Thursday, March 18, 1999

Cayetano: Education
revolution needed

UH monies reallocated by needs

By Susan Kreifels


Shortly after Ben Cayetano became governor, the king of Malaysia was passing through Hawaii and the two played golf. The king made regular trips to Stanford University for medical checkups, and then came here to recuperate.

"One day, he should be able to come here for both," Cayetano recalled thinking then.

But that would mean expanding the state's image of fun and sun to a place with a skilled work force. How to do it: raising the bar on education.

"In lower education we need an absolute revolution," he said yesterday at a lunch hosted by the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council and the University of Hawaii School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies. "Too many students have been left behind."

Speaking on "Hawaii's Role in Asia and the Pacific," Cayetano said the state, with sagging business through the 1990s, must diversify its economy beyond tourism. That requires young people who are creative and critical thinkers, and an education system of accountability and performance standards.

"If you raise the bar, people will rise to it," Cayetano predicted.

Legislators don't appear to hear the message. They've chipped away at the Department of Education budget in recent years while the University of Hawaii has suffered major cuts.

Meanwhile, Hawaii students scored the lowest in reading among 39 states last year, and UH has seen a 15 percent decline in enrollment.

With continuing financial trouble in the state, Cayetano said developing intellectual capital is more important to the economy than tax cuts or other business incentives.

Faced with continued revenue shortfalls, legislators, he said, need the "mind and will" to improve education, and they can't wait.

His often stated visions for the state: a center of health care and higher education, and becoming the "Geneva of the Pacific" as a center of international meetings. The state also must take advantage of niche markets such as biotechnology, marine science and telecommunications.

While leaders for years have wanted to make Hawaii the "center of something ... We can't afford to squander the opportunity to make this happen," said Cayetano, who was to meet with the Board of Education and legislative education committees today.

Public helps Education
Board set goals

A report says the Board of Education will use data collected from the public to derive priorities.

It says the six goals the Department of Education needs to focus on are:

bullet Standards-based learning: emphasizing quality curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation.

bullet Quality student support: caring and respectful learning in a safe, healthy, supportive learning environment.

bullet Professionalism and capacity of system: quality training of prospective teachers and continued career development, with effective programs for recruitment, selection, placement and retention, plus a quality performance evaluation system.

bullet Focused and sustained action: clear goals and priorities with sustained assessment and evaluation of results.

bullet Coordinated team work: clear communication and supportive organizational structure.

bullet Responsiveness of system: effective customer service with openness to diversity.

The public called a 24-hour phone line to answer a survey to help determine the direction of the public schools.

The survey was part of a comprehensive needs assessment in the Department of Education seeking feedback from parents, students, school administrators, community, business and education groups.

UH monies
reallocated by needs

By Susan Kreifels


University of Hawaii Senior Vice President Dean Smith yesterday listened to the governor talk about the critical need to improve the state's higher education.

He then attended a gloomy meeting with UH faculty members to describe the administration's "4-4-4 plan" -- essentially a 4 percent budget reallocation over each of the next three years that will lead to department cuts.

The university has faced several years of budget cuts. One way of dealing with them has been a hiring freeze, but that has meant "losses in no programmed way," Smith said.

Department heads will be asked to chop up to 4 percent of their budgets each year. That will total $5.1 million next year.

The administration will divide that money among university needs: $1 million for repair and maintenance, which has been cut drastically over recent years; $500,000 for library purchases; $400,000 to "learning community initiatives"; $2 million for equipment and $1.2 million for academic programs to "repair the worst damage."

Department heads will send a list of needs to the administration for a decision on which are most urgent. Smith said the administration wants to develop a three-year budget plan.

Faculty members complained that they should have heard about the plan three months ago to stem rumors about cuts that have been circulating on campus.

State legislative committees have approved a $3 million cut in the UH budget.

UH President Kenneth Mortimer told the faculty that Gov. Ben Cayetano's luncheon speech yesterday included the "best things I've heard the governor say about the University of Hawaii."

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