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Department of Education Breakup And OHA's Evil Agenda In Supporting It



(c) Copyright 2004, Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


SUMMARY: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Governor Linda Lingle jointly announced on April 2, 2004 that OHA is supporting the Governor’s legislative proposal to break up the statewide Department of Education into a decentralized system of locally elected school boards. But OHA has a hidden agenda. OHA and Kamehameha School are supporting another bill in the Legislature that would create an apartheid public school system -- a separate non-contiguous school “district” containing all the public “host culture” charter schools. OHA and Kamehameha School hope that breaking up the public school system will include the creation of an ethnic Hawaiian school district. About 25% of all public school children are ethnic Hawaiians, but about 90% of “host culture” charter school children are ethnic Hawaiians. The curriculum and daily activities in these schools is focused on Hawaiian culture and language, including opening and closing chants and prayers, and the ancient Hawaiian religious concept that the gods, the land, and the ethnic Hawaiians have an ancestral relationship as members of a family. Children learn that people with no native ancestry are welcome to participate as second-class citizens, but are not members of this family. The curriculum portrays the United States as a colonial oppressor of the Hawaiian people, and is designed to train children to become skillful advocates for race-based political sovereignty. Those who favor decentralization, local control, and accountability in the public school system are glad to have the support of powerful institutions like OHA and Kamehameha School. But we must be vigilant to prevent the breakup of the DOE from being used as a vehicle for establishing racial apartheid and a school district that brainwashes children with racial supremacy and an anti-American viewpoint.

Note: This article was written for Hawaii Reporter, an on-line newspaper, where a shortened version of it was published on April 6, 2004.
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?d0a56f0e-b751-4ad6-8342-39e3f3b5103d

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The old song says, "breaking up is hard to do." Breaking up the behemoth Department of Education is proving extremely hard to do politically. So it comes as welcome news that the powerful OHA is publicly supporting Governor Lingle. However, we must all be careful that in breaking up DOE, we don't get stuck by a splinter that it is OHA's hidden agenda to stick in the eye of Hawai'i's body politic.

On Friday April 2, 2004, Hawai'i's print newspapers reported that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has publicly endorsed Governor Lingle's proposal to break up the Department of Education into locally elected school boards. Advertiser article:
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Apr/02/ln/ln13a.html
Star-Bulletin article:
http://starbulletin.com/2004/04/02/news/index11.html

The on-line newspaper Hawaii Reporter did its usual, excellent job of publishing a more thorough report on the same day. In this case Hawaii Reporter published two articles: (a) an analysis by editor Malia Zimmerman
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?22a35241-e02d-49e9-afdf-17a03b6fdf29
and (b) OHA's press release handed out in the Governor's office:
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?edd87ea7-bce2-4482-b8f0-d744beaa7e28

But there's much more behind the scenes which needs to be told. The issues are complex, and the implications for Hawai'i's future are enormous. In the interest of keeping it brief, I'll only sketch the outlines and use end-notes to explain some topics further and refer readers to other sources.

Probably most readers of Hawaii Reporter, certainly including myself, agree that the Department of Education is a dinosaur whose time for extinction is long overdue. DOE needs to be broken up into locally elected school boards so people will be empowered to hold the schools accountable for improving education. Principals need more authority over budget, curriculum, and personnel (and also should be on multi-year contracts instead of having permanent tenure) so they too can be held accountable in the way corporate executives are held accountable by their boards of directors. The budget process needs a radical overhaul so that money reaches the classroom instead of lining the pockets of a centralized bureaucracy whose "services" are of dubious value and often bury teachers under mountains of unnecessary paperwork. I wonder how many local school boards would purchase management services (such as curriculum design and payroll) from the old DOE, or construction and repair services from DAGS, if they had the freedom to hire competing private contractors providing better services at lower cost.

