A Jan. 11 letter writer charged that many teachers in the public education system are not capable, and that the U.S. recruits teachers from the bottom third of college graduates.
Most public schools must meet rigorous requirements:
* Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which usually consists of a triennnial self-study and visitations.
* State-required common core standards, focusing on consistent educational processes.
* State-required student testing, with benchmarks and goals.
* The Educator Evaluation System.
* The first step in teacher licensing requires college credits in education. Intermediate and high school teachers are also tested and licensed in their teaching fields.
This is a sample of Lokelani Intermediate School students' recent civic participation and academic achievements:
* Best Buddies International, Top 10 placement in the U.S.
* Math Counts.
* Media, 1st place state entry, 2014.
* Science Olympiad, 2nd place, District, 2013.
* Spelling Bee, Maui District champion and lst runner-up, 2013.
* UH Engineering competition, 1st place (District) and 2nd place (State), 2013.
Currently, three Lokelani teachers have obtained their National Board Certification, seven teachers have mentored student teachers, one teacher is an instructor at the University of Hawaii Maui College and one teacher is committed to various civic and fine arts events.
This is my 25th year at Lokelani. It started as a two-week substitute assignment. I had held a full-time night job the previous 14 years. My ranking in the required test for college completion and licensing in secondary English was in the 92nd percentile.