Panelists at a town hall Wednesday dared more Hawaii residents to get more involved in public education.
"Sometimes we expect all the answers and solutions to lie in the schools, but education doesn't happen just in schools," said panelist Christine Sorensen, dean of the University of Hawaii College of Education. "Education happens in the communities, and in our partnerships with one another." Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Maya Soetoro-Ng also attended and gave speeches as part of the two-hour town hall at Kapiolani Community College to galvanize the community about public education. The forum was sponsored by local nonprofit Our Public School, co-founded by Soetoro-Ng, in partnership with Hawaii Education Matters, Kanu Hawaii and the new Hui for Excellence in Education.
The forum members said that community engagement is one of the most difficult issues to address when it comes to schools, but also a critical missing link. It's hard to measure outside involvement in education and hard for schools to stimulate it when it doesn't exist. And often the people who want to be involved don't know where to begin.
But they also shared a plethora of success stories about community engagement in Hawaii's schools that received multiple rounds of applause from the enthusiastic audience.
"Part of what makes it so hard to change is that people start expecting the worst of each other," said James Koshiba of Kanu Hawaii in his closing remarks.
"We need to be far more organized than we are right now," Koshiba said, challenging the 300 or so attendees to text their names, email addresses and ZIP codes to 801-901-3555 in order to build a database of action-takers.
Soetoro-Ng said she hopes that people who are already mentally and emotionally engaged in education feel nudged into action by Wednesday's meeting, and that those who haven't been now recognize the importance of education not just for parents and children.
The other panelists included:
* Castle Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert
* Waikiki Elementary School principal Bonnie Tabor
* Jean Silvernail of the U.S. Pacific Command Military Child Education Division
* Christina Simmons, Hawaii Parent Information Resource Center
Posted by Katherine Poythress on Civil Beat (civilbeat.com) 05/05/2011
Photos from May 4th Oahu Town Hall by Rae Hou
Networking and signups in the "Take Action" area
Panelists, L-R: Christina Simmons, Jean Silvernail, Bonnie Tabor,
Chris Sorensen, Lea Albert, Moderator: Matt Lorin
Special Guest Speaker: Governor Neil Abercrombie (HI)
Special Guest Speaker: Maya Soetoro-Ng, PhD
Part of the "standing-room only" gathering of interested community members
FULL HOUSE EXPECTED AT NEW BEGINNINGS TOWN HALL TONIGHT
Event is Part of WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” Ongoing Social Action Campaign
(Honolulu, HI – May 4, 2011) — A community meeting to discuss greater involvement in Hawai‘i’s public education takes place this evening (Wednesday, May 4) in the cafeteria (Ohia Building) of Kapiolani Community College (KCC) at 6 p.m. Event registration has reached capacity with more than 300 reservations.
Our Public School (OPS), Hawai‘i Education Matters (HEM), Hui for Excellence in Education (HE‘E) and Kanu Hawai‘i, with support from Participant Foundation, will address issues highlighted in the critically acclaimed documentary, Waiting for “Superman” at “New Beginnings: Community Engagement in Public Education Town Hall.” The event is open to the public but reservations are no longer being taken. The event will stream live from Kanu Hawai‘i’s website: www.kanuhawaii.org.
Governor Neil Abercrombie and Maya Soetoro-Ng, Ph.D., (OPS co-founder and board member) will speak at the forum. Clips from Waiting for “Superman” and videos produced by OPS will be shown. There will be a “Take Action” area at the event with more than 20 groups participating, providing opportunities for attendees to make specific commitments to help public schools.
The forum is part of Participant Media’s ongoing social action campaign for the film, aimed at engaging local leaders, policy makers, educators, parents, students, interfaith leaders and key stakeholders in dynamic discussions on education reform. Town Hall events are taking place in 15 cities nationwide with the goal of inspiring action and building coalitions on a local level by providing opportunities to learn and share information, experiences and perspectives on educational issues.
Panelists: Lea Albert – Castle/Kahuku Complex Area superintendent; Jean Silvernail –Military Child Education Division director, U.S. Pacific Command; Christina Simmons – Hawaii Parent Information Resource Center project director; Chris Sorensen – University of Hawaii College of Education dean; Bonnie Tabor – Waikiki Elementary School principal. Emcee for the forum is Bobby Curran with ESPN 1420AM.
Waiting for "Superman” is a provocative and cogent examination of the crisis of public education in the United States told through five interlocking stories. The director, Davis Guggenheim, also directed the award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially relevant films, television, publishing and digital media.
Our Public School
Hawai‘i Education Matters, Kanu Hawai‘i and HE‘E Coalition
with support from the
Invite you to attend a town hall meeting to discuss
New Beginnings: Community Engagement in Public Education
featuring excerpts from Participant Media’s
A documentary film by Davis Guggenheim
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
6:00pm - 8:30pm
Kapiolani Community College, Cafeteria
4303 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
Heavy pupu will be served by Soul De Cuba
Special Guest Speakers:
Governor Neil Abercrombie
Maya Soetoro-Ng, PhD, Co-Founder and Board Member, Our Public School
Emcee for the evening:
Host of ESPN 1420 AM, The Bobby Curran Show
and the voice of the UH Rainbow Warrior football and basketball teams
Panel discussion with:
Lea Albert, Castle/Kahuku Complex Area Superintendent
Jean Silvernail, Director for Military Child Education Division, U.S. Pacific Command
Christina Simmons, Hawai‘i Parent Information Resource Center
Chris Sorensen, Dean, University of Hawai‘i College of Education
Bonnie Tabor, Principal, Waikiki Elementary School
Matt Lorin, Board Member, Our Public School
This event is made possible through generous support by the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust