Aloha and Mahalo for Visiting Mister Secretary

It is way too early to start closing the school year, and I don’t like counting down, but I can’t help it. It’s been a tough school year.

Apparently, earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the islands. He visited the local high school in the district where I work. As the middle school that feeds into that high school, I showed some interest. You can read an article here.

It’s always nice to see some of my former students involved at the high school, and there are a lot of great programs the principal has installed there. But. .  .

The Hawaii Department of Education talks a lot about Race to the Top, and the funding that the government has provided the state for change, innovation and reform.

I’ve read somewhere, that Hawaii was very close to losing funding for scoring near the bottom, and apparent issues with our beloved teachers union.

However, the state did show great improvement and Mister U.S. Secretary has praised the State highlighting that it can “serve as a role model for other states“, especially with such a diverse culture.

While Mister U.S. Secretary is visiting the nation to check up on the educational reform, and things may look great on the surface, he can go back to Washington with a good report.

The reality for public school teachers (in Hawaii) is that. . . .

. .  .$75 million dollars in 4 years =  weary public school teachers and over-tested kiddos!

I’m tired. ( I can only speak for myself. )There is so much being asked of us, I could just break down and cry out of frustration and exhaustion.

New teacher evaluation system. Common Core. Smarter Balance Consortium.

On top of. .  . regular discipline unruly pre-teens, building community among diverse cultures, English language barriers, and oh yeah .  .teaching?!

In a given week. . . I ask myself, when do I actually get to teach that rockin’ lesson in the midst of this reform?

Don’t ask me just yet about results. I’m not too worried about my personal results (I’ve always worked my butt off to do well). But when I get lumped with the masses and judged. . . it isn’t fair. Waah!

So take that Aloha spirit – all the love and aloha – and give me a raise. Oh, and did we mention the cost of living in our beautiful island State?

Mahalo nui loa
(Thank you very much)