Politicians are usually happy to receive endorsements from powerful institutions. Thus it's no surprise that Governor Lingle is delighted to have OHA's support for breaking up the DOE. But OHA, together with Kamehameha Schools, support breaking up the DOE because they have their own sinister agenda. Probably most Hawaii Reporter readers would not support that agenda. It's important to make the public aware of that evil agenda and separate it from the good purposes for breaking up the DOE.

Malia Zimmerman reported that a webpage study published by Kamehameha Schools in June 2003 shows that ethnic Hawaiian children in Hawai'i's public schools are suffering grievously from the poor quality of schooling provided by the DOE. Since OHA has a responsibility to provide advocacy on behalf of "Native Hawaiians," that seems to give OHA a valid reason to declare war on the DOE and call for its breakup. Indeed, there have been a vast number of reports published over the years by OHA, DHHL, Kamehameha School, Alu Like, Papa Ola Lokahi, and other "Hawaiian-serving" institutions portraying ethnic Hawaiians as poor, downtrodden victims in desperate need of racially specialized services and government money which, of course, will be funneled through those institutions.

The focus of the Kamehameha Schools report cited by Ms. Zimmerman is a claim that ethnic Hawaiian children are being harmed by DOE disproportionately to other ethnic groups. The report provides data that ethnic Hawaiian children come to school with more severe disadvantages than other groups, and fall farther behind the rest of the children the longer they remain in school. It would be far too complex for this short essay to analyze whether that is true, and the causes for it if it is indeed true. (For example, nearly every "Native Hawaiian" child also has other racial ancestries, and most have more than 75% non-native blood; thus, nearly every "Native Hawaiian" child being harmed by DOE could also be called a haole, Japanese, Chinese, or Filipino child, and if percentage of blood quantum were the decisive factor, most "Native Hawaiians" would be classified in some other racial group.)

The numerous reports of ethnic Hawaiian victimhood establish a very negative stereotype -- a form of racial profiling. As we all know, there are some very wealthy Hawaiians. In fact, Hawaiians are not too far behind the state averages for income, especially when age is taken into account. Census 2000 shows that the median family income for ethnic Hawaiians in 1999 was $49,282 and that 13.1% of them had incomes above $100,000 even though their median age was only 25.3 (compared to a statewide median age of 36.2). People in their mid-30s make a lot more money than people in their mid-20s. Another example of victimhood claims is that ethnic Hawaiians are allegedly under-represented at UH and should therefore get free tuition. But closer study shows that ethnic Hawaiians are actually over-represented at UH, while haoles, Filipinos, and Chinese are under-represented. In any case, it is wrong to stigmatize an entire racial group as being poor and downtrodden, and it is wrong to make public policy which treats all people of a racial group as though they are the same. The individual variations of income, ability, and educational attainment within each racial group are far wider than the variations between the group averages. Government should help individuals based on their individual needs, not treat people a certain way based on racial affiliation and racial stereotyping.

The purpose of the Kamehameha report is not merely to claim that ethnic Hawaiians, like everyone else, are harmed by the DOE. Rather, the purpose of the report is to claim that ethnic Hawaiian children are DISPROPORTIONATELY harmed, as a basis for CLAIMING THAT ETHNIC HAWAIIANS NEED A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT KIND OF EDUCATION FROM EVERYONE ELSE. The general theory is that ethnic Hawaiians are fundamentally different from everyone else in the way they think and perceive the world. The specific educational theory is that ethnic Hawaiians therefore have an inherent need for a different curriculum, different style of classroom management, and racially separate school system. This is part of an agenda for racial separatism and ethnic nationalism found in all the racially exclusionary programs of OHA, DHHL, Kamehameha Schools, Alu Like, Papa Ola Lokahi, and the other institutions making up the evil empire. The effort to protect this evil empire from legal challenges is the purpose of the Akaka bill, setting up an apartheid race-based government.

