Friday, December 30, 2011

Historical Retrospect and Happy New Year from History Education Hawaii

On behalf of Hawaii’s lovers of history and advocates for historical literacy we wish all, near and far, Hau’oli Makahiki Hou, Happy New Year.

The tradition of reflecting on the onset of a new year began in Hawaii long ago. As an example we offer our loyal readers around the world a glimpse into this tradition. The following text is a transcript of an editorial from Honolulu’s ‘The Polynesian,’ the official newspaper of the Hawaiian royal government. Edited by Edwin O. Hall, these remarks were published on Saturday, January 3, 1852:

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO –The old year, with its joys and sorrows, its fluctuations and changes, has vanished into the past, and the sound of its retreating footsteps is lost in the din and hurry of the busy present. It can never be recalled, nor can its record be effaced. Whatever that record may be, in regard to each of our readers, it is sealed up, to remain unopened, till the last great day, for which all other days are made. Let a review of the past make us wider and better for the future.

The New Year opened upon us with a clear sky, and a summer temperature. To the residents from colder climes, the seasons seemed reversed, and June appeared reposing in the arms of January. But this was all the more fortunate for those who desired to keep up the good New York custom of calling upon friends, and greeting them with the compliments of the season; and it was improved accordingly. A large number were out, and we have heard of many who made from thirty to forty calls during the day, and a happy custom it is, and one becoming more and more domesticated in the city of Honolulu.

Other portions of the community enjoyed themselves in riding, feasting, &c. We have seldom seen the streets more crowded with horsemen then on the first of January, 1852. Everybody seemed to be mounted, and determined on enjoyment. Natives, and foreigners generally, made a holiday of it, and appeared determined to make the first day of the year, at least, a “happy” one.

We hope our readers, out of town, participated in the pleasures of the metropolis; to them, and to all, we wish a “HAPPY NEW YEAR.”

Holidays have their uses and beneficial tendencies. When properly observed, they renew friendships, and break up the tedious round of every-day cares and labors. The mental and physical tone is renewed, and becomes more elastic under the influence of those social enjoyments, of which social man is so susceptible. In this view of the case, we were pleased to notice the very general suspension of business in Honolulu, on New Years’ Day, especially, after ten or eleven o’clock, and have no doubt that the recreation thus enjoyed will, very generally, better qualify men for the “battle of life” and its arduous toils, in which they have now fairly commenced another year’s campaign.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

History Bee and Bowl Results: Congratulations!

Iolani School in Honolulu was the setting for the first-ever held statewide National History Bowl and Bee. The event, sponsored by History Education Hawaii, Inc., an allied organization of the National Council for History Education, was held on December 17. It was organized and facilitated by Dave Madden, founder of the National History Bowl and Bee.

Participating schools included Waianae High School, Iolani School and a student from the island of Kauai representing Hawaii Technology Academy.

The National History Bowl is an interscholastic team history competition with a quiz bowl format. From Oct. 2011-Mar. 2012, students across the nation are scheduled compete in teams at the regional-level tournaments, with the top teams qualifying for the National Championships in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The National History Bowl is a competition for teams of students.

The History Bowl competition consisted of teams of up to four students.

Students competed with buzzers in a system of four sets of questions. In addition to rote memorization, the questions sometimes required students to utilize critical and analytical thinking skills to establish connections from pieces of information to correctly answer the questions.

In the Varsity Bowl Division the 'Iolani team of Ken-Ben Chao (13), Keke Liu (13), Jason Loui (13), and Michael Mow (13) won in the final round by beating the 'Iolani team of Courtney Kobata (13), Eden Koo (13), James Teruya (13), and Nick Yim (13).

The Junior Varsity Division is for students in tenth grade or below. Here the 'Iolani team of Kenneth Lee (14), Nick Lee (15), and Spencer Oshita (15) defeat their opponent, Andy Anderton of Hawaii Technology Academy.

In the History Bee students compete as individuals to answer questions. In the Varsity Bee Division Ken-Ben Chao (13) won the first place plaque by defeating Jason Loui (13) in the final round. In the Junior Varsity Division, Kenneth Lee (14) defeated Matthew Beattie-Callahan (14) for the title.

The team is coached by 'Iolani History teacher, John Bickel and plans to attend the national competition in Washington, D.C., April 27 -29.

