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Hawaii Hires New Chief to Head Its Single-District School System

Hawaii's state board of education hired last week Christina Kishimoto to serve as the state's next state superintendent, according to the Associated Press

She replaces Kathryn Matayoshi, who has served as the state superintendent of the one-district 180,000-student system for the last seven years. The board decided last November not to renew Matayoshi's contract.   

Kishimoto most recently served as the superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools, a 38,000-student school district outside Phoenix Arizona. Prior to that, she served as superintendent of Hartford Connecticut Public Schools. The board ended her contract in 2013 after giving her low performance marks for communication and having a lack of urgency for improving academic outcomes.  

Kishimoto signed a three-year contract worth $240,000 annually.  

Hawaii is one of a handful of states where the governor, rather than the state chief, is leading the development process under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Matayoshi was not invited to serve on the governor's ESSA task force, a move that upset many of the state's educators. 

Kishimoto will be tasked with implementing the governor's "Blueprint for Education." 


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