The demand for a different kind of education based on race has been made very strongly in bills in the Legislature for the past several years. Race-based education is already well-established in the Hawai'i public schools, in the form of "host culture" public charter schools funded by taxpayer dollars. These "public" schools brag that over 90% of their students are ethnic Hawaiians, and that their curriculum is radically different from the mainstream public schools. Kamehameha School has been sending huge financial support to these schools. The dozen "host culture" public charter schools would have a curriculum and daily activities radically different from the mainstream schools whether or not Kamehameha provides money to them. But Legislation was also passed to allow Kamehameha to control the curriculum, instructional staff, and administrative procedures in any public schools it chooses in return for paying only 20% of the operating budget. Thus Kamehameha gets to leverage every one dollar it spends into four extra dollars worth of influence, even outside the charter schools, to shape the hearts and minds of Hawai'i's next generation.

When the New Century Charter School legislation passed, allowing for up to 25 public charter schools, zealous Hawaiian activists were able to grab 12 of those 25 slots. Those 12 charter schools formed a consortium called "Ka Lei Na'auao" under the leadership of Ms. Ku Kahakalau, the charming, intelligent, and very articulate CEO of the Kanu O Ka 'Aina charter school serving the Hamakua/Kohala area on the Big Island. A bill was then introduced in the Legislature to create an apartheid school system. The idea was to allow the consortium of "host culture" charter schools to form its own non-contiguous school district, separate and apart from the DOE, with authority to set its own standards for curriculum, its own standards for teacher education and evaluation, and the authority to "recognize" additional schools to join its non-contiguous "district." That bill as originally introduced included language requiring a racial majority of ethnic Hawaiians among the students, staff, and school board members. That bill did not pass in the 2002 Legislature; but a new, less openly racist version of it is very much alive in the current Legislature.

The whole thing, of course, would be (indeed, already is) paid for with tax dollars from the general public. This is a school "district" with a race-based curriculum that is explicitly hostile to the "oppressor" culture of the "colonial" power (United States) that "invaded" the ancestral homeland in 1893 and has "occupied" it ever since. Children are expected to acquire attitudes and learn skills that will help them become leaders in "decolonizing" Hawai'i and re-establishing the "indigenous" people as the "rightful" stewards of these lands. The curriculum is based on the concept that the gods gave birth to these islands, and then to the Hawaiians. Thus ethnic Hawaiians are related to the gods and the land as members of a family, and anyone lacking a drop of the magic blood is forever outside that family. That's why ethnic Hawaiians are entitled by race ("geneology") to rule Hawai'i, and others are merely guests in the ancestral homeland. A few startling details taken from the "Kanu O Ka 'Aina" lead-school's website are provided later. Readers familiar with the madrassas (schools) of the Wahhabi sect of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia will see strong similarities in anti-Americanism and religious fundamentalism. Readers familiar with the history of education in Germany, 1930-1945, should be very concerned.

The “weighted student formula” is a proposal to allow children’s parents to choose the child’s school or to transfer the child, with the government per-pupil expenditure attached to the child and traveling to whatever school the child attends. Children with special needs would have a bonus attached to them -- a larger amount of money reflecting the greater expense of educating them. The WSF would facilitate the breakup of the public school system by encouraging schools to create niche markets through special facilities and curriculum, and by encouraging parents to send their children to schools they believe are better suited to their children. Care must be taken in writing the variables to be included in the algebra of the weighted student formula, because ethnic Hawaiians will probably claim that their “unique” cultural and epistemological style of learning, along with their “need” for instruction through Hawaiian language, makes them eligible to be treated as having special needs.

Racial desegregation has been an important theme in education for 50 years, ever since the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education declared "separate but equal" to be unconstitutional. Various federal courts ordered busing of school children across district lines to force racial integration. "Multiculturalism," or respect for cultural pluralism, has been an important theme since the 1980s. Affirmative action has long been practiced to achieve some degree of racial balance in college admissions. Recent Supreme Court decisions have upheld the concept that a State government has a right to consider it a compelling governmental concern to use race as one factor in judging applications to public universitities in order to promote racial diversity in the student body. Yet here in Hawai'i serious consideration is being given to legislation heading the opposite direction, creating an apartheid school system pulling children out of the mainstream schools to attend "host culture" charter schools with a separate non-contiguous school system.

