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June issue

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“Grading the Public High Schools,” May 2011

We rated the 44 high schools statewide, using the Department of Education’s data—standardized scores in reading and math, as well as satisfaction scores from teacher, parent and student surveys. The No. 1 ranked high school in the state is Mililani.

As the state representative from Mililani and mother of three Mililani High School graduates, I always knew Mililani was a great school. This distinction has come with a lot of hard work from students, teachers, community, parents and a dedicated administration. We are very proud.




“Ten Years of Schools Coverage,” May 2011

In his Editor’s Page, A. Kam Napier wrote that our May 2001 schools coverage found “The problem with the DOE is that it was really run for the benefit of the adults who work in it, not the children who attend its schools.” In the decade since, “graduation rates haven’t budged, college success after leaving a DOE school hasn’t improved, and our math and reading test scores still rank among the lowest in the nation.”

I suppose builders of a building that “underperformed” should not be compensated in a manner consistent with the cost of living. Gee! That hotel was vacant for half the year so we will stiff the builder 50 percent of the cost.

What a stupid statement the schools are run for the adults working in them, not the students! A teacher is involved with hundreds of maturing and graduating individuals. A student we expect and hope moves on, while a DOE employee, we hope, stays.
 —via honolulumagazine.com



“Curbing the Clutter,” May 2011

A new law, Sheila Sarhangi reports, will fine property owners $250 per day for putting bulky waste on the curb before the designated pickup day. Several readers wrote in to complain that they follow the schedule—and the trash is not picked up by the City and County.

If the objective of the law is really to eliminate bulk-trash eyesores, would it not make sense to fine the trash picker-uppers $250 per day that they fail to haul it away on time? After all, their failure to perform would perpetuate the same eyesores.

This is a great example of government operating on a double standard for its own convenience while utterly ignoring the original purpose. It could also be described as official government arrogance practiced by the City Council and Mayor.

If the public wanted to correct this tendency, the practice would be to allow no law to be passed which assesses citizen penalties for non-compliance without an equivalent fine to the government workers or officials who failed to act or enforce properly. The result of such a “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” mandate would be a hell of a lot fewer laws passed. And when they were, they would likely be fair and devoid of officious arrogance. I can dream, can’t I?



“I keep the day of the bulk trash pickup on my calendar and never have these bulk trash articles been removed on the appointed day. I have repeatedly called the City, but only get a recording.”



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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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