Hawaii teachers reject contract, risk Race to the Top grant

A teacher works with students at Mililani Mauka Elementary in Hawaii

A teacher works with students at Mililani Mauka Elementary in Hawaii (Photo: Jeff Widener/The Honolulu Advertiser)

In a move that puts $75 million in Race to the Top grants on the verge of forfeiture, Hawaii teachers voted against a contract that would move the state towards a performance based evaluation and compensation system that is required for the grant, according to the Washington Post.

The teachers, who were warned by the U.S. Department of Education that they were on ‘high risk status’ for not implementing required reforms previously, voted approximately 2-to-1 against the measure (67% against), despite the contract having been approved by its board.

The contract, according to several newspapers, did not spell out details of now the new evaluation system – based partially upon the controversial measure of ‘student growth’ – would work, but it did reverse a 5 percent pay reduction that went into effect a year ago.

Hawaii is far from the only state having trouble implementing its Race to the Top grants, with most behind schedule on required reforms, with New York and Florida lagging furthest along with Hawaii.

To read more on this story, read the Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post on the topic.

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