While it is true that the "host culture" "public" charter schools are open to children of all races, including those with no native ancestry, the overwhelming majority of the students are ethnic Hawaiians. That's understandable considering the curriculum. The whole point of these schools is to focus on "Hawaiian culture." One of the main purposes is to promote ethnic pride, emphasizing the amazing achievements of ancient Hawaiians in navigation, language, hula, chanting, etc. Children are taught about the ancestral family relationship among the gods, the land, and the Hawaiians. Hawaiian protocol is used for opening and closing the school day, and for other events both on campus and on field trips, including chants and prayers to the ancient gods. Would such religious rites be permitted in mainstream public schools? Are they permitted in public charter schools? Only children in these schools and their parents would have standing to complain, and of course they are not complaining! Ethnic Hawaiians attending these schools acquire an attitude of racial entitlement and racial supremacy. Children without native ancestry attending these schools inevitably learn they don't fit in except as second-class citizens. Admittedly overstating it, the situation is in some ways similar to having a school whose curriculum and daily activities are controlled by the Ku Klux Klan, in which 90% of the children are white and 10% are black. Or a school operated by the Nazis where 10% of the children are Jews. The racial attitudes learned by all those children will be very unfortunate not only for all the children themselves but for society as a whole.

Many Hawaii Reporter readers, including this author, believe it's a great idea to break up the DOE. But in supporting legislation to achieve our worthy goals, it is important to be vigilant to prevent the enactment of the evil empire's agenda. The evil empire views breaking up the DOE as a step toward establishing a separatist "host culture" school district comprised of all the "host culture" schools on all the islands. Indeed, the evil empire is hoping the "host culture" school district will be one of the districts established under whatever legislation eventually breaks up the DOE. Setting up an apartheid public school system is one small step toward achieving the goal of an apartheid society including racially exclusionary housing, healthcare, social services, and educational system. All these institutions can then be enfolded within the racially exclusionary "nation" to be established when the Akaka bill passes.

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NOTES

Some extensive quotes from the Kanu O Ka 'Aina charter school website are provided at the end of these notes, showing the intent of the school (and other "host culture" charter schools) to brainwash children with an attitude of ethnic Hawaiian supremacy, including hostility to the "oppressor" culture and to the United States, and a determination to capture race-based political control of Hawai'i.

The first bill to establish an apartheid non-contiguous "host culture" public school district was in the 2002 Legislature, and included explicit language requiring a majority of all students and board members to be racially Hawaiian. The current bill is SB3148 and its racial language has been considerably "cleaned up." But the first bill is very important because the intent made explicit there remains implicit in the latest version. For the 2002 bill, see:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2002/bills/sb2919_.htm

OHA, DHHL, Kamehameha Schools, Alu Like, Papa Ola Lokahi, and other racially exclusionary institutions have produced a great many reports providing statistical and anecdotal evidence that ethnic Hawaiians are the neediest, most disadvantaged ethnic group. The idea is to influence the population in general, and decisionmaking in particular, to support massive expenditures of philanthropic and government money specifically designated for this racial group. All that money then flows through "service provider" businesses who make enormous profits, and non-profit organizations whose bureaucracies and political power grow larger. One racial group then becomes our state "poster boy" for victimhood, and our state's favored race entitled to race-based political power as a means toward achieving "social justice." Ethnic Hawaiians learn to think of themselves primarily as members of a racial group and only secondarily (if at all) as Americans living in a multiracial rainbow society.

