Hawaii school board chief Catherine Payne urges dropping Acellus online curriculum

Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne wants Hawaii’s schools to stop using the Acellus distance-learning program by the end of the academic year and allow parents to opt out immediately.

Payne has put the subject on the agenda for action at Thursday’s board meeting, directing the Department of Education to phase out the controversial curriculum. In a memo, she called the department’s selection of Acellus “a mistake made in the midst of chaos brought on by the pandemic.”

Some teachers and parents in Hawaii have decried the content on the video-based instructional platform as racist, sexist, inaccurate, outdated and lacking rigor. The Acellus Learning Accelerator, owned by the unaccredited International Academy of Science in Kansas City, Mo., offers more than 300 courses in kindergarten through 12th grade and is used by home­schooling students and schools across the country.

Previously, Acellus online courses had been used by some secondary schools in

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