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Position on Domestic Violence
President's Message (Jean Aoki)
LWV US Lobby Request
State Board Actions
Education Committee Report (Mary Anne Raywid)
In Memory of Marion Saunders 1908-1998
Vote by Mail Study (Marian Wilkins)
BOE Voter's Guide
Con Con Pamphlet
Volunteers Needed
Hoover on Advisory Committee
League Local News - Hawaii County
League Local News - Honolulu
League Local News - Kauai County (Carol Bain)

Education Committee Report

The Education Committee has not met recently, due to summer vacation schedules and, over the last month, to the illness and death of its longtime chair, Marion Saunders.

However, Committee efforts have continued during this period, with at least one solid victory: the Committee offered support and encouragement to "Connection," the embattled school-within-a-school program at Mountain View Elementary School on the Big Island. Just hours before her death, Marion advised this group on presenting their case to the BOE that evening. Later, the Committee played a role in recommending the action that the board did, in fact, take in saving the school.

This was a significant victory - not only for the committed teachers, parents, and youngsters most immediately affected, but also for the rest of the State. It would have been a negative lesson, indeed, to add another casualty to Hawaii's long list of unsuccessful school reform efforts -- and especially where teachers had given extensive personal time and effort to a strategy widely recommended as a reform route.

Committee members will be involved in coming months in the assessment and community education efforts that have been ordered as part of the continuation decision. There are also other schools and other individuals who have called the Committee for assistance, and following discussion packets of materials are sent them, and a Committee speaker may eventually address a related group if requested.

The Committee has several studies in process - one on school dropout rates, one on parent response to school/ community based management, and one on resources for science instruction. How these are completed and distributed depends upon the future role the Committee defines for itself As noted at our last meeting, the new school administration may recommend a change in the Education Committee's direction. For the past several decades the Committee's contribution has focused on calling attention to situations and developments needing alteration. Positive instances have also been noted and acclaimed, of course, but the gadfly stance has been customary and has been a needed contribution.

It is hoped that the new school administration may render that stance less necessary. After the disappointing Legislative session last Spring, contributing minimally to school improvement, it appears that the BOE, in its choice of a new Superintendent, may have provided real grounds for hope. In any event, the Committee plans to invite the new Superintendent to meet with it as soon as possible for discussion. Following that meeting, and observations of the Superintendent's early weeks in office, new foci and directions for our efforts may appear to warrant consideration.

Mary Anne Raywid

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