The competition was attended by NCHE Hawaii Liaison Jeffrey Bingham Mead.

“This is just the beginning,” Mead said. “These competing students were among the most enthused about the subject of history I’ve met in some time. They were passionate throughout the competition, the questions and about history. Their instructors have clearly imparted in these students a love for the subject. I look forward to more competitions in the years ahead.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

From our house in Hawaii to yours wherever that may be, History Education Hawaii extends to all our sincerest aloha and holiday wishes.

We will re-open again on Monday, December 26.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guest Submission: Carrie Oakley of

The Best Undergraduate History Programs in the United States

Are you interested in earning a Bachelor’s Degree in History, or do you teach a student or know someone who is interested? If you want the opportunity to go far with a degree in history, consider attending a university or college with a top-ranked history department.

The following schools are top-ranked when it comes to their department of history and their undergraduate history programs, according to a 2009 ranking by U.S. News and World Report. Even if you are a history professor, this list could offer insight into where the top professors go to teach.

Many of these schools are also coincidentally among the top-ranked universities in the nation. Earning a degree or teaching at one of these prestigious colleges would be an honor and a privilege for anyone who loves the subject of history.

1. Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

2. Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

3. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California.

4. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

5. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

6. University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

7. Columbia University, New York, New York.

8. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

9. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

10. University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

To learn about what you need to do to qualify for admittance to one of these universities, visit the admissions section located on each college’s corresponding website. You can also find information about how to receive financial aid and scholarships for tuition and board payment in the admissions section, as well.

Carrie Oakley is editor and writer for Online Universities. She likes to write articles about many topics of interest, including education and career planning.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Exploring the Past: Archaeology in the Upper Mississippi River Valley

The Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse will offer a three-week NEH Summer Institute on July 9–27, 2012. This dynamic learning experience for K-12 teachers will explore how Native Americans and Euro-Americans have adapted to the Upper Mississippi River Valley over the past 13,500 years, and how archaeology leads to an understanding of how human cultures change and adapt through time.

The Institute will feature a one-day excavation experience, field trips to archaeological sites, hands-on laboratory and workshop activities, demonstrations, and classroom activities. Individual projects will help participants tailor the content to their own teaching areas. NEH Summer Scholars receive a $2,700 stipend to help offset their expenses.

Walking beside thousand-year-old burial mounds, flaking raw stone into tools, learning how potsherds tell us about human behavior, and understanding how humans adapt to complex, ever-changing environments ­our 2012 NEH Summer Institute features all this and more.

Application and other information on the Institute will be available online at this link.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2012.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

NEH Announces Summer 2012 Seminars, Institutes for Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Education Programs has announced its Summer 2012 seminars and institutes for teachers.

Application Deadline (postmarked): March 1, 2012.

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), or $3,900 (5 weeks).

Full-time teachers in American K-12 schools, whether public, charter, independent, or religiously affiliated, as well as home-schooling parents, are eligible to apply to NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes. Americans teaching abroad are also eligible if a majority of the students they teach are American citizens. Librarians and school administrators may also be eligible.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks Workshops) and you may attend only one. Eligibility criteria differ between NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes and NEH Landmarks Workshops.

Please note: Up to two spaces in each seminar and three spaces in each institute are available for current graduate students who intend to pursue careers in K-12 teaching.

For a comprehensive list of seminars and institutes go to this link.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Common-Place publishes its Interim November 2011 edition

“From the royal courts of eighteenth-century France and the kitchens of colonial America, to the enduring friendship between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, “Common-place” has it all.

"Point your browser to this link to come and explore the relationships between food, architecture, France, democracy, and the Founding Fathers in this month’s issue."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PBS Lesson Plans: The Great War

Tomorrow is Veterans Day in the United States. PBS features a site with lesson plans that will enrich history classroom learning on the war that led to Decoration Day.

The lesson plans offered in this section are designed to enrich classroom study of World War I and were designed for middle and high school students. Each lesson could also be modified to be conducted at home. The lessons only reference content that exists on the Great War site, not the program.

