Congratulations to the Hawaii Department of Education for being named one of 19 national finalists for President Obama's Race to the Top program.
Hawaii's teachers, staff, and administrators on all islands spent countless hours on the application, and were recognized for working together. Their tireless efforts overcame national criticism of Hawaii's Furlough Fridays.
Under the leadership of acting School Superintendent Kathy Matayoshi, Hawaii developed an innovative preschool-through-college (P-20) approach to reform. This plan includes closing achievement gaps between groups of students, ensuring that all students are prepared for college and careers, and focusing on the Science and Engineering skills of the future. The most important factor in student achievement is the teacher in front of the classroom, and Hawaii's plan will provide teachers with better training and support.
While not all of these finalists will receive these Race to the Top grants, that Hawaii made it to the finals is an achievement to be applauded and acknowledged.