Summer 2000 Home   Newsletters

Council Edition 2000

Fall 2000

Annual Council Guest - Kay Maxwell - LWV National Liaison
Alana Bowman to Speak at League Brown Bag Lunch
President's Message (Virginia Isbell)
Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
Hawaii Clean Elections (Laure Dillon & George Fox)
Violence Prevention (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Don't Gamble with Aloha (Dorothy Bobilin)
Education Committee (Mary Anne Raywid)
Judiciary Study Committee (Jean Aoki)
High-Traffic Websites Team Up to Sponsor 'Rolling Cyber Debate'
Kauai Annual Meeting (Carol Bain)
Congressional Candidates' Forum
League of Women Voters Clearinghouse Open!
Man and his Legacy, The
Voter Service

Education Committee

During the past year, the Education Committee has extended its focus on, and its continuing study of, how at-risk youngsters fare in Hawaii's schools. Spokespersons from the various DOE programs designed to aid such students have made presentations at our meetings. The need for emphasis on the at-risk student was underscored in recently released figures on the State's Title 1 schools, where 40% of the students enrolled come from poverty homes. Not only do such schools constitute almost 60% of Hawaii's public schools, but many are also schools in trouble, with large numbers of students functioning below grade level in reading and mathematics.

We hope in the coming year to be able to issue a report on the problem. This year, the dropout study we presented at UH-Manoa was challenged vigorously by DOE's analyst of relevant data. They claimed our findings to the statewide rate excessive. We suspect that our study played a part in the DOE's announcement some weeks later that Hawaii's drop-out rate is a bit over 19%. This was apparently the first time the Department has ever released such information. Previously, the only figures announced were the dropout rate of students during their senior year in high school! So Hawaii's citizens had understood the school dropout rate to be only 4%. We continue to suspect that it is actually somewhere between the approximately 1 in 5 students the DOE reported, and the more than 1 in 3 our figures showed. Even 1 in 5 is far too high and the Education Committee is addressing related problems and issues.

We met with the education committee chairmen of both the House and Senate prior to the opening of the Legislature. Next year our plan is to concentrate more heavily on such advance conferring, with the hope of shaping several bills to be put forward. We may also be doing more testimony at hearings, which this year was minimal.

The Committee has been represented, however, in other ways in education in Hawaii. The chair is a part of the Hawaii Charter School Consortium of Hawaii and has been named a member of the advisory board of the Charter School Center being launched at UH-Hilo. She was part of the panel that selected the state's 21 recipients of charter school planning grants. She was a member of the panel of the House Minority Caucus's Forum on Education held in March. And she has been named to the recently established advisory committee to the Comprehensive School Alienation Program, the State's major program for youngsters who are not succeeding in school.

Mary Anne Raywid

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