By Kim Gennaula
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every child college and career ready for the future. That's the vision as leaders from all across the state work with the "Race to the Top" funds to reform our public schools. Duke Aiona says the state has already made great strides. His opponent says his background makes him more qualified to get us where we need to go.
Neil Abercrombie assures, "I've been involved with teaching, I've been involved with the administration of education, I've been involved with legislation around education all my life. I feel almost as if this has been an apprenticeship on various levels and capacities precisely to answer your question about where are we going with education for the 21st century."
Duke Aiona maintains, "We are moving in the right direction right now and so I'm very optimistic about where we're going with education, …with this 'Race to the Top' application we now have an objective where in 8 years, by the year 2018, every single public school graduate will have a diploma that says we're either work or college ready. We've never had that in writing before."
Among Neil Abercrombie's priorities: Reopening public libraries that have closed and creating computer training centers at all schools.
Abercrombie elaborates, "I will see to it that we put together an infrastructure both social and financial that is going to not only allow you to say, but have you eager to say, my child is in the public schools."
Aiona is calling for an independent audit of the Board of Education and teacher pay based on student achievement.
"This is why I believe you need the strong leadership, you need people who can bring people together and I can do all of that. I'm very confident on that", Aiona states.
Abercrombie shares, "What I intend to do is take personal responsibility as governor that you as a parent and a taxpayer believe and can see visibly, can see, your children growing in school."
Up next, you know the candidates are on opposite sides of this one. Is it same sex marriage or a civil rights issue for equal benefits? We'll ask both of the candidates which version of a civil unions bill they would support in Part 8.