US Education Department Approves Hawaii Race Plan Changes; State Still Needs to Show Progress

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, February 16, 2012

Amendments to Hawaii's Race to the Top plan have been approved but the U.S. Department of Education still wants to see progress in reforming public schools.

In December, Hawaii was warned its $75 million grant is in jeopardy because of unsatisfactory progress. Hawaii must now prove that progress is being made when officials from Washington, D.C. visit the islands next month.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/ztQCFT ) reports a letter to the governor from the Education Department says Hawaii must provide "clear and compelling" evidence of progress.

Recently approved changes include using $3 million to develop a teacher evaluation system that takes into account student academic growth instead of using the money for implementation.

A labor dispute with teachers and the lack of a collective bargaining agreement are major obstacles to reforms.

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