“In an economy where knowledge is the most valuable commodity a person and a country have to offer, the best jobs will go to the best educated -- whether they live in the United States or India or China. In a world where countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow, the future belongs to the nation that best educates its people. Period. We know this.”
- President Barack Obama
There is no one-size-fits-all approach that guarantees all children will graduate high school with the skills and knowledge necessary for smooth transitions as they move onto college or start their careers.
The bleak economy has lent urgency to the call to fix the public schools. Parents want more educational opportunities for their children. Colleges want students who are prepared to do college-level work without remediation. Businesses want graduates who are academically prepared and equipped with the essential social, vocational, and civic skills necessary enter the global workforce. The Hawaii State Department of Education is committed to delivering these kind of graduates.
Across the state, educators, policy makers, business leaders, community groups, the military and other stakeholders have come together to raise the bar for student achievement and to provide schools with the means and motivation to hit higher targets. As momentum grows around a national reform movement, the state's goals have become clearer and a strategy for bringing about broad, systemic change has taken shape. The result is a five-point plan that levels the playing field so all graduates are prepared for the academic rigor of college, possessing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for competition in the workforce.
“When we set standards high and provide students, teachers, and administrators with data and assessments directly linked to student learning and achievement... we can start to revitalize our schools and communities,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent.