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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, December 15, 2000

Public-school teachers
follow state standards

Question: With the shortage of teachers, why are people who have a master's of education but not a certification not allowed to teach at public schools in Hawaii? People with a master's of education degree are allowed to teach at Punahou, Iolani, Kamehameha and other private schools, but not at the public schools. Why?

Answer: There are several things to consider, according to Sharon Mahoe, executive director of the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board.

First, public-school teachers are covered by the state law on licensing and credentialing; private schools are not, she said.

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board was created in 1995 to set the standards for public-school teaching credentials and licenses, and 1997 was the first year teachers were required by law to obtain a license or credential from the Department of Education to teach in a public school.

You don't need a master's of education degree to teach in the public schools, but you are required to have a background in teacher education and to take three tests -- on basic skills (reading, writing and math), on pedagogy (learning how to teach) and on subject content.

"Private-school teachers don't take those tests because they don't need to be licensed," Mahoe said.

"A master's of education does not necessarily ensure that the individual has gone through student teaching and has a background in pedagogy," she said.

Asked about the possibility of relaxing the requirement, Mahoe said: "I don't think current trend indicates moving away from requiring teachers to know how kids learn and the methodology (of teaching). If anything, I think private schools would move in that direction."

Also, she added, "Private school doesn't necessarily mean better."

Q: There's a house in Makakilo that has been operating as a small popcorn factory for the last few months. Hundreds of small plastic containers and propane gas tanks are visible through a half-opened garage door. Is this kind of live-fire business allowed at the residential area?

A: There are restrictions on what business you may run out of your home, but when an inspector went to the address on Dec. 6, they saw no sign of any activity, said William Deering, chief of the city's Housing Code Section.

However, he said a tenant told the inspector a warehouse had been secured to conduct their business.


On Dec. 1, I was driving on Prospect Street near Ward Avenue when I accidentally hit the curb and the two right-side tires were blown out. Two angels came to my rescue. Milton Akiona was jogging and Ralph Glover was driving when they saw my predicament. Ralph went home and called the towing company. He and Milton also replaced one bad tire with the spare. How grateful I am to be helped by these two kind men who refused to accept money. Thank you, Milton and Ralph. -- Mrs. Ogata


To UH Rainbow fans at the UH Wahine volleyball game who booed Long Beach players as they were introduced last week. It got worse as the game went along. They were were an embarrassment to us in Hawaii. It also was bad that KFVE showed close-ups of them booing. I have a son who plays soccer, and it was not good for him to think it is OK to boo an opponent. We try to teach kids good sportsmanship. -- Claudia

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fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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