218           
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
REQUESTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP A
   STATEWIDE PROGRAM FOR HAWAII'S SCHOOLS THAT FOCUSES ON
   STRONG ACADEMIC STANDARDS, ASSESSMENT TESTING, AND
   ACCOUNTABILITY.



 1       WHEREAS, the quest for educational accountability relies on
 2   a three-legged stool: standards, assessments, and consequences;
 3   and
 4   
 5       WHEREAS, academic standards describe the desired results of
 6   schooling, what students should know and be able to do in core
 7   subjects at critical points in their educational careers; and
 8   
 9       WHEREAS, with a standards-based accountability system,
10   schools can be judged by their results and their students'
11   achievements, rather than by how closely they follow the rules
12   and regulation; and
13   
14       WHEREAS, a standards-based accountability system depends on
15   strong academic standards; and
16   
17       WHEREAS, for too long, U.S. education has lacked meaningful
18   academic standards and avoided real accountability; and
19   
20       WHEREAS, since the recent sidelining of President Clinton's
21   proposal for national testing, most significant academic
22   standards-setting is now taking place in state capitals; and
23   
24       WHEREAS, Hawaii received a D-minus for the quality of its
25   "Blue Book" academic standards from the highly-regarded
26   Education Week magazine in January of this year; and
27   
28       WHEREAS, recent National Assessment of Education Progress
29   (NAEP) tests indicate that Hawaii's fourth grade readers are
30   "last among the states;" and
31   
32       WHEREAS, it is critical to our children's futures that
33   Hawaii's students, teachers, and schools develop, follow, and
34   meet strong academic standards; and
35   
36       WHEREAS, the only way to determine if Hawaii's students,
37   teachers, and schools are meeting strong academic standards is
38   to conduct yearly assessment testing; and
39   

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1       WHEREAS, to be effective, assessment tests must yield
 2   reliable information about student, teacher, and school
 3   performance vis-a-vis adopted academic standards; and
 4   
 5       WHEREAS, assessment tests could easily be developed and
 6   modeled after existing tests that have proved reliable in other
 7   states, including Connecticut's "8-Hour Battery" test or the
 8   "Augmented SAT," which costs no more than $20 per student; and
 9   
10       WHEREAS, academic standards and assessment testing must be
11   coupled with consequences; and
12   
13       WHEREAS, for example:
14   
15       (1)  Students should only be promoted to the next grade
16            when they have met the required academic standards;
17   
18       (2)  Teachers whose students consistently fail to meet
19            standards should face retraining and eventual
20            termination;
21   
22       (3)  Schools that consistently fail to meet standards
23            should face interventions, such as reconstitution, and
24            penalties, including the possibility of being closed
25            down; and
26   
27       (4)  Students, teachers, and schools that demonstrate high
28            performance should enjoy rewards, including financial
29            incentives;
30   
31   and
32   
33       WHEREAS, fairness dictates that if schools are to face the
34   consequences of poor assessment testing results, schools should
35   be given autonomy to find solutions that will raise the
36   performance levels of their students; and
37       WHEREAS, increased autonomy for schools would still require
38   all schools to reach a set of absolute benchmarks in order to
39   improve their standing; now, therefore,
40   
41       BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
42   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
43   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Governor is requested
44   to establish a Task Force to develop a statewide program for
45   Hawaii's schools that makes recommendations on the development
46   and honing of strong academic standards, meaningful assessment
47   testing, and consequences for both favorable and unfavorable
48   results; and

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in selecting the Task Force,
 2   the Governor determine the number of representatives from each
 3   interest group and ensure that the Neighbor Islands are fairly
 4   represented; and
 5   
 6       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of the Task Force
 7   be selected by the Governor no later than July 31, 1999; and
 8   
 9       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force reports its
10   findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than
11   20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2000;
12   and
13   
14       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this
15   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor.
16   
17 
18 
19 
20                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________