Each lesson includes learning objectives, related national content standards, a list of tools and materials needed, the time necessary to complete each lesson, extensions and adaptations, assessment recommendations, additional online resources and the teaching strategy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ka Huli Ao Digital Archives of Hawaiian Kingdom Announced

Today's Honolulu Star Advertiser features news of a new digital archive of documents relating to the Hawaiian Kingdom, Ka Huli Ao Digital Archives. Ka Huli Ao Digital Archives is dedicated to the collection and dissemination of digitized documents of legal, historic and cultural significance for Hawai‘i.

"In collaboration with the Hawai‘i State Archives we have amassed a collection of approximately three hundred thousand images of historic documents ranging from the Kingdom of Hawai‘i's original Constitution to the journals of the proceedings of the House of Nobles. In an effort to create greater access and greater functionality of the collection the images are being transcribed or processed using optical character recognition, and the resulting text is being mounted, along with the document images, on this website."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gilder Lehrman Institute's Saturday Academies Program a Winner!

History Education Hawaii sends its congratulations to the The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

We've received word that its Saturday Academies Program has been awarded one of the highest honors for youth programs in the United States. "We have been chosen as one of twelve winners of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies: the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities."

"The award recognizes outstanding after-school and out-of-school programs that transform the lives of young people. Award recipients exemplify how extracurricular arts and humanities programs enrich the lives of young people throughout the country by teaching new skills, nurturing creativity, and building self-confidence."

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the NAHYP award at the White House to the Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academies Program on November 2, 2011.

Gilder Lehrman President James G. Basker and student representative Robert Sandoval accepted the award.

The Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academies Program was selected as one of twelve winners from 470 nominations.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

National Air and Space Museum: Conspiracy Theories in Aerospace History October 28

You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet. How do you evaluate the reliability of online information?

Join the National Air and Space Museum for an interactive online conference developed especially for teachers and secondary students. Historians and educators from the Museum, and guests from the Department of the Navy and National History Day, will demonstrate critical thinking skills they use to evaluate information.

Click this link to register today! And, click this link for the program.

An Evening with General Chuck Yeager: Breaking the Sound Barrier November 3 at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

One of the most monumental aviators in American history General Chuck Yeager will present a talk on Thursday, November 3, 6:00 to 8:00pm in Hangar 37 at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

"General Yeager is a long time supporter of the Museum and we are honored he has returned to Hawaii to help the Museum. He will share his flying experiences with our members and guests," said Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff.

General Yeager is considered a living legend in aviation, the first person to break the sound barrier, on October 14, 1947. His daring aviation feats set the bar for pilots everywhere and rocketed the United States ahead in worldwide aerospace technology, an advantage the U.S. still holds today.

For more information on the General:

Gen. Yeager's presentation starts promptly at 6pm, followed by cocktails and pupu reception. The cost is $25 for Museum members and $35 for non-members.

Interested in becoming a Museum member? Click Here to join. Reservations are essential to attend. Please call 808-441-1007 or email

Friday, October 7, 2011

King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center Professional Development: Korematsu v. United States: Justice Denied

We've received news of the latest professional development opportunity for social studies high school teachers in Hawaii.

Korematsu v. United States: Justice Denied is scheduled to be held at the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center in Aliiolani Hale (pictured above) in Honolulu, on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

Sponsors include Hawaii's Department of Education's Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support, Curriculum and Instruction Branch, Social Studies Program, in partnership with the Hawaii State Bar Association, the William S. Richardson School of Law, and the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center.

The workshop will focus on Korematsu v. United States, the landmark Supreme Court case that dealt with the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066.

Mr Eric Yamamoto, an internationally-recognized law professor at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law, will be the keynote speaker. In 1984, Professor Yamamoto served as coram nobis co-counsel to Fred Korematsu in the successful reopening of the infamous WWII Japanese American internment case, Korematsu v. United States. He will speak specifically on this case and what it means for all Americans today.

Joining him will be Ms. Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred Korematsu. Ms. Korematsu is the co-founder of the Korematsu Institute. She continues to advance her father's legacy by advising the Institute and speaking at events around the country.

Associate Professor Marcus Daniel, University of Hawaii at Manoa, will set the historical context for this landmark case by examining global, national, and local events that precipitated Korematsu v. United States.

