THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            175
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING A REVIEW OF THE ADEQUACY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
    EDUCATION'S LANGUAGE ARTS PROGRAM IN HAWAII FOR CREOLE
    ENGLISH-SPEAKING STUDENTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH
    PROFICIENCY.



 1        WHEREAS, the United States Congress recognized, in the
 2   Bilingual Education Act of 1968 and subsequent amendments, the
 3   need for bilingual education programs to help students with
 4   limited English proficiency who are at a disadvantage in the
 5   standard English-speaking classroom; and
 6   
 7        WHEREAS, the intention of Congress is to provide "seed
 8   money" for states to set up pilot projects which, when proven
 9   successful, are then to be taken over for full implementation
10   by the individual states; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, additionally, court decisions require schools to
13   provide appropriate education for students with limited English
14   proficiency whose first language is a language other than
15   English, such as Cantonese or Tagalog, or a dialect of English,
16   such as Black English; and
17   
18        WHEREAS, a student in Hawaii's public school with limited
19   English proficiency whose first language is another language,
20   such as Tagalog, is being provided by the Hawaii Department of
21   Education with a very successful program in special classes now
22   called English for Second Language Learners, formerly called
23   Bilingual Education and Students with Limited English
24   Proficiency; and
25   
26        WHEREAS, this program is based on an attitude of respect
27   for each student and the student's first language and culture,
28   and allows the teacher and the student to use that language, as
29   appropriate, thereby creating a supportive environment in which
30   the student gains proficiency in English and higher
31   self-esteem, which in turn enhances the student's chances of
32   succeeding in school and in society; and
33   
34        WHEREAS, in Hawaii's public schools, thousands of students

 
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 1   with limited English proficiency and whose first language is
 2   Hawaii Creole English, commonly called "pidgin" English, are
 3   not being provided with a comparable program to help them
 4   overcome a similar linguistic disadvantage; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, teachers have been trying to provide for the
 7   needs of these students by developing materials and strategies
 8   on their own but with limited success, as reflected in these
 9   students' low achievement scores; and
10   
11        WHEREAS, the Department of Education has maintained that
12   it is providing adequately for the needs of these students
13   through its regular language arts program and has not changed
14   its position in spite of the request in House Resolution
15   No. 727, 1979, that the Department of Education reconsider its
16   decision that excludes the Hawaii Creole English-speaking
17   students from its bilingual education program and the request
18   in House Resolution No. 371, House Draft 1, 1988, that the
19   Department of Education develop and implement an appropriate
20   language arts program for these students; and
21   
22        WHEREAS, the federal Office of Bilingual Education and
23   Minority Affairs determined in 1983 that Hawaii Creole English
24   qualifies as a language for which federal funds may be
25   requested; and
26   
27        WHEREAS, the Department of Education then applied for and
28   received federal funds for two pilot projects:  Project
29   Holopono, that ran from 1984-1988 involving about 180 Hawaii
30   Creole English-speaking students in eight elementary schools;
31   and Project Akamai, that ran from 1989-1992 involving 800
32   ninth- and tenth-grade Hawaii Creole English-speaking students
33   from seventeen high schools, and both programs received
34   positive evaluations; and
35   
36        WHEREAS, the Department of Education has not followed up
37   on these two successful pilot projects with statewide
38   implementation; now, therefore,
39   
40        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
41   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2000, the House of
42   Representatives concurring, that the Auditor is requested to

 
 
 
 
 
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 1   review the adequacy of the Department of Education's language
 2   arts program for the Hawaii Creole English-speaking students
 3   with limited English proficiency; and
 4   
 5        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this review include, but not
 6   be limited to the following concerns:
 7   
 8        (1)  A survey of the number of students whose first
 9             language is Hawaii Creole English and have limited
10             English proficiency;
11   
12        (2)  A survey of teachers and students for their views on
13             the need for a program for these students;
14   
15        (3)  A survey of positive and negative attitudes toward
16             these students and Hawaii Creole English that are
17             reflected in school rules, policies, and practices,
18             explicit or implicit, that encourage, tolerate,
19             discourage, or ban the use of Hawaii Creole English
20             in the classroom and on the playground;
21   
22        (4)  A survey to determine the extent to which these
23             students are helped to make the transition from
24             Hawaii Creole English to standard English by being
25             provided with extensive reading readiness activities;
26             by allowing the use of Hawaii Creole English, their
27             first language, in creative writing and other
28             activities; by developing and adapting reading
29             materials for these students; and by providing them
30             with more intensive instruction in vocabulary
31             development to help them overcome their linguistic
32             disadvantage;
33   
34        (5)  The extent to which schools are using the Kaukaha
35             Project and the Hawaii English Program materials and
36             Language-Experience-Thinking-based strategies, which
37             the Department of Education has cited over the years
38             as helpful in teaching these students, and materials
39             developed by Projects Holopono and Akamai;
40   
41        (6)  A comparison and interpretation of standardized test
42             scores of these students and English-speaking

 
 
 
 
 
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 1             students, including patterns of test results in
 2             reading comprehension, vocabulary, and math
 3             computation, as well as word-problem solving;
 4   
 5        (7)  A comparison of the proportion of these students in
 6             the total population who are in remedial reading and
 7             special education classes, in alternative programs,
 8             and who have dropped out of school; and
 9   
10        (8)  An inquiry into whether the Department of Education,
11             having received federal funds for Projects Holopono
12             and Akamai, is now obligated to implement a statewide
13             program for all the Hawaii Creole English-speaking
14             students with limited English proficiency; 
15   
16   and
17   
18        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor is requested to
19   gather information from the University of Hawaii College of
20   Education and the Departments of English and English as a
21   Second Language, and classroom teachers; and
22   
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor is requested to
24   report findings and recommendations to the Legislature twenty
25   days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2001; and
26   
27        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
28   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Auditor, the
29   Chairperson of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of
30   Education, the President of the University of Hawaii, and all
31   public school principals.
32 
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34 
35                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________