What’s worse: Failing to pass laws to deal with education issues, or passing laws to deal with education issues and failing to implement or enforce them?

Hawaii’s books reflect a number of education statutes and policies that have been adopted but never enacted. The most recent example is a school impact fee, established by the Legislature in 2007 but implemented only in a piecemeal fashion four years later.

Educational policies are established for a reason, regardless of whether everyone agrees on them. But accountability extends beyond the good intentions of words to the impact of implementation. So we at Civil Beat are beginning a list of educational policies in Hawaii that have been enacted but have at worst not been enacted or at best inconsistently enforced.

Here are four:

If the Department of Education struggles to enforce these five policies, some of which are decades old, it is difficult to believe it will be able to meet all of its Race to the Top, Common Core State Standards and other commitments.

In fact, it’s already admitted as much. The department wasn’t even able to meet its deadline for submitting a strategic plan for Race to the Top. As reported earlier this year, the department requested permission to delay:

  • Proposing a new college- and career-ready diploma.
  • Taking inventory of what English and math curricula are being used in schools.
  • Launching a hotline for teachers to submit questions about the new Common Core State Standards for curriculum.
  • Posting the new English and math curriculum frameworks online.

Do you know of any state education statutes or policies that haven’t been enforced or enacted? We hope you’ll share them below. We’ll look into what you share with us.

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