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Spring 2001

Reapportionment (Carol Bain)
Care Package to Florida
State Censorship (Marcia Linville)
Viewpoint: Election 2000 (Jean Aoki)
Gambling Report (Dorothy Bobilin)
Education Committee Activity (Mary Anne Raywid)
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Education Committee Activity

The Education Committee has been notified that its two bill proposals will be introduced in the House Education Committee, and perhaps independently in the Senate Education Committee. One of these would provide incentives for school downsizing (into schoolswithin-schools) and the other would require the collection and widespread dissemination of data about each school - in supplement of the test score information that standards call for.

We think both these bills to be urgent. According to the evidence, downsizing is important to preventing the occurrence of a Columbine in Hawaii - school violence being highly correlated with large school size. (And the average school size in Hawaii is close to the largest in the nation.) The additional data collection is important to determining how successful schools really are. We are concerned, for instance, that schools' average test scores could rise at the expense of a substantially increased school dropout rate. That would be a questionable improvement at extremely high cost.

We are working on a third bill related to charter schools and aimed at overcoming some of the obstacles the new schools are facing. There is considerable concern among charter school people that the growing scarcity of funds will undercut the burgeoning charter school movement in Hawaii. In coming .weeks the Legislature will surely be faced with charter proposals aimed in a number of directions. Some want to raise the current cap of 25, others remain unconvinced about the desirability of the genre, and yet others - like the League Education Committee - are concerned to try to help it succeed. It should prove an interesting session for education at the Legislature.

Mary Anne Raywid

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