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Winter 1990

Spring 1990

President Sandra Duckworth
Evelyn Bender
Board Notes
Captains of Change
Face to Face: An Interview with Dr. Mary Anne Raywid
Coming Up
Our thanks to the Following Corporations
Hawaii Area-Wide Information Access Network
Who Will Have Political and Economic Power in the Next Decade? (Debbie Kimball)

Captains of Change

"Captains of Change" Lectures on School Reform and Schools of Choice presented by The Office of the Dean, College of Education, University of Hawai'i at Manoa Campus.

"Reflections on a System in Transition." December 4, 1989; Dr. Mary Anne Raywid.

"I treasure the many interactions with people in Hawaii. I came with the hope that I may of service to the people of Hawaii and I leave with the only gift that a scholar can give. I do this with the understanding of the reticence for voicing the unpleasant.

When we look at the potential for change we must look at three kinds of reform. The first is Pseudo-Reform which includes building repairs and the 2.0 sports regulation. The second is incremental; it is the most frustrating, the one most frequently adopted and turns out not to matter at all. It changes one segment or something for one group of students - a writing program for one particular audience would be an example.

The third is restructuring, which will include school governance, and is either choice or school-based management."

The response to proposals is often "we are doing that" or "I got a good education;" these comments do not mean that schools work for all or perhaps even most though respondents report success for themselves. Our aim must be to make schools for most or all. We need extraordinary performance from ordinary people for schools to succeed.

This is not a matter of finding rascals to throw out. It is not a matter of personalities. School problems are complex and provide educational questions for professional educators.

Struggles are going on in Hawaii; they intensify the major difficulties. A+ and School Based Management (SCBM) are today's fight. They are between pseudo-reform and restructuring and the question of who will it be, professional or public control? Who will write school policy in Hawaii? It appears that the BOE has been interpreting policy rather than initiating it and now the A+ program has derailed the policy-making role the BOE has been trying to assert. The Legislature was derailed also.

Circles within circles are evident and another issue is privilege versus equity; this issue permeates many questions relative to control and comes into the hiring picture. And separatism and exclusivity versus aloha spirit underlies much going on.

Impacting on schools is interest-group politics which invites factionalism as each interest group becomes a veto group and then it is almost impossible to get change made.

The education industry must change. What can be done to hasten the transition? Preserve essentials - diversity, real choice among people involved, and enabling and empowering teachers. All must be in force to effect change. Permit schools to decide which way they want to pursue change.

Restructuring needs catalyst. SCBM cannot do it alone because educational change is too risky and speculative.

Education priorities must be selected and with those priorities an easing of competing directions and help to focus on allocation of resources must be made.

Back off and leave schools alone. Decentralization was decided to be desired; interference is an intrusion and precludes decentralization. Four forces (Governor, Legislature, Department of Education and Board of Education) can offer redirection; each can send directions. Leave policy to one group (BOE) or replace it. Leave education to one force; too many forces are contradictory and makes accountability difficult.

Remember, we must be aware that we cannot impose excellence. You can enable, but you cannot force it.

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