The Judiciary History Center, in partnership with Ms. Sandy Cashman, former English teacher and award-winning Civics educator at Kahuku High and Intermediate School and current We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Coordinator, will assist teachers as they create Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III standards-based lessons for use in their classroom. Strategies for using literacy across content areas will also be incorporated.

Participation will be limited to a total of twenty-five social studies high school teachers of U.S. History, World History, Participation in Democracy, and Modern History of Hawaii.

Preference will be given to teachers who are not yet highly qualified to teach these courses. Although the content of this training session will not directly address other course (e.g., Psychology, Global Studies, etc.) benchmarks, teachers of those courses who can show an indirect but significant content-benchmark connection may be enrolled on a space-available basis.

Applicants must agree to attend the entire training session, create and implement one or more lessons using content and/or processes gained from the training session, and provide student work with teacher commentary that meets the targeted benchmarks. Work may also appear in the Social Studies Instructional Map, now under construction.

There will be no cost to attend the training session. Airfare and ground transportation for up to ten neighbor island teachers will be provided by OCISS, CIB, Social Studies Program. No food will be provided; however, a $100.00 stipend will be available. Partial stipends will not be given.

To register for this free professional development opportunity contact the Judiciary History Center, or contact us at for the pdf registration form.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Journeys in Hawaiian Time: Oahu Charity School Examinations, 1840

"On Tuesday last the examination of the scholars of the Charity School took place. Those who were present expressed themselves much gratified by the orderly appearance of the children, and their proficiency in their studies.

"On the following day, an examination of the scholars of the native schools occurred. They were assembled at the Rev. Mr. Bingham's church to the number of 700, all in European costume, presenting an interesting spectacle. The examination was said to have been very creditable to the pupils.

"The Governor, Captains Wilkes, and Hudson, and Dr. Palmer, of the American Squadron made short addresses, which were listened to with much interest.

"The scholars were then marched through the town to the Rev. Mr. Smith's church, each school by itself, bearing an appropriate banner, and the whole procession headed by the young chiefs. Upon arrival there, the whole company sat down to a feast prepared for the occasion.

"We regret that we are obliged to speak of these examinations from hearsay -knowing nothing of either until they are concluded. As there are many who would like to be present on similar occasions, we would suggest the propriety of making them known through the columns of our paper. We will gladly give publicity, gratuitously, to any notices for benvolent purposes, or such as are for general information."

The Polynesian (Honolulu). October 31, 1840, page 82.

Monday, October 3, 2011

FREE Online Field Trips from Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

If there is any four-letter word that people of all stripes love to hear it's this one: FREE.
Dale Van Eck is the manager of National Education Sales for Colonial Williamsburg. He wrote:

I still have 11 fully funded $500 scholarships to give away to Hawaiian schools. Check at for complete details. The trips are live and also archived for 24/7 availability so can be used when it fits a teachers schedule.

Please spread the word around, I’d love to give these away!

Go this web site and you'll find this:

Funding for Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips is available now! Thanks to a generous Colonial Williamsburg donor, up to 30 Hawaiian public elementary schools are eligible to receive the 2011-2012 Electronic Field Trip series at no charge (a $500 value per school). This Emmy award-winning series consists of 7 live broadcasts that can be streamed via the Web or watched on the Hawaii Department of Education Teleschool Channel 56. Each Electronic Field Trip and its companion resources are aligned to your state standards and integrate reading/literacy, civics, history, and technology standards. The series is targeted to grades 4-8. Since the subscription is for the entire school building, only one person for each school will need to subscribe. Here’s how to find out more information and submit your subscription:

  1. Sample the series at to review the great resources available.
  2. Subscribe your school by clicking here.
  3. Wait to receive your registration information to create your user name/password—it’s that easy!

Again, this grant is for 30 Hawaii public schools only. If you have any questions, please contact us at: with the subject line HAWAII GRANT or call 1-800-761-8331.


Two teachers who are participating in the 2011-2012 Electronic Field Trips will be awarded a fully funded scholarship to attend the 2012 Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute! One full week of outstanding professional development held onsite in Williamsburg, Virginia! All participating teachers will be asked to submit an application for the Teacher Institute and 2 recipients will be chosen for the scholarship, a $2000 value and will include airfare.

Sign up Today

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gilder Lehrman Institute: History Now and Religion in the Colonial World

Hawaii history teachers, students, historians and history buffs! The Gilder Lehrman Institute is pleased to present its latest issue of History Now, a quarterly online journal for history teachers and students. It is available at this link.

