Open Thread - Education: The downward spiral continues

I'd like to ask ePM's Hawaiian Blog mistress if there is more to this story than what it appears to be, but slashing education budgets and cutting down on days in school just does not strike me as a good thing to do:

In Hawaii, school's out for recession

At a time when President Barack Obama is pushing for more time in the classroom, his home state has created the nation's shortest school year under a new union contract that closes schools on most Fridays for the remainder of the academic calendar.

The deal whacks 17 days from the school year for budget-cutting reasons and has education advocates incensed that Hawaii is drastically cutting the academic calendar at a time when it already ranks near the bottom in national educational achievement.

While many school districts have laid off or furloughed teachers, reduced pay and planning days and otherwise cut costs, Hawaii's 171,000 public schools students now find themselves with only 163 instructional days, compared with 180 in most districts in the U.S.

Given our kids results, not just Hawaiian kids but US kids across the country, in comparison to other nation's kids you would think states would be considering longer school years and more money and resources for them? I know that this is an old report but I have yet to see anything to suggest these trends have changed. Even the reports suggesting otherwise - misleadingly with a lot of selective wording of their own, IMHO - read like "It could be worse" and "Yay! we haven't slipped into last place, yet.". Well?

This is an Open Thread.

"Holding On"

Bumped. Originally posted 2009-02-20 07:06:09 -0500 -- GH

Joy's original thought was that it was a song for mothers of challenged children, particularly single moms, like her. While in the process of getting the music transcribed on the computer in June of '07, it occurred to her that it also might appeal to the wives and mothers of veterans returning from war with TBI and PTSD.

Kristian Lei - Holding On


The full story of how the song came to be is on Joy's blog: Joy Dawning

There's a short writeup, where I found out about the video, at the Honolulu Advertiser

Music Video by Kristian Lei singing Holding On with Joy Dawning [words and music] and Henry Mochida [Director]. Produced by HDology, LLC. (C) 2009 Joy Dawning Publishing, LLC

 In these times the 'song' has more meanings and those are put forth in the article and at the blog.


Hawaii: Paradise Stolen - Discussion

In her Journal article Paradise Stolen Roxy Caraway visits with the native Hawaiians who the rich and powerful wish to "sweep from the beach."

The story she tells has its parallels in what happened to the fisher people of Sri Lanka, the poor Thai who lived off the ocean, and others who found their homes taken by the powerful hotel industry after the Tsunami.