The Hawaii Board of Education is planning to search for a new superintendent.
The contract for current superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi ends on June 30, 2017, and the board is hoping to have a successor in place starting July 1, 2017.
“This is an ideal time to transition to new leadership that will help the DOE continue its efforts to reduce the achievement gap and prioritize achievement for all students,” said BOE chair Lance Mizumoto.
On the agenda for its Nov. 1 meeting, the board plans to discuss the search and potentially form a committee to, among other things, determine the process and timeline for the search.
The BOE formulates statewide educational policy and appoints the superintendent as the chief executive officer of the public school system.
The Department of Education released the following statement in response:
“Superintendent Matayoshi has a continued desire to serve Hawaii’s keiki. While she is willing to continue to serve as the Superintendent, she respects the role and responsibility of the Board to make appointments.”
Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), told KHON2 that the union agrees with the decision and “this is an opportunity to go into a new direction.”
Rosenlee adds with the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in Congress, state educators will have to make crucial decisions, so he says the board sees this as an opportunity to try different things.
“I think teachers in Hawaii have expressed that high-stake teacher evaluations is not improving their practice. They also feel that the high emphasis on teaching to the test is in some ways not teaching to the whole child and is not doing higher-level thinking,” he said. “So there has been a big desire from teachers to embrace the changes under the Every Student Succeeds Act and to try those things out in Hawaii.”
In Matayoshi’s annual performance evaluation released on Sept. 6, which was also reviewed by the board, it said for the 2015-2016 school year, Matayoshi’s overall rating exceeds expectations.