Residents invited and encouraged to participate
June 19, 2012
NOTE: Tonight’s village meeting is at the Santa Rita Senior Center, next to the Community Center/Mayor’s Office
Residents have been expressing support for the education reform draft plan. More than 60 residents already have attended and participated in the three village outreach meetings that took place Saturday and last night.
The participants are a mix of educators, parents, grandparents, mayors, one education board member (Rosie Tainatongo), southern principals, and even one student. The following principals also showed up either to the Umatac, Merizo, or Inarajan meetings:
1.    –  Derrick Santos, Merizo Martyrs Elementary
2.    –  Evelyn Mantanona, Inarajan Elementary
3.     – Corina Paulino, C.L. Taitano Elementary
4.     – Dwayne Mantanona, Inarajan Middle
5.     – James Petitte, Southern High
6.     – Ken Chargualaf, JFK High
GFT Faculty chairman Frank Perez also has been attending. Inarajan Mayor Franklin Taitague hosted last night’s meeting at his office, stayed and listened to every resident’s opinion, and gave his support to the process at the end of the meeting.
The Governor’s education task force opened each meeting with a brief presentation of the plan. Afterward, Deputy Superintendent of Education for Curriculum and Instruction Joe Sanchez presented details of the newly-adopted Common Core State Standards. Afterward, the floor was open to all residents’ questions, concerns, frustrations, etc., about any education matter.
Residents made a constant call for accountability and support for such recommendations as:
1.     – Shifting Department of Education’s focus to learning, rather than a system of inputs
2.     – Fidelity to the adopted curriculum and the new Common Core standards
3.     – Allowing principals, with their faculty, to decide the amount of instructional time, length of the school day, length of the school year, etc. as long as every school community is abiding by the curriculum, the standards, district-wide benchmarks, and the uniform number of credits needed for graduation
4.     – Eliminating social promotion starting with next year’s 3rd graders, down; with the expectation that full interventions are provided to help struggling students
5.     – Providing teachers and students with laptops or other mobile digital devices they are able to take home to continue the teaching and learning process and to eliminate unnecessary tasks on teachers
6.     – New principal and teacher evaluations, with student perceptions, student growth, and peer observations as