Public education is a nexus of change for Hawai'i. Throughout this past year, I’ve spoken about the power and promise of the Hawai'i DOE at our schools and forums, before the Legislature, with business and community leaders. Our power comes from our core mission of equity, excellence and innovation for all students; and our promise is in our delivery of that mission by ensuring access, engagement, and voice for all students.
As more schools and our overall educational system operate as a Learning Organization, scaling capacity to deliver meaningful, innovative and rigorous educational experiences that build college, career and community readiness for our haumana (based on their passions and interests!), the more we will see a thriving, sustainable state grounded in the values of HĀ.
The promise of public education to provide equitable access to quality learning is the great hope of our society. In order to mālama Hawai'i, we have to mālama our public education system. This week our nation celebrates Public Education Week, a campaign designed to facilitate deliberate conversations and meaningful work toward bolstering our schools to best support the students we serve. (I'll be keeping an eye out for our educators who are sharing the public school love! Use
#PSW19 and #PublicSchoolProud and #HI4PublicEd.)
It’s more than a celebration, however, it’s a call to action.
For the next several months, we will be engaging our staff, families, communities and partners in a conversation around our collective will to deliver on the promise of public education in a set of empowerment promises to our haumana in a 2030 Strategic Promise Plan.
There is urgency around this work. Homelessness and affordable housing. Transit. Preserving the environment. Growing the strength and impact of our cultural heritage and native language. Economic development and the future of work. Clean food and water.
We will leverage the cultural abundance, talent and energy of Hawai‘i’s public education system to meet the challenges we face and create the change we want to see through well prepared, empowered, and civically engaged young people. It is audacious and inspiring work that requires commitment from all our stakeholders to achieve. More information will be coming soon, but here are two opportunities to learn more:
April 4 and April 18 Board of Education meetings: I will be presenting the initial timeline and process on April 4, and on April 18 I will release five draft 2030 promise statements to kick off eight months of community conversations.
Equity, Excellence, and Innovation: I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to read the vision statement for this work that I shared in January.
National Public Education Week is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the promise and power of public education in Hawai‘i that has 179 years of rich history, and a future promise that is focused on student empowerment to mālama Hawai‘i — its people, its children, its communities, its resources, its history, its economy, its strategic global presence, its values, its voice, and so on!