Wednesday, February 3, 1999

Lindsey denies
making threat to
student leader

The Bishop trustee says
a former student body president
misunderstood an analogy



Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey, fighting back tears, recounted a May 1997 meeting with a former Kamehameha Schools student body president who alleged that the trustee intimidated him.

In testimony before Circuit Judge Bambi Weil yesterday, Lindsey said 1997 graduate Kamani Kuala'au was being used in the boardroom battle between herself and fellow trustee Oswald Stender.

"I personally don't like using students to promote someone else's agenda," Lindsey said. "I didn't feel that this was something a student should be involved in."

Lindsey's remarks came in the 3-month-old trial over her removal from the Bishop Estate board, which oversees Kamehameha Schools. Trustees Stender and Gerard Jervis are seeking Lindsey's ouster, alleging that she breached her fiduciary duties and is unfit to serve.

Kuala'au, now a student at Princeton University, testified in December that he felt scared after he met with Lindsey for 21/2 hours at her downtown office nearly two years ago. Kuala'au, a key witness in the removal case, said he was ordered to Lindsey's office after he read a letter in his morning classes expressing support for embattled schools President Michael Chun.

Questioned by her attorney David Gierlach, Lindsey yesterday said she was hurt by Kuala'au's testimony, which she disputed. She said their 1997 meeting was very cordial and that she and the former student enjoyed a friendly relationship dating to 1993.

Lindsey denied threatening Kuala'au, saying the student misunderstood an analogy she used. She said she was trying to compare rumors about Chun's firing to her calling Princeton administrators and telling them that Kuala'au was a rabble-rouser.

Lindsey said she told Kuala'au that the board of trustees had never formally discussed firing Chun at the time. But she said yesterday that trustees discussed the matter informally.

Lindsey also testified about a board meeting about a month after the Kuala'au incident. She said that Stender called her a liar four times after she told fellow trustees that Stender had told Kuala'au that board members would fire Chun.

Testing expert
says report by Lindsey

Her critique of Kamehameha Schools
put too much weight on test scores,
the expert testifies

By Rick Daysog


An expert in educational testing criticized Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey's controversial report on the Kamehameha Schools.

In testimony before Circuit Judge Bambi Weil today, James Popham, emeritus professor at the University of California-Los Angeles' graduate school of education, said that the so-called "Lindsey report" is "wrongheaded" in assuming that test scores are a good indication of educational quality at the Kapalama Heights campus.

"I think that (Lindsey's) conclusions are altogether unwarranted," said Popham, a former president of the American Educational Research Association.

Lindsey's 1997 report, called "An Imperative for Educational Change," argued that the longer students stayed at the estate-run Kamehameha Schools, the worse they performed as measured by standardized test scores.

The Lindsey report also said that only 40 percent of the students in the Kamehameha Schools 1997 graduating class scored the minimum SAT level for entrance into the University of Hawaii and that more than 30 graduating students could not read at 12th-grade level.

Bishop Estate trustees Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis said they believe that the Lindsey report was inaccurate, hurt student and teacher morale and was designed to deflect blame from Lindsey in the controversy surrounding the Kamehameha Schools.

They are seeking Lindsey's removal from the Bishop Estate board, alleging she breached her fiduciary duties and is unfit to serve as a trustee.

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