It’s always helpful for voters to know how candidates developed their ideas about education. We asked the three main gubernatorial candidates to talk about that. But what should have been a relatively easy question yielded surprisingly brief and unspecific answers.

Democrat Neil Abercrombie comes the closest to really answering the question when he describes how technological advances have made increased flexibility in education possible.

Republican James “Duke” Aiona and Democrat Mufi Hannemann each seem to have once thought he could singlehandedly solve education’s woes.

In their own words:

What idea about education did you formerly hold that you no longer believe today? How have your views on education changed?

Neil Abercrombie

For children today, technology is advancing so rapidly and opening them up to a world that wasn’t possible for me. We need to understand and fully explore how technology is transforming the very essence of education. One simple example is how schools are no longer about buildings with walls. A child in Kau who wants to learn fourth-year Chinese should be able to do so even if the teacher is in Honolulu. We have tremendous opportunities if we are willing to think creatively.

James “Duke” Aiona

No one can reform education alone. It is only through an active and engaged public that we will achieve the reforms we seek.

Mufi Hannemann

I have a greater appreciation for the importance of collaboration as a key element of educational success. It’s not enough to have talented, skilled, and knowledgeable individuals. Everybody must not only do their job well, but also cooperate with and support others to achieve overall success of the education team. I believe this holds true in both in our lower and high education systems.

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