Honolulu Community College Candidates' Forum

On Monday, 2008-09-15, at 11:30, Board of Education candidates presented their views on reform of the Hawaii DOE to an audience assembled at the HCC cafeteria. The committee who organized the event announced a schedule of candidaies' forums, with Mayoral candidates one day and State Representatives another. With only Board candidates in appearance for this round, we had time for more extended responses to questions. Oahu at-large candidate Garrett Toguchi did not appear, as usual.
HCC Go Vote Committee

Question 1: "Please tell us your background and your qualifications for office. Secondly, please tell us, if your view, what the challenges are that our education system faces and how you plan to address them as a member of the Board of Education." 6 minutes each, 48 minutes total
Question 2: From audience. 90 seconds each, 12 minutes altogether
Question 3: From audience. 90 seconds each, 12 minutes altogether
Question 4: "Please share with us any final comments you wish to make." 2 minutes each, 16 minutes altogether
The Honolulu District candidates sat in the following order (from stage left): Malcolm Kirkpatrick, Denise Matsumoto, and Carol Mon Lee. Denise came prepared; she had a page of double-spaced print in a rather large font. She observed, sotto voce, that the question as the forum coordinator presented it was "obstacles" and not "challenges".

I had no problem winging it: the Hawaii State school system yields one of the worst results, as measured by standardized test scores, of any State in the nation. Juvenile arrests fall in summer, when school is not in session. Juvenile hospitalizations fall in summer. It does not take 12 years at $12,000 per pupil-year to teach a normal child to read and compute. Most vocational training occurs more effectively on the job than in a classroom. State provision of History and Civics instruction is a threat to democracy, just as State operation of newspapers would be (is, in totalitarian countries). The system has more than enough money. There is no amount of money so great that these parasites cannot waste it. The major obstacle to effective reform is the cartel of public sector unions through whose sticky fingers flows an annual revenue stream of $2.4 billion+ per year. Do not rely on politicians to fix this mess. Homeschool.

As happened at the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board forum, one or two candidates spoke of a vision in which there is a highly qualified teacher in every classroom and in which all Hawaii schools perform at or above the 50th percentile nationwide. Again, you might as well envision winning the Indianapolis 500 in a stock D-9 Caterpillar bulldozer. That's not visionary. That's delusional.

Aside from those witless pipe-dreams, I do not recall that anyone (aside from your humble narrator) said anything other than "Vote for me" and "The system needs more money". Perhaps it was the acoustrics that made such work out of paying attention.

One question from the audience concerned enhanced parent input. I reiterated the plea that parents homeschool.

The Makiki Neighborhood Board has a forum scheduled on Wednesday, 2008-09-18, 7:30 at the Makiki Recreation Center Arts and Crafts building.


Anonymous said...

Malcolm - I was reading through all the Advertiser's Voters' Guide 2008 and lamenting the fact that I wasn't excited about any of candidates. Robert Peters and Garrett Taguchi said some things that at least sounded somewhat plausible - but to say that I was underwhelmed with the perspectives offered by the candidates would be far too generous. And then I read your comments. What? A thinking man running for a board that has the good collectivist responsibility to turn out service sector drones? You made my day - and are the only BOE candidate I'll be voting for today.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick said...

I got at least two votes, then. Thanks for the kind words.