THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

107

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, AS PART OF ITS DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE HAWAIIAN STUDIES PROGRAM, TO CREATE A COALITION TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF DEVELOPING ASSESSMENTS IN THE HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE FOR HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE IMMERSION STUDENTS TO MORE ACCURATELY MEASURE THEIR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT.

 

 


WHEREAS, the Hawaiian language was once a thriving language used by Native Hawaiians and foreigners alike; and

 

WHEREAS, by the late twentieth century, the Hawaiian language was pushed to the brink of extinction due to a number of factors, including an 1896 law that functioned to ban the speaking of the Hawaiian language in Hawaii's schools; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian language was saved by several historic initiatives, including the Department of Education's Hawaiian language immersion program, which was launched in the 1980s; and

 

WHEREAS, today, the Hawaiian language immersion program is offered at twenty-one public schools and educates more than two thousand students in kindergarten through the twelfth grade; and

 

WHEREAS, the assessments required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) present a challenge for the Hawaiian immersion program; and

 

WHEREAS, because English is not formally introduced in the Hawaiian immersion program classrooms until the fifth grade, third and fourth graders take assessments in the Hawaiian language to comply with the requirements of No Child Left Behind; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Education must provide the students with an assessment system that more accurately measures their academic achievement; and

 

WHEREAS, this body is aware that the Board of Education is currently reviewing issues regarding assessments as part of its development of a comprehensive Hawaiian studies program within Hawaii's public school system; and

 

WHEREAS, this body is also aware that efforts are underway to develop a request for a federal waiver from certain requirements of No Child Left Behind to allow for the most appropriate assessments and academic content standards for the Hawaiian language immersion program; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian language has a unique importance to the State and is recognized under article XV, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution as an official language of the State; and

 

WHEREAS, article X, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution requires that the State promote the study of the Hawaiian culture, history, and language and provide for a Hawaiian education program consisting of language, culture, and history in public schools; and

 

WHEREAS, the Native American Languages Act of 1990 recognizes that the traditional languages of Native Americans are an integral part of their cultures and identifies and form the basic medium for the transmission, and thus survival, of Native American cultures, literatures, histories, religions, political institutions, and values; and

 

WHEREAS, the Native American Languages Act of 1990 also declares as a federal policy the encouragement and support for the use of Native American languages as a medium of instruction; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2013, that the Board of Education is requested, as part of its development of a comprehensive Hawaiian studies program, to create a coalition to address the issue of developing assessments in the Hawaiian language for Hawaiian language immersion students to more accurately measure their academic achievement; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the coalition created by the Board of Education is requested to address the development of grade-specific assessments in the Hawaiian language in language arts, mathematics, and science to be administered to students in the Hawaiian language immersion program; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the coalition include but not be limited to representatives from:

 

(1) Aha Kauleo;

 

(2) The University of Hawaii System;

 

(3) The Office of Hawaiian Affairs;

 

(4) Kamehameha Schools; and

 

(5) Any other entity or organization the Board of Education deems relevant; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body strongly supports the development of a request for a federal waiver from certain requirements of No Child Left Behind to allow for the most appropriate assessments and academic content standards for the Hawaiian language immersion program; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Department of Education is urged to approve the State's request for a federal waiver from certain requirements of No Child Left Behind to allow for the most appropriate assessments and academic content standards for the Hawaiian language immersion program; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Education is requested to report the findings and recommendations of the coalition to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2014; provided that the Board of Education is requested to include in its report:

 

(1) A timeline for when specific grade levels will be able to take assessments in language arts, mathematics, and science in the Hawaiian language;

 

(2) Any proposed legislation; and

 

(3) Any requests for necessary funding; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the United States Department of Education, Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Education, President of the University of Hawaii System, Aha Kauleo, Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Chief Executive Officer of Kamehameha Schools.

Report Title:

Board of Education; Hawaiian Language Immersion Program