Principals want new leadership in DOE

The Department of Education (DOE) should be doing more to support our public schools.

That’s what an overwhelming number of public school principals had to say in a recent survey in a call for new leadership at the DOE. Out of 160 principals, 88 percent believe the department does not provide sufficient support, and 65 percent won’t speak up about their concerns because they are afraid of retaliation.

“The principals feel that there’s a flawed implementation of various initiatives in the Department of Education, and that is affecting our students at the schools,” said Darrel Galera, retired principal from Moanalua High School.

He said that those surveyed are upset with inconsistencies, negative communication, lack of training and support within the DOE.

“If (the principals) do not have that, and they are being dictated to in terms of implementing programs and initiatives that they don’t support, it will negatively impact student learning,” Galera said.

A detailed email to the Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and members of the Board of Education (BOE), signed by both active and retired principals describing their serious concerns, appears to have been ignored.

“Leadership has to take responsibility for what’s happening in their system,” Galera said.

Superintendent Matayoshi’s most recent job performance evaluation shows the Board of Education rated her as “exceptional” and “fully meets expectations.”

Board of Education chairperson Donald Horner issued this statement at 4:30 p.m. Monday:

“The Board of Education continues to have confidence in the Superintendent and the management team. We have a clear and comprehensive strategic plan that was developed with input from all stakeholders. The plan and the hard work of the entire professional staff are demonstrating solid progress. Change is not easy and requires listening, collaboration and adjustments, as well as, accountability. The Board will continue to monitor the plan’s progress and together, we shall support the positive change within our schools.”

Matayoshi’s contract expires at the end of June and the BOE is expected to discuss her future on Tuesday.

Click here to read the principal survey results.

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