Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


Hawaii’s Graduates: Mission Not Accomplished by grassroothawaii
December 22, 2010, 11:54 am
Filed under: Education, Hawaii Sunshine

By Malia Blom Hill

A national report has found that, when it comes to meeting the minimum requirements to enter the military, nearly a third of Hawaii’s graduates aren’t making the cut.

The Education Trust found that 30% of Hawaiian students who took the test failed to achieve a qualifying score on the math and reading portions of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.  This was one of the lowest passing percentages among all states, with the national average being a failure rate of about 23%.

Why should we be alarmed?  A few reasons–most simply is that this is a blow to the commonly held belief that the military is a “guaranteed” career for those who can’t or don’t wish to enter college on graduation.  I think most of us in the Islands have at least a cousin or two who owes their education and later career success to the US military.  Not all of us get to go to UH or Chaminade or the mainland right out of high school, after all.

But more than that, it raises serious questions about our education system and its priorities.  We’ve seen a lot of turmoil in the state education system as of late, and the latest plan to close one of our more successful schools is just another troubling example.  The Hawaii Sunshine site is a great place to look at what the DOE is spending its money on.  What I’m wondering is why we are getting so small a return on that investment.

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