold a vote Jan. 19.

No new details of the agreement were released Monday….

Among the first-year problems highlighted in the report:

  • The state missed "many of its milestones" in projects aimed at improving effectiveness of teachers and principals. The report notes that the failure to finalize a collective bargaining agreement on revamped teacher evaluations and other initiatives created a "challenging environment for adopting planned reforms."
  • Efforts to move forward with alternative certification for principals were delayed because the state Department of Education did not have "full authority" to implement the program without a change to the law.
  • The state also reported it did not have legal authority to "implement incentives for teachers related to recruitment, placement and becoming highly-qualified," as outlined in Hawaii's Race to the Top plan.
  • Hawaii underestimated how much time it would take to reorganize state DOE offices and hire personnel. The reorganization was completed last month, one year behind schedule.

U.S. DOE reviewers will visit Hawaii in March to follow up on the state's high-risk status and determine what progress has been made in the first few months of the new year…. (Not January 23???)

read … DoE Falls Short

* * * * *

US report details Hawaii education reform delays

AP: Hawaii missed major milestones during its first year of implementing reforms under a $75 million "Race to the Top" education grant, the U.S. Department of Education said.

Hawaii had difficulty hiring qualified staff in a timely manner and failed to hire staff to implement the reforms until the fall of 2011, the department said in a report released Tuesday on Hawaii's performance.

The state was also challenged by the leadership changes at the Board of Education and in the state government.

The report was one of 12 the department issued measuring how "Race to the Top" grantees did during the 2010-11 school year. Since the report only covered the year through last fall, it doesn't reflect two important developments since then.

It omits the U.S. Department of Education's admonishment last month of Hawaii's performance on the grant as "unsatisfactory," including a warning that Hawaii could lose almost the entire grant if the state didn't improve.

The report also didn't take into account an "agreement in principle" that the state and the Hawaii teachers' union reached on a labor contract last Friday.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan acknowledged the labor agreement in a statement accompanying the report, however.

"Hawaii had a challenging year with several delays and little progress," Duncan said. "The recent collective bargaining agreement will play a critical role in making Hawaii's education reform plan possible. I commend their leaders for coming together to do what's best for students."

The report said the failure of the state and teachers union to agree on a contract meant Hawaii wasn't able to roll out a new teacher evaluation system. The state was also unable to implement incentives to recruit highly-qualified teachers.

read … US Dep't of Education Report

Duncan: HSTA Contract Will Play Critical Role in RTTT

Ed Week: …Already, the department has indicated that Hawaii's grant is in big trouble. Federal officials have put the state on "high-risk" status and threatened to revoke the remaining $70 million or so of its $75 million Race to the Top grant.

But today, Duncan commended the state for reaching some sort of agreement with its teachers' union that's supposed to help.

Details remain sketchy about the agreement and how it would help jump-start the teacher-evaluation plans that put the grant at risk. Hawaii officials couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. Still, Duncan said in a statement: "The recent collective bargaining agreement will play a critical role in making Hawaii's education reform plan possible." (Even though he hasn’t seen it.)

read … We don’t know what’s in the contract, but we’re sure its good

Abercrombie: Tentative labor deal with HSTA will help secure federal dollars

The Governor says a tentative labor deal with the teachers union should help the state secure $75 million dollars in federal "Race to the Top" money….

A team from Hawaii will travel to Washington D.C. this week to discuss the progress that's been made. (Boy are they going to be disappointed)

"We're very very confident that we have a child centered turn in our whole educational process and I'm very very hopeful that will be reflected in our race to the top activity as well," says Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The Governor says teacher pay will also be increased toward the end of the six year labor deal.

KHON: Hawaii back on track to get Race to the Top funding

SA: HSTA hopes to hold teacher contract ratification vote Jan. 19

CB: HSTA Hearing Cancelled

read … HSTA Saves RTTT????

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