"In this issue, four leading scholars provide a closer look at the religious beliefs and institutions that played major roles in the lives of colonial Americas women and men, and in doing so highlight one of the critical characteristics of our nation: its multicultural heritage."

In addition, the Institute has several podcasts from the Historians on the Record series on the subject of religion in Colonial America. These include John Demos: Religion and Witchcraft in Colonial America and Kevin Phillips: Religion and Politics in the Founding Era. Click this link or download them for free from iTunes.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Grants for Teachers (National Humanities Center)

The National Humanities Center (NHC) has posed an excellent question to teachers: "How do you engage your students with primary source materials?"

To answer this question, NHC is offering its new 'We are Teachers' grant program. Highlights of this program include:

$200, cash grant to fund your project.
Flip Video camera to capture your project idea.
Free seminars from the National Humanities Center.
T-shirts and tote bags.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wall Street Journal: The Education Our Economy Needs; We lag in science, but students' historical illiteracy hurts our politics and our businesses.

America's historical illiteracy is once again highlighted, this time in this piece in today's Wall Street Journal. Norm Augustine is the author. Our favorite quote:

“It’s the other things that subjects like history impart: critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to communicate clearly and cogently. Such skills are certainly important for those at the top, but in today’s economy they are fundamental to performance at nearly every level....Now is a time to re-establish history’s importance in American education.”

Go to this link to read the article and offer your comments.

The Education Our Economy Needs
We lag in science, but students' historical illiteracy hurts our politics and our businesses.

In the spirit of the new school year, here's a quiz for readers: In which of the following subjects is the performance of American 12th-graders the worst? a) science, b) economics, c) history, or d) math?

With all the talk of America's very real weaknesses in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math), you might be surprised to learn that the answer—according to the federal government's National Assessment of Educational Progress—is neither science nor math. And despite what might be suggested by the number of underwater home loans, high-school seniors actually fare best in economics.

Which leaves history as the answer, the subject in which students perform the most poorly. It's a result that puts American employers and America's freedoms in a worrisome spot.

But why should a C grade in history matter to the C-suite? After all, if a leader can make the numbers, does it really matter if he or she can recite the birthdates of all the presidents?

Well, it's not primarily the memorized facts that have current and former CEOs like me concerned. It's the other things that subjects like history impart: critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to communicate clearly and cogently. Such skills are certainly important for those at the top, but in today's economy they are fundamental to performance at nearly every level. A failing grade in history suggests that students are not only failing to comprehend our nation's story and that of our world, but also failing to develop skills that are crucial to employment across sectors. Having traveled in 109 countries in this global economy, I have developed a considerable appreciation for the importance of knowing a country's history and politics.

The good news is that a candidate who demonstrates capabilities in critical thinking, creative problem-solving and communication has a far greater chance of being employed today than his or her counterpart without those skills. The better news is these are not skills that only a graduate education or a stint at McKinsey can confer. They are competencies that our public elementary and high schools can and should be developing through subjects like history.

Far more than simply conveying the story of a country or civilization, an education in history can create critical thinkers who can digest, analyze and synthesize information and articulate their findings. These are skills needed across a broad range of subjects and disciplines.

In fact, students who are exposed to more modern methods of history education—where critical thinking and research are emphasized—tend to perform better in math and science. As a case in point, students who participate in National History Day—actually a year-long program that gets students in grades 6-12 doing historical research—consistently outperform their peers on state standardized tests, not only in social studies but in science and math as well.

In my position as CEO of a firm employing over 80,000 engineers, I can testify that most were excellent engineers—but the factor that most distinguished those who advanced in the organization was the ability to think broadly and read and write clearly.

Now is a time to re-establish history's importance in American education. We need to take this opportunity to ensure that today's history teachers are teaching in a more enlightened fashion, going beyond rote memorization and requiring students to conduct original research, develop a viewpoint and defend it.

If the American economy is to recover from the Great Recession—and I believe it can—it will be because of a ready supply of workers with the critical thinking, creative problem-solving, technological and communications skills needed to fuel productivity and growth. The subject of history is an important part of that foundation.

