A Working Paper from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
The time has come for parents to think about their children’s future plans and decide if the university system is a viable option. This fall, roughly 2.6 million students will enroll in some form of higher education. It has long been a part of the American dream to walk into the Ivory Towers and continue onto post-secondary education. However, this American dream can turn into an American nightmare for parents that are unprepared. When the time approaches to decide about possibly sending your child to college, a sputtering economy along with skyrocketing tuition might have you asking if it is worth it. (more)
Schools nationwide are taking advantage of virtual learning and the internet to improve education. The most successful ones allow students unrestricted access to online programs, so they can take high quality courses regardless of geographic location. Yet online education programs Hawaii lag far behind some of the better programs found on the Mainland. The Florida Virtual School (FLVS), for example, provides K-12 online education and has vastly improved test scores and achievement statewide. Florida’s virtual school students have not only demonstrated positive gains in education, but they have even out-performed their peers in traditional school settings and posted above-average test scores in advanced placement courses and mathematics. These improvements aren’t just relevant to Florida: They represent a pioneering example in virtual education for other states to follow. Hawaii should learn from these successes, to gather the best practices from effective models, and to implement these lessons now. (more)
Is Quality Education a Forgotten Goal?
A teachers’ union, such as the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), can be a helpful mechanism for employees to influence the terms of employment. Yet when this sort of union is given a monopoly over contract negotiation, both teachers and students suffer. In states with exclusive collective bargaining, as in Hawaii, a union is given the right to be the only body with whom the state can negotiate. This analysis considers the aspects of exclusive bargaining that hinder the efficiency and quality of Hawaii’s public education system. (more)
Los Angeles School Reform
School Choice (more)
Contestants Help Hawaii's Education System by Identifying Waste and Inefficiencies
THE 2009 WINNERS! Contest ends with over 100 money saving ideas generated to help DOE trim its budget. (more)
Concerned teachers believe they now need protection, because delegates to the April 2009 HSTA Convention approved bylaw amendments that take away members’ right to counsel during the grievance process... (more)
Government-run Schools Get Less with More
For years most economists have been arguing for market-like reforms in K-12 schooling. Market-like reforms would unleash competitive forces that reward innovation. The purpose of this study is to provide additional empirical evidence of the need for those reforms. (more)
Hawaii’s popular view of its system of government education (k-12) has experienced a major shift in the past 20 years. Twenty years ago, the prevailing attitude was that there were some flaws in the DOE organization but none that could not be fixed by injecting more money into it. Today, it is conventional wisdom that the system is broken. It is failing great numbers of our children. And what is being done about it? Not much. But at least the "more money mantra" is dying a slow death. The Governor wants to accomplish some significant change. The legislature disagrees. They want to tinker with the system. Yes. Tinker. Leave it intact with an adjustment here and a tweak there. In effect they are making a generation or more of children tinkertoys. And it gets worse. Talented, dedicated teachers and administrators whose calling is the development of children are being drowned in a mindless, unaccountable, unresponsive bureaucratic system that feeds on itself from within and from the public through the legislature. (more)
Does Sweden Have an Answer?
Curiously, the idea of using government money to help send children to private schools is considered a very right-wing, conservative notion. Granted, in the U.S. it is mostly Republicans who support the concept, with Democrats against. Thus we have the odd situation of liberals opposing a government hand-out that has the potential to mostly benefit the poor and minorities. Not very progressive of them. (more)
Feeding the Government Education System in Hawaii
Governor Linda Lingle’s request for all departments to provide a budgetary reduction plan is causing heated debate among stakeholders in Hawaii’s public education system. As the Board of Education struggles to make $46 million in cuts on a $2.4 billion budget, it is an ideal time to review the money that has been spent and the results of this investment. The Department of Education Operating Budget has grown from $972 million in FY 99‐00 to $2.4 billion in FY 08‐09.1 The current proposed reduction of $46 million represents a mere 1.9% cut of the entire budget. (more)
Correcting historical revisionism and misconceptions promoted by the Akaka Bill.
How Fast Does The State Government Spend Your Money?