Census 2000 shows that the median family income for ethnic Hawaiians in 1999 was $49,282 and that 13.1% of them had incomes above $100,000 even though their median age was only 25.3 (compared to a statewide median age of 36.2). The data for ethnic Hawaiians, taken from the U.S. Census Bureau and reported at the State of Hawai'i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) can be found at
http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/census2k/sf4profiles/xnhstate.pdf

OHA, and the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies, love to claim that ethnic Hawaiians are under-represented in the student body at UH and therefore ethnic Hawaiians should get free tuition to encourage more of them to attend (and to bolster the enrollment in Haunani-Kay Trask's radical courses!) But a study of the data from UH shows that ALL ethnic groups appear to be under-represented because such a large number of students fail to identify their race. Adjusting for that obviously silly result, it turns out that ethnic Hawaiians are actually OVER-represented at UH, while haoles, Filipinos, and Chinese are under-represented. This sort of analysis shows that great caution must be used in accepting interpretations of data provided by institutions like OHA and Kamehameha School, which have a large self-interest in twisting data to suit their purposes.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/UHstudentethnicity.html

In Hawai'i, ethnic Hawaiians are the favored race.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/punahelerace.html

The Hawaiian grievance industry thrives on the notion that Hawaiians are a dying race, or an endangered species, in need of special programs and government handouts.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/lindseynoyesthennone.html

There are over 160 programs, worth Billions of dollars, providing racially exclusionary benefits to ethnic Hawaiians.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/listhawnentitlements.html

The Hawaiian recognition bill, also called the Akaka bill, would protect racially exclusionary programs by creating a phony Indian tribe which could then legally be given taxpayer dollars from everyone to provide benefits to members only.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/OpposeAkakaBill.html

Despite playing the victim and seeking sympathy as a poor and downtrodden people, Hawaiian activists also consider it important to teach racial pride to children. But racial pride and racial prejudice are two sides of the same coin.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/prideandprejudice.html

The Hawaiian sovereignty movement can be divided into two broad groups. The racial separatists seek to create and preserve racially exclusionary institutions for ethnic Hawaiians only, including a race-based government under the Akaka bill. The ethnic nationalists seek to restore all of Hawai'i as an independent nation with citizenship open to all races; but with voting rights and property rights severely limited for citizens lacking native ancestry (ethnic Hawaiians would be first-class citizens; and all others would be resident aliens or could become second-class citizens after taking a loyalty oath). Although there is considerable quarreling between the two broad groups of sovereignty activists, there is a convergence of views in favor of racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians, and anti-Americanism because of America's history as a "colonial power" and "oppressor" of the Hawaiian people. To read about this convergence of views, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/sepnatcommoncore.html

One of the more outspoken advocates of racial supremacy and anti-Americanism is UH Professor Haunani-Kay Trask. She has the courage to say publicly what many other sovereignty activists believe in their hearts but are too reluctant to say for fear of alienating the general public and the sources of funding for the racially exclusionary programs.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/trask.html

Ancient Hawaiian religion, especially the creation story in Kumulipo, is being used increasingly today to assert political claims to racial supremacy in Hawai'i. Such religious beliefs are a core aspect of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and of the curriculum and daily activities in the "host culture" charter schools.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/religion.html