Mr. Augustine, a former under secretary of the Army, is the retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Constitution Week: Constitutional History of Hawaii 1840

The February 16, 1840 edition of The Polynesian led with the following letter from "The Translator," an anonymous writer to J. Jarves, editor:

SIR: -A few months since, your readers were informed that the King and Chiefs of the Hawaiian Islands were engaged in framing a Constitution for the government and also revising the laws.

The Constitution has been issued from the press, and there are embraced on the same pamphlet a number of laws which many of your readers would doubtless be pleased to peruse; I have therefore commenced a translation into English, which I will continue if you think best to publish it.

A considerable portion of the pamphlet consists of a revised edition of the laws relating to taxation published in June 1839.

Those laws, as the public were informed in the Hawaiian Spectator, were originally drawn up, by a graduate of the Seminary at Lahainaluna, and after being revised by the chiefs were re-written by himself. The other laws were drawn up by several different persons, but all have been revised by the King and a council of those chiefs whose names are mentioned in the Constitution. The attendance however has not been universal. The Constitution, after it had been approved by the other chiefs, was sent by a messenger appointed for that object, to Gov. Adams, of Hawaii. He approved of the whole except that part which limits the powers of the Governors. The King and Chiefs who have been together, have been unanimous in the acts which they have passed.

The have received many suggestions both by letter and orally, from foreign residents and visitors. They have also received suggestions in both these ways from their own subjects.

The translation which I send you is a free one, not adhering strictly to the letter, as that would materially violate the English idiom. But I have attempted always to convey the sense in the clearest and most concise manner.

Yours truly,

The text of the 1840 Constitution of the then-Kingdom of Hawaii is available online. Click here to read the English and Hawaiian language versions.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Constitution Day September 17, 2011: National Constitution Center

This day marks Constitution Day on our history calendars. Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who, are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.

During the coming week of September 19-23, 2011, History Education Hawaii will be sharing various online-based resources and reminders celebrating the significance of constitutional history.

Teachers, history students, historians and all the history buffs will, we hope, find these materials enriching.

Stay tuned for more this coming week from History Education Hawaii!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

1852: Chinese Sophomore Wins Yale College English Composition Prize

Well done, Chinaman!
The Friend (Honolulu). July, 1852, page 20

A friend has recently allowed us to copy the following letter, dated March 6th, New Haven, Ct.

“Only within a few days the prize in the sophmore class, Yale College, for English Composition has been taken by a Chinaman –a Simon-pure Celestial named YOUNG WING. This speaks well for the capacities of the Chinese, and shows what they might become under civilized culture.”

We were not aware as any Chinaman had ever become a student in an American College. May the success of this one induce hundreds and thousands more, to go to America for an education, and contest the palm of scholarship with the youth of the land.

Constitution Day 'Gift to the Nation' from Colonial Williamsburg

This week's mail brought exciting news from Colonial Williamsburg! Occasionally opportunities for professional development come across our desks that we feel will be worth your attention. History Education Hawaii hopes that you will find this offer of interest.

Colonial Williamsburg's Gift to the Nation is another one of its outstanding electronic field trip. This one, entitled "A More Perfect Union" is available via complimentary access September 6-30, 2011. Take advantage of this FREE opportunity to bring this exciting, relevant program into your school or home.

Go to this link today to learn more about this electronic field trip and others available today!

Colonial Williamsburg's Gift to the Nation for Constitution Day offers students an opportunity to interact virtually with historical characters and provides teachers with unique resources to engage students in the study of our United States Constitution.

The Electronic Field Trip, "A More Perfect Union", tells the story of the ratification of the Constitution and has as the first person narrator a young student from the late 1700s. This Electronic Field Trip builds background knowledge for educators and students, leading to better understanding of the challenges and choices made during the ratification of our Constitution.

