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Education Fail

November 11, 2009

It’s been over a month now since the state government, the education bureaucrats and the teachers union reached an agreement that will no doubt go down in the record books as one of the most wrong-headed decisions the state has ever made, an agreement of Swiftian proportions: Furlough Fridays.

A lawsuit, a scathing open letter from the Secretary of Education, a NY Times op-ed, a parent protest on the capitol steps – not one of these has made much of an impact on a governing body indifferent to the plight of 130,000 public school children in a state that ranks near the bottom of the nation in education.

We were there at the protest, which turned out to be an impromptu Jack Johnson concert masquerading as a protest. Jack deigns the South Shore with a few hits from the catalog, steps off stage, and what do you think happens? That’s right. The hundreds of “outraged citizens” dwindle to a handful. 130,000 affected students, and yet the organizers are only able to collect a couple thousand signatories for the petition. In spite of this, the mothers who organized the event deserve some kind of Nobel Prize for their efforts.

And now, in a new and strange twist, the Advertiser is reporting that Lingle has actually had the money to put a stop to the furloughs all along. Much like Dorothy and her ruby slippers. Will wonders never cease!

On a more positive note, our son Taiyo received a “Mindful Student” Award for the first quarter of classes, the highest award given at Waikiki Elementary. Although it is comforting that he seems to be doing well, it’s all relative to the more alarming fact that he seems to be off from school more often than in the classroom.

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