Manulani Aluli Meyer received her Ph.D. from Harvard, and is currently a professor of teacher education at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. Her work is focused on epistemology, the branch of philosophy that examines how we get knowledge, and how we know whether our beliefs are true. That branch of philosophy has a special, very important relevance to education. Professor Meyer's first book was a mimeographed copy of portions of her Ph.D. dissertation, distributed through a bookstore in Honolulu owned by her sister. Her second book is also self-published, but very nicely produced, and includes portions of her dissertation as well as articles she wrote as student term papers or for publication since then. Professor Meyer tries to synthesize an eclectic philosophical viewpoint mainly drawing from empiricism and the contextualist theories of Pragmatist philosopher John Dewey. She uses a methodology of obtaining wisdom from ancient Hawaiian cultural practices as interpreted by modern Hawaiian kupuna, and then using the concepts of her favorite philosophers to systematize and explain her theories of Hawaiian epistemology and Hawaiian education. Her clear goal is to establish that ethnic Hawaiians have a unique style of experiencing the world through a lens of cultural practices and family relationships; and that ethnic Hawaiians have a unique style of learning which makes it essential that they have a unique educational system which only they can properly design and implement. Professor Meyer seems to believe that Hawaiian ancestral wisdom is somehow passed genetically and spiritually from the ancestors to today's Hawaiians, as well as being passed through cultural upbringing. Hawaiian religious beliefs are an important part of her theories. Thus, Meyer's work is a rationale for Hawaiian sovereignty on the political level and in the school system. It should not be surprising that the back cover of her book says "All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Hawaiian Charter School movement" and provides contact information for sending donations to a 501-C3 tax exempt group dedicated to that cause. Manulani Aluli Meyer, "Ho'oulu -- Our Time of Becoming (Hawaiian Epistemology and Early Writings). 'Ai Pohaku Press, Native Books Inc. P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu HI, 96802, www.nativebookshawaii.com, (c) 2003. LCCN 2003110403. ISBN 1-883528-24-0.

In the Legislatures of 2002, 2003, and 2004 there has been a bill to establish an apartheid system of public education by setting up a separate non-contiguous school district with all the powers over curriculum and management traditionally held by the Department of Education, comprised of Hawaiian-focused "host culture" schools. This proposal is part of a master-plan to use the Hawai'i education system as a tool to facilitate ethnic nation-building.
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/efhenb.html

The “weighted student formula” is a proposal to allow children’s parents to choose the child’s school or to transfer the child, with the government per-pupil expenditure attached to the child and traveling to whatever school the child attends. Children with special needs would have a bonus attached to them -- a larger amount of money reflecting the greater expense of educating them. The WSF would facilitate the breakup of the public school system by encouraging schools to create niche markets through special facilities and curriculum, and by encouraging parents to send their children to schools they believe are better suited to their children. Care must be taken in writing the variables to be included in the algebra of the weighted student formula, because ethnic Hawaiians will probably claim that their “unique” cultural and epistemological style of learning, along with their “need” for instruction through Hawaiian language, makes them eligible to be treated as having special needs. See:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/weightedstudentformula.html

The 12 "host culture" public charter schools established in 2000-2001 under the New Century Public Charter School law are technically open to children of all races -- indeed, by law they cannot be racially exclusionary. But in practice nearly all the children are ethnic Hawaiians or "wannabe" Hawaiians. Token nonnatives are accepted into these schools primarily to satisfy the legal requirement that they not be racially exclusionary, and to have the support of leftist non-native families sympathetic to the goals of Hawaiian sovereignty. However, the schools make it clear that the nonnative children are more or less on permanent attitudinal and behavioral probation. They are required to think and behave like the ethnic nationalist sort of Native Hawaiians even though ultimately they cannot ever actually become Native Hawaiians for lack of that precious drop of native blood. Language copied below from the website of the school operated by the leader of this consortium (Ms. Ku Kahakalau) makes chillingly clear the racial and cultural intent of the school.

The charter school Kanu O Ka ‘Aina has a website at
http://www.kalo.org/
That website has been revised several times since it was originally produced. The excerpts provided below were taken from the website content as of February 2002. Since then the website has been greatly "cleaned up" so that it is no longer so blatantly racist and anti-American as formerly. But the same people are running the show, and their agenda remains the same. As a thought-experiment, consider whether children or adults with no native ancestry, and who feel patriotic toward America, would feel comfortable in such a school. And then consider whether Hawai'i taxpayers should be asked to support this ideology. The first few excerpts focus on the cultural aspects of the curriculum, while the last few excerpts are more politically inflammatory.

