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Nation’s top education official visits Hawaii schools

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    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, right, and with Los Angeles Unified Superintendent, John Deasy, left, participate in a roundtable discussion at Family Source Center in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Duncan's visit aims to highlight excellence in education and the importance of community involvement and support. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says he’ll look into concerns about assessments for students attending Hawaiian-language immersion schools and how Native Hawaiian-focused charter schools are funded.

The concerns were posed to Duncan Monday during his visit to Ka Waihona o Ka Naauao Public Charter School on the Waianae Coast. Duncan took notes as Native Hawaiian educational leaders discussed issues such as some parents boycotting state tests in English because they want assessments created in Hawaiian.

Duncan says he’ll do some “homework” on the issues. He notes that there was a time the Hawaiian language was outlawed and says he’s glad to see schools contributing to its revitalization.

He’s in Hawaii to recognize the state’s public school system for rebounding from struggles in making progress toward ambitious reforms.

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