Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Hahaione Elementary School
Mayoral and Board of Education
Mayoral Candidates – 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.
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(I support Panos Prevedouros).
Board of Education Candidates – 8:20 to 9:30 p.m.
(9 of 12 have confirmed attendance)
Opening Statement (up to 2 minutes):
• Why are you running for the Board of Education and how are you qualified?
I want to promote parent control and enhanced student motivation.
I attended Hawaii DOE schools, taught in Hawaii DOE schools from 1982 to 1995, and have been an independent tutor since 1995. I have studied the relation between institutional structure and system performance for nearly 20 years.
Questions (1-minute responses)
1. With 60% of Hawaii's public schools not making adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind, what will you do to improve student achievement?
Student motivation is critical. I will support policies which give parents enhanced control in early years and give students real reasons to do what schools require, in intermediate and high school.
2. Do you believe the DOE’s $2.4 billion operating budget is sufficient, and what will you do to ensure that education funds are wisely spent?
Taxpayers currently spend over $12,000 per pupil-year to operate the Hawaii DOE. This is more than enough. The bureaucratic State-wide DOE cannot use its budget efficiently. Real reform is at least twenty years away. Parents should not wait on politicians to dismantle this corrupt system. Homeschool. Nothing in Hawaii Revised Statutes requires that instruction ocur between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
3. Since the Board of Education appoints and reviews the superintendent and state librarian, how will you ensure their top performance?
Put a gold-medal Olympic sailor behind the wheel of a supertanker with blacked-out windows, busted navigation gear, intermittent engine power, and 20 tons of driftnet hanging from the rudder. You will not get gold-medal performance.
4. In light of Hawaii’s teacher shortage, what will you do to attract and retain highly qualified teachers?
The Legislature has taken this issue from the Board's hands. I will lobby the legislature to abolish the Teacher Standards Board and the State-wide single school district. Principals should be authorized determine credential requirements and to hire the staff they prefer. Parents should have the power to take the taxpayers' K-12 education subsidy to the school they prefer.
5. With technology providing greater access to information, how can the public libraries best relate to and serve the public?
I would support radical decentralization of the library system. I support community control.
Quickies (30-sec. responses, if time permits):
• Do you support random drug testing as agreed to in the teachers’ contract?
I hope teachers can now see one of the disadvantages to State-wide collective bargaining. Let's live (for now) with the contract we negotiated.
• Do you support replacing the current BOE and DOE with at least seven “local” boards of education and departments of education?
Smaller is better. The job I'm running for should not exist. By some measures, North Dakota generates the highest performance of any US State. The mean school district size in North Dakota is under 500 students.
• Was it appropriate for 651 Hawaii educators to attend the “Model Schools Conference” in Orlando in June at an estimated cost to the state of $1.2 million?