"As a Hawaiian model of education, Kanu is tailored towards the distinctive cultural wants and needs of Hawai’i’s indigenous student population. Utilizing our natives values handed down to us in thousands of proverbs as a philosophical basis, Kanu is designed to assist students to achieve their highest level, while at the same time giving them the skills to perpetuate Hawaiian language and traditions. Based on a unique, culturally driven pedagogy, developed over nearly a decade of action research, Kanu involves not only students, teachers and staff but also parents, community partners and native stake holders from throughout the islands in the educational process. The long-term goal of Kanu is to create a native designed and controlled system of Hawaiian education that will empower native communities throughout the archipelago to achieve political, cultural and economic self-determination."

"The name “Kanu o ka ‘Aina” evolved from of a Hawaiian proverb that refers to natives of the land from generations back as “kalo kanu o ka ‘aina” literally “taro planted on the land”. This name was chosen because this model wants to give native Hawaiians of all ages the opportunity and the choice to remain natives of their kulaiwi and to perpetuate Hawai’i’s native language, culture and traditions into the future. In addition, Kanu wants to empower Hawai’i’s native people, who are direct descendants of earthmother Papa and skyfather Wakea, to once again assume our rightful stewardship over our archipelago."

"The purpose of Kanu is to provide students of Hawaiian ancestry residing in the Hamakua and Kohala area of Hawai’i Island with an equal opportunity to quality education that addresses their distinctive cultural learning styles and allows them to successfully walk in two worlds. Presently students of Hawaiian ancestry, one fourth of Hawai’i’s entire public school population, make up not only the largest, but also the most undereducated major ethnic group in the State. Providing culturally driven education, that is specifically designed to meet the unique wants and needs of native students, is Kanu’s primary focus. While we accept students that do not have Hawaiian blood, these students and their families, like their native counterparts, must make a commitment to be actively involved in the perpetuation of native Hawaiian language, culture and traditions. In addition, they must consent to being taught according to native Hawaiian values and teaching strategies and behave in a culturally consistent manner."

"The inclusion of non-natives in Kanu, not just as students but also as teachers, staff, parents, local school board members and community partners – even though they make up only a small percentage - has important implications for our program. Initiated because of the fact that as a public school, Kanu is prohibited from discriminating against race, having non-native representation in all stakeholder groups has provided a vital balance to our program."

"The vision of KANU is to become part of the first of many native Hawaiian community designed and controlled comprehensive learning centers or kauhale... Besides serving as an educational venue for learners of all ages, this kauhale will also function as a Hawaiian multi-agency, multi-service center and cultural meeting place. As such we envision this kauhale to become a prototype for Hawaiian cooperation and empowerment throughout the archipelago."

"Probably the most unique and critical aspect of Kanu’s educational foundations is the fact that Kanu wants to actively prepare native students to participate in - and perhaps even lead - Hawai’i’s indigenous sovereignty movement. Initially I was sort of hesitant to claim that Kanu represents a liberatory pedagogy. However, the more I reflected on the true purpose of my model the more I realized that my model is definitely designed to liberate. Specifically, Kanu wants to encourage Hawaiian students to become politically conscious, and individually and collectively tackle the problem of Hawaiian oppression by the United States and our subjugation to American law and a Western way of life. In that vein, Kanu has the potential of significantly contributing to the Hawaiian sovereignty effort."

"Utilizing problem-posing as an instructional technique, Kanu hopes to make our students realize that the occupation of Hawai’i by the United States of America is not fatal and unalterable, but merely limiting – and therefore challenging. Additionally, Kanu wants to empower our students to accept this challenge and find solutions to this and the many other dilemma, that face Hawai’i’s native people in their homeland today. By actively participating in finding solutions to native problems, it is envisioned that Kanu students will become an intricate part of the process of native liberation from American domination that nearly caused the demise of our native people and our way of life."

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(c) Copyright 2004, Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


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