Report Title:

Education; Teaching; "Out of Field" Teachers; Principals

 

Description:

Prohibits the DOE from knowingly requiring or allowing a teacher to instruct students in content areas that the teacher has no demonstrable knowledge or demonstrated competence, or both, as determined by the Hawaii teacher standards board.

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1876

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to education.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. In 1999, the Secretary of Education stated that the misassignment of teachers was a large problem and sacrificed quality for quantity. In 1983, the Journal of Teacher Education stated that the misassignment led to dissatisfied teachers, many of whom left the profession when they were unable to teach in their chosen fields. In 1997, the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future reported that "studies discover again and again that teacher expertise is one of the most important factors in determining student achievement. . . . No other intervention can make the difference that a knowledgeable, skillful teacher can make in the learning process." The National Education Association stated that "[a] significant investment in teacher development is the most powerful strategy available to achieve higher levels of learning for all students."

Approximately one-third of the nation's public school teachers of academic subjects in secondary schools is teaching "out of field". Fifty-five per cent of history teachers are "out of field", which is defined as teaching one or more periods in an area in which one does not hold a certificate. Forty-three per cent of high school students are studying history with a teacher who did not earn either a major or minor degree in that subject. "Out of field" teachers may explain why nearly sixty per cent of our seventeen-year-old students scored "below basic", the lowest possible rating on the most recent test of U.S. History administered by the National Assessment of Education Progress.

The minimum requirements for certification in the State of Hawaii enable teachers to teach any subject their principal assigns them. Setting minimum graduation standards from teaching colleges and universities, or testing prospective teachers for minimal competencies, short-changes Hawaii's public school students. It is imperative that the teachers entering Hawaii's public school system be the best and the brightest—not emergency hires, and that the training they have received be of nationally recognized caliber.

Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to prohibit the department of education from knowingly requiring or allowing a teacher to instruct students in content areas that the teacher has no demonstrable knowledge or demonstrated competence, or both, as determined by the Hawaii teacher standards board.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part III, subpart D, to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"§302A- Prohibited department practices. The department shall not knowingly require or allow a teacher to instruct students in content areas that the teacher has no demonstrable knowledge or demonstrated competence, or both, as determined by the board."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.

INTRODUCED BY:

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