Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2009


Fundraising gets a shot in the arm

Keith and Bonny Amemiya are to be commended for once again chipping in their own cash to help high school sports in Hawaii. Clearly, being executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association is more than just a job to Keith (shown at left). And he wouldn't be as successful as he is without business executive Bonny, always the first to answer his fundraising calls. This time the couple jump-started an emergency campaign with a $20,000 donation, and other major donors quickly kicked in a total of more than $400,000. That team spirit is helping to preserve high school athletics amid major state budget cuts.



Making the most at the microphone

Hawaii's congressional delegation got quite a bit of mileage out of a simple resolution honoring the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood. The resolution that passed unanimously in the U.S. House and Senate included the fact that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961, a hot topic. And Sen. Daniel Akaka used his floor time to plug the federal recognition bill for native Hawaiians. Way to make the most of the moment.



Test scores to determine teacher pay?

As if the stakes could be any higher for public schools already judged largely by standardized testing comes word that the U.S. Department of Education wants to award billions of dollars only to states that use students' scores to evaluate teachers and principals. The idea is to figure out how much individual educators contribute to academic progress, apart from socioeconomic factors that are known to correlate to a student's success. Teacher unions question the validity of such “;value added”; gauges, and don't like the idea of using test scores to set educators' pay. The draft plans for awarding $4 billion in Race to the Top money will be finalized by October.