BOE Chairman Horner addresses Aiea/Pearl City Town Hall Meeting

Aug 26, 2011 | PC Community


Hawaii Board of Education Chairman, Mr. Don Horner was the featured guest speaker at Thursday night's Aiea/Pearl City Town Hall Meeting held at the Pearl Ridge Elementary School Cafeteria.

Chairman Horner was also joined by Dr. Teri Ushijima, Complex Area Superintendent-Aiea, Radford, Moanalua and Mr. Norman Pang,Complex Area Superintendent-Pearl City and Waipahu.

Chairman Horner spoke about the current state of education in Hawaii which included questions on labor negotiations. Both Complex Superintendents gave updates with regards to their respective Complex District Schools. All three speakers offered a Q&A period for attendees.

When asked to explain the AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress report, which is a measurement defined by United States federal, No Child Left Behind Act, which requires elementary and secondary schools to demonstrate proficiency and progress, Aiea Complex Area Superintendent, Dr. Teri Ushijima gave the following response;

"AYP stands for Adequate Yearly Progress and all our public schools are measured against 37 different criteria," said Dr. Ushijima. "In order to make Adequate Yearly Progress, you have to meet the criteria for each of those areas. That includes an overall score as well as disaggregated group scores. It also depends on the size of your sub group, so it's quite complicated."

A disturbing set a statistics was addressed by Chairman Horner which involves the growing "state wide" problem of social bullying in our schools.

“Frankly it’s talked about a lot but it isn’t necessarily systemically addressed,” said Horner. “Some complexes do an outstanding job and for some complexes, I don’t know if it’s a priority. If you believe the surveys, 52% of our high school kids feel unsafe on campus. That’s the survey of our kids. 48% of the kids in our state in the last survey said they feel safe on campus. The strategic goal is to get that number to 52%.”                 

Also included in the survey percentages was the satisfaction rate from parents.

"The other part of that survey is the satisfaction rate of our parents which is about 56%. That’s not good either," Horner said. "I challenge the parents because only 17% of you fill out the survey."

The percentages dropped even lower from the teachers who were surveyed.

"In my surveys with the teachers, we only got about 6% of the teachers who are satisfied and that’s not acceptable," Horner added.

Many challenges lay ahead for BOE Chairman Horner in the months to come. Thursday's town hall meeting answered a lot of questions and was appreciated by those in attendance.

Mahalo to the following Aiea/Pearl City Legislators for their support:

Sen. David IGE, Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, Rep Aaron Ling Johanson, Rep. Blake Oshiro, Rep. K. Mark Takai, Rep Roy Takumi.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

BOE Chairman Don Horner pictured answering questions during the Aiea/Pearl City Town Hall Meeting at the Pearl Ridge Elementary School Cafeteria on Thursday, August 25, 2011.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Dr. Teri Ushijima, Complex Area Superintendent-Aiea, Radford, Moanalua (center) and Mr. Norman Pang,Complex Area Superintendent-Pearl City, Waipahu (right) pictured with BOE Chairman Horner during the Q&A portion of the Town Hall Meeting on Thursday night.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Current Honolulu City Councilman and former Hawaii Board of Education member, Breene Harimoto (second from left) attended Thursday's Aiea/Pearl City Town Hall Meeting.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Teachers in attendance had the opportunity to have their questions and concerns answered by the guest panel.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

BOE Chairman Horner pictured fielding questions from the public with regard to the current state of Hawaii's education system.

For more information about Thursday's town hall meeting, including copies of handouts, please call 586-9470.