  • Available online 24/7 from September 6 to September 30, 2011
  • On-demand video streaming over the web

  • Email historical character, Benjamin Franklin

  • Interactive online games

  • Downloadable resources, such as the teacher guide and program script (PDF)

  • Comprehensive lesson plans

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Education Week: Congress Returns to Face ESEA, Ed. Funding Issues

Education Week
September 6, 2011
By Alyson Klein

Congress returns from its summer recess this week with a full plate of unfinished business on the future of K-12 spending and policy—a tall order in Washington’s polarized political climate.
Federal lawmakers, who have already had two protracted battles this year over budget issues, must finish the appropriations bills for fiscal 2012. The budget process is complicated by the work of a new panel created as part of a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling and charged with finding ways to significantly cut the deficit over the next decade.
The panel’s recommendations, due in November, could have a dramatic impact on discretionary federal spending, including for education.
Lawmakers are also continuing to ponder reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, although the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are taking far different approaches to the long-stalled renewal, which few observers expect to be completed this year.
At the same time, the Obama administration is preparing to offer states waivers of parts of the current version of the law—the No Child Left Behind Act—if they are willing to embrace reform priorities expected to be outlined later this month.
The upcoming spending battles have broad implications for the waiver plan and for ESEA reauthorization in general, said Kate Tromble, the director of government relations for the Education Trust, a Washington-based advocacy group for disadvantaged and minority students.
“What happens with the funding is going to be the biggest thing to watch this fall,” she said. Creating “a new generation” of the NCLB law will “require some money. It’s difficult to figure out how you continue moving forward” on education redesign if there are significant cuts, she added.
And advocates are keeping a close eye on President Barack Obama’s scheduled Sept. 8 address to Congress, in which he is expected to outline his plan for jump-starting the nation’s sluggish economy and putting more Americans back to work. Some are pressing for new money for K-12 schools, including funds to prevent further teacher layoffs and to revamp aging school facilities.
The deficit-reduction panel, nicknamed the “supercommittee,” was created this summer as part of a compromise between President Obama and congressional leaders on raising the debt ceiling.
It is made up of 12 lawmakers—three Democrats and three Republicans from each chamber—and is tasked with drafting legislation to carve at least $1.2 trillion out of the budget deficit over the next 10 years.
Members of the panel have until Nov. 23 to come up with a plan. Their colleagues can then pass it or reject it, without the opportunity to make changes.
The committee has broad authority and is permitted to suggest specific spending levels for domestic programs, including education. But few expect the panel will take that route. Instead, committee members are more likely to consider education in the context of overall domestic, discretionary spending, which also includes many health, jobs, and environmental programs.
Regardless, education proponents are watching the panel’s work closely. If the committee can’t reach agreement—or if Congress rejects its plan—deep cuts kick in that would affect almost every federal program.
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a research organization in Washington, is predicting an across-the-board cut of 9 percent for affected programs in nondefense agencies—including the U.S. Department of Education—if the committee doesn’t come up with a viable alternative.
That would amount to roughly a $4 billion slice out of the Education Department’s nearly $70 billion budget, according to the Committee for Education Funding, a Washington-based lobbying coalition.
“The biggest threat to education is if the [supercommittee] doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do,” said Joel Packer, the executive director of the CEF.
Budget Battles
Meanwhile, advocates also are keeping a wary eye on fiscal 2012 appropriations legislation. Mr. Obama asked for $77.4 billion for education, a 10.7 percent increase, in part to help cover the rising cost of Pell Grants, which help low-income students pay for college.
But supporters agree that the overall increase is unlikely to materialize
“At best, we will wind up with a freeze,” Mr. Packer said. “There will probably be cuts to some programs.”
What would be particularly vulnerable are programs that the president slated for consolidation in his budget request for fiscal 2012, which begins Oct. 1. Many long-standing Education Department programs, such as state grants for educational technology, were scrapped after a budget standoff earlier this year that nearly resulted in a government shutdown.
But some programs that House Republicans and the Obama administration sought to eliminate skated by, including the $52 million Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program.
Now, champions of those programs are worried their luck may not hold.
For instance, the American School Counselors Association is informing lawmakers about the impact the counseling program has in their districts, said Amanda Fitzgerald, the organization’s director of public policy.
Even some of the president’s priorities are on shaky ground. The high-profile Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation grant programs, originally part of the 2009 federal economic-stimulus program, received small increases in fiscal 2011. But those programs may be susceptible this year, as lawmakers seek to significantly reduce spending.
To get new money for those programs last year, administration officials likely made it clear to Congress that they were his highest priority, said Jennifer Cohen, a senior policy analyst for the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.
“It’s hard to say whether the president is going to put all his weight behind the same program two years in a row,” she said.
Job Creation
The first part of what could be another spending showdown could begin this week, when President Obama is expected to unveil his plan for spurring job creation.
School construction proponents are urging the administration to close certain tax loopholes and funnel the savings to school maintenance and repair. The 21st Century Schools Fund, a research and advocacy organization in Washington that promotes high-quality facilities, would like to see Mr. Obama put $50 billion toward upgrading schools.
“There is an enormous backlog” of construction projects, said Mary Filardo, the group’s executive director. “At the same time, we have skilled trades people out of work in communities across the United States.”
Mr. Obama gave those advocates reason to be optimistic during an Aug. 30 interview on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” a nationally syndicated radio program.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff that needs to get done,” he said. “There are schools all across the country that right now you could put people to work fixing up.”
The president even hinted at the possibility of federal funding to stave off further teacher-job cuts.
“We’ve got the capacity right now to help local school districts make sure that they’re not laying off more teachers,” Mr. Obama said. “We haven’t been as aggressive as we need to, both at the state and federal level.”
Still, any school construction proposal is likely to face significant hurdles, particularly among Republicans who believe school facilities should be a local expenditure.
In fact, school construction funding was a major sticking point when a Democratic-controlled Congress negotiated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the 2009 stimulus law that provided some $100 billion for education.
The legislation’s sponsors initially sought to include a new school construction grant program in the bill, but it was jettisoned to garner support from moderate Democrats and Republicans. Now, with the GOP in control of the House, a school construction program would face even longer political odds.
Finding money to stave off layoffs could also be an uphill battle. The administration had a tough time securing $10 billion for the Education Jobs Fund in the summer of 2010, also at a time when both chambers of Congress were in Democratic hands.
ESEA Stalled
The House, meanwhile, is likely to consider at least three bills this fall aimed at reworking targeted pieces of the ESEA, all of which have already gotten a stamp of approval from the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
But only one of the measures—a bill to bolster charter schools—has support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The other two pieces of legislation caused division in the committee and were approved along strict party lines.
One of those measures would eliminate more than 40 programs in the Education Department. Many of them have been on the books for years, but haven’t received federal money recently, such as the Star Schools Distance Learning program. But others, such as the $46 million Teaching American History initiative, are still operating

