I've served as the Windward Representative on the Hawaii State Board of Education, helped in the classrooms at my daughters' school, chaired the Aikahi Elementary School Fun Fair and other activities to help raise money for public schools.
Public education is important to Hawaii's future, regardless if you have family in public schools or not. We are small, isolated islands. We need educated and motivated youth to build a strong, diversified economy in order for our state to thrive in the future.
Hawaii's Education System is a top-down culture, filled with red tape, cumbersome approvals, and a "one size fits all" model for every school, regardless of their community.
My record shows that I've been a long-term advocate to decentralize financial and management decisions. Schools put resources into the classroom, where it counts the most; the central bureaucracy has different priorities.
Schools should not be bound by red tape or have to get multiple approvals for operations. Schools should be able to adopt curriculum innovations, and reasonably modify scheduling for the school day, week and year so as to maximize student learning.
The State should set the educational goals, such as student achievement standards and minimum school time, but nor micromanage or impose a one-size-fits-all method of delivering instruction at the school level.
Hawaii's public charter schools play an important role in providing student and parent choice. Public Charter Schools have the flexibility and independent authority to implement alternative curriculum and instructional approaches.
I support public charter schools and believe their students should receive funding equitable with all other public school students. In exchange, public charter schools should be accountable to the public and held to the same ethical and professional standards as traditional public schools