S.C.R. NO.



S.D. 1






Requesting members of Congress to include waivers or make changes to No Child Left Behind and provide sufficient funding that will allow Hawaii to use the Law as an opportunity to improve education.



WHEREAS, Hawaii commends President George W. Bush and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 for pursuing the laudable goals of increasing student performance and closing the achievement gap; and

WHEREAS, these are the same goals that states have been pursuing on their own behalf for years -- well before the introduction of No Child Left Behind; and

WHEREAS, many aspects of this law, however, are misplaced and too prescriptive for the State and impose specific requirements on state education agencies; and

WHEREAS, many of the mandates inherent in No Child Left Behind will impose costs on the State above what it is receiving in federal money and could undermine current programs and policies; and

WHEREAS, it is unrealistic to require that all subgroups of students -- those with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and ethnic and economically disadvantaged backgrounds -- reach one hundred per cent proficiency or adequate yearly progress, based on the same measures and standards; and

WHEREAS, it is unfair to identify a school as under-performing based upon the results of one subgroup, without taking into consideration the school's overall performance; and

WHEREAS, using a value-added model, based upon the growth of individual students from grade to grade, may be more appropriate for states and should be an acceptable option; and

WHEREAS, identifying an entire school as under-performing based solely on the ninety-five per cent participation requirement for testing is inappropriate and will cause major negative implications to the Hawaii school system; and

WHEREAS, requiring all teachers and paraprofessionals to meet a "highly qualified" definition is inappropriate for a state as remote as Hawaii and threatens to exacerbate current teacher shortages; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii is not in the proximity of other states that would allow the State to recruit "highly qualified" teachers from other areas; and

WHEREAS, each state is required to expand the frequency and scope of student testing to include testing of all students in reading or language arts and mathematics each year in grades three through eight, beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, and to adopt standards for the teaching of science and develop and administer science assessments by the 2007-2008 school year; and

WHEREAS, if a Title I (federally funded compensatory education program for low-income and at-risk students) school fails to make "adequate yearly progress", then certain consequences will follow. If the failure is:

(1) For two consecutive years, then the state department of education must: (a) give parents the option of transferring their children to another school, including a charter school, at the beginning of the third year, that has not been identified as needing improvement; and (b) provide technical assistance to help the school improve student performance and make adequate yearly progress;

(2) For three consecutive years, then the state department of education must give parents whose children remain at a school that has been identified as needing improvement the option of obtaining supplemental educational services (e.g., tutoring and other enrichment services that are in addition to instruction provided during the school day) for their children at the beginning of the fourth year;

(3) For four consecutive years, then the department must: (a) replace some school staff; (b) implement a new curriculum; (c) decrease the school's management authority; (d) appoint an outside adviser; (e) extend the school day or year; or (f) restructure the internal organization of the school; and

(4) For five consecutive years, then the department must implement one of the following alternative governance arrangements in accordance with the school's restructuring plan: (a) reopen the school as a charter school; (b) replace all or most of the school's staff; or (c) turn management of the school over to a private company; and

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Education's statistics for the 2002-2003 school year, one hundred sixty-seven of Hawaii's two hundred seventy-six schools, or nearly sixty-one per cent, fell short of the federal requirements inherent in No Child Left Behind; and

WHEREAS, as testing requirements increase, teacher requirements come into affect, and adequate yearly progress benchmarks are raised, the likelihood will increase that more and more schools will not be able to meet these mandates; and

WHEREAS, there is a realistic possibility that all schools in Hawaii will fall short of the federal mandates within the first several years of the law's implementation; and

WHEREAS, the State commends the federal government for providing increased levels of federal resources to states for education; and

WHEREAS, any entity receiving funds under any Elementary and Secondary Education Act program should fully comply with all federal civil rights laws; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii relies on federal aid for education, but is concerned that accepting funds related to No Child Left Behind will put the State in the precarious situation of having to spend its own money in order to meet the mandates of the law; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-Second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Legislature requests Congress to amend the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to include waivers to help states meet the requirements of this law. Specifically, the Legislature requests a waiver from deeming a school as failing based solely on participation rates; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State requests Congress to amend the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to provide greater flexibility and accountability in the evaluation of compliance by:

(1) Taking into consideration measures other than pure academic and attendance indicators;

(2) Recognizing both the positive and negative performance of subgroups and their impact on the overall school's evaluation;

(3) Targeting school choice and supplemental services to students with the most academic need;

(4) Recognizing unique teaching environments and responsibilities, especially in regard to special education and small rural school needs; and

(5) Ensuring that federal funds do not subsidize discrimination; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State requests the President and Congress to provide the State with sufficient funding necessary to meet the mandate to leave no child behind; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to President George W. Bush, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the members of Hawaii's congressional delegation, the Chairperson of the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Education.

Report Title:

Request for waivers for No Child Left Behind