Another, more controversial measure, which passed out of the education committee on a party-line vote in July, would offer districts expanded flexibility in using federal dollars. The bill would permit districts to shift money aimed at particular populations of students, such as children in poverty, and direct it to other activities or groups of students, such as those in special education.
Republicans argue the measure would make it easier for districts and states to direct federal money where it is needed most, while Democrats maintain that it would allow districts to ignore poor and minority children.
Although all three bills would make important changes to federal K-12 policy, none gets at the accountability and teacher-quality issues at the heart of the NCLB law. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, is planning to introduce a pair of new ESEA-related bills this fall that would address such issues.
On the Senate side, Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., its ranking member, have been meeting regularly to consider comprehensive legislation.
Mr. Harkin initially set a goal of considering an ESEA reauthorization bill in committee last spring. But lawmakers have struggled to reach agreement on key issues, including accountability and the scope of the federal role in K-12 education.

Monday, August 22, 2011

University of Hawaii Center for Korean Studies: "Modern Perspective on Ancient East Asian Texts"

We've learned that the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Center for Korean Studies will hold an international workshop entitled Modern Perspective on Ancient East Asian Texts.

It is scheduled for September 15-16, 2011 in the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium.

The workshop will host four major specialists in ancient East Asian texts:
1) Pr
of. Ross King from the UBC,
2) Pr
of. Moriyo Shimabukuro from the University of the Ryukyus,
3) Pr
of. Mehmet Ölmez from the Istanbul Yildiz Teknik University,
4) Dr
. Stefan Georg from the University of Bonn.

Prof. Haeree Park and Prof. Alexander Vovin will also give presentations.

During the two days of the workshop, all presenters will give lectures on a variety of subjects related to ancient East Asian texts and languages (please refer to the flyer and tentative program in the attachment for the details).

is workshop is open to the public.

Registration is free of charge, but attendees must register to participate due to the limited capacity of the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium, where the workshop will be held.

If you are interested in participating, pl
ease register online no later than noon on September 5, 2011.