Native Hawaiian Policy Center Analyzes Data on Education Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 30, 2010

Native Hawaiian Policy Center Analyzes Data on Education Act

HONOLULU, HI – The Native Hawaiian Policy Center (NHPC), administered by the nonprofit the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has begun analysis of hundreds of comments submitted through statewide listening sessions. Funded through a grant by the Native Hawaiian Education Council (NHEC), CNHA is coordinating fourteen puwalu in every county throughout the state to garner people’s recommendations on the reauthorization of the Native Hawaiian Education Act (NHEA).

Enacted in 1988, NHEA along with the broader Elementary and Secondary Education Act is up for reauthorization by the U.S. Congress.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Hawaii, and for the Native Hawaiian community,” said Michelle Kauhane, CNHA Board Member and Chair of NHPC. “NHEA has been critical to bringing our Hawaiian language back from the brink of extinction 25 years ago, and has supported our language kumu and cultural practitioners in their work to ensure that it is never endangered again.”
The Federal program has provided support for pre-schools, teacher cohorts, curriculum development, and other education related programs in the state of Hawaii. The puwalu held to date have been attended by well over 300 participants, with high interest from community and cultural practitioners.

“Reauthorization by Congress is an opportunity to not only guarantee that these programs continue, but to make positive legislative changes that best meet the current priorities of our community,” said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA President and CEO. “The manao so far has been powerful.  Our community is definitely engaged and providing some fantastic insight.”

Three final puwalu are left on the schedule during the month of July and the CNHA policy team is working diligently to compile every suggestion submitted by attendees and participants commenting via the internet.

“Our goal is to provide all of this great data to the Native Hawaiian Education Council for their use, and to also analyze and produce the Policy Center’s top priorities on this subject,” Kauhane remarked. “It’s really inspiring; we truly thank NHEC for the foresight of being transparent and opening up this opportunity to the larger community to share their priorities.”

A puwalu report is scheduled for release in early August.  For more information contact Shannon Toriki, CNHA Policy Associate at policy@hawaiiancouncil.org or at (808)596-8155.

NHEC and its five island councils seek to coordinate, assess, and make recommendations for the improvement of educational services and programs for Native Hawaiians.  Its mission is to evaluate and report on the effectiveness of these programs, the present state of Native Hawaiian education efforts and how existing programs, policies, and procedures can be improved to ensure educational attainment for Native Hawaiians.

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians.  For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or visit our website at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.

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