Hawaii teachers need to be held accountable


By The Pinion

I realized what is truly important to me is righting wrongs, to make an attempt to be a part of a voice that helps people who cannot help themselves, a voice for the voiceless. The foundation of my advocacy is deeply rooted in my own personal experiences with oppression.

Saydi Miyashiro, guest writer

Hawaii teachers need to be held accountable for not meeting their performance standards, as it is causing students to suffer both academically and mentally. In sophmore year, my classmates and I were taking a class where we understood very little. Even after we explained we didn’t understand the material the way it was being taught, the teacher refused to explain it any other way and told us, “This is just how I teach, and you got to deal with it.” We all felt embarrassed of our knowledge of that subject, and lots of us had cried from frustration and worry thinking we weren’t going to pass sophomore year. Despite talking to counselors, vice principals, and even the principal. nothing changed. Our mental health spiraled out of control from this one class, making our excitement to learn very low, which is no way a student should feel, especially as a result of a teacher’s actions. 

Students at McKinley are fed up trying to reach out for help and seeing nothing done, constantly feeling negative about themselves after almost every single class. “After coming out of class, I’m often left feeling confused and stressed since the teacher didn’t teach the material in a way we understand, which makes it common for the majority of students to dislike the teacher and the subject.” This statement was anonymously given by a junior regarding their opinion on multiple core subject teachers, afraid of retaliation. 

 While the mental health of students are plummeting, so are the academic level of students. According to the DOE’s ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) report for McKinley High School for the last three years, the overall percentage of students that met or exceeded proficiency levels in mathematics hovered around 30 percent. This means far more of McKinley’s students lack math skills than have math skills. Hawaii ranked 47th in the nation for transition and completion rates from 9th grade to college in 2018, provided by the HSTA (Hawaii State Teacher Association), showing just how poorly students are retaining and understanding information, and their lack of ability to move forward. “We just google it or ask another teacher for help, since they (assigned teacher) don’t help much anyways,” an anonymous sophomore said about a core subject teacher.

The way many teachers are teaching is not good for the students. Teachers need to ask their students what they need, listen to them, and make a change.