HEPC Research, Policy Briefs, Testimony

Original HEPC Research: February 2016

Educating the Whole Child The Case for Arts Education


HEPC Testimony on Science Standards

In lieu of the Board of Education’s upcoming discussion of new science standards in schools, HEPC Director, Jim Shon, has submitted testimony on the subject.

HEPC Testimony on Science Standards, Sept 2015


Original HEPC Report; May, 2015

New HEPC Policy Brief explores the Civic Education landscape in Hawaii and nationally.

As HEPC’s latest study, the landscape of civic education is explored in both national and local context. Looking to how it is defined, what is should aim for, and the efforts of the HI DOE in comparison with other states.

Find our full report; The Good Citizen, HEPC May 2015


Policy Brief; March, 2015

Competency and project based learning policy paper

Basic Policy Questions;

There are many complex layers to implementing competency-based and project-based learning, including creation of authentic assessments. This paper focuses on analysis and strategies that might be considered without needing to completely dismantle the current public school system.

  1. The kind of school. Is there a difference between competency and project based learning at the elementary level – where one teacher is responsible for all subjects – and a middle or high school environment – where there are distinct subjects, realms of knowledge, disciplines, and teacher credentials? If the answer is yes, how would we talk about and address these two educational delivery environments?
  2. Out of school success. Looking at middle and high schools, is it possible to recognize and incorporate authentic learning contexts, such as success in music performance, success in visual arts, success in the science fair, success in History Day, and success in the Speech League? If the answer is yes, are there ways to provide both funding and “equivalency credits” for success in these areas?
  3. Progressive projects. Is it possible to create a progressive series of competencies and projects from elementary through high school that does not require a major overhaul of the State’s GLOs, Learning Objectives and Benchmarks? If the answer is yes, can Complex Areas be tasked with creating these?
  4. Doing what adults do. Is it possible to look at how adults use specific areas of learning as a guide for constructing the progressive series of competencies and projects culminating in a mature portfolio upon graduation? For example, rather than learning about history, would it be possible to require students actually write history – a biography, a history research paper, the history of an event or a place?   Rather than learning how to read and write English in a generic sense, would it be possible to require students to produce a set of poems, short stories, a novel, a screen play, a play?   Rather than learning about biology, would it be possible to require that all students pose a scientific hypothesis and then design and implement experiments to prove or disprove it?
  5. Authentic assessments. We do not judge competency in music through a written test – experts listen to the audition or performance. We do not judge a hula competition through a written test – experts, kupuna – watch and judge. We do not admit any athlete to a team via a written exam – they must try out. And for awarding high quality teachers a special national credential – great and experienced teachers observe and judge. The essential question is whether it is possible to use experienced and expert assessors – such as the judging at the science fair – as a supplement to traditional assessments.


Policy Brief; 2002 Revisited 2015

In 2002, HEPC conducted an analysis of Hawaii BOR policies when it comes to school empowerment. After revisiting them, we have found them to be still applicable to many of today’s policies. Take a look!

HEPC- Analyzing BOE Policies RE School Empowerment


Analysis; January, 2015

HEPC’s Analysis of CBAs in Regards to School Empowerment

HEPC Director Jim Shon has recently conducted an analysis of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for seeking how much decision making power it gives to schools and personnel. HEPC’s Analysis of CBAs RE; School Empowerment


Policy Brief: December 2014

HEPC  looks to the issue of school empowerment given in recent Collective Bargaining Agreement.

HEPC- Analyzing BOE Policies RE School Empowerment


Policy Brief: November 2013

HEPC looks at the challenges facing English Language Learners in Hawaii schools with a recent conference and policy brief.

Legal Obligations to serve English Language Learners (ELL)


Policy Brief: May 2013

Looking to the issue of the bigger picture and moving Hawaii’s schools into the 21st century, Director Jim Shon outlines some policy considerations.

21st Century Schools Policy Framework


Policy Brief: Jan 2013

Defining STEM. Find the latest policy brief from HEPC looking at exactly what ‘STEM’ is. Defining-S-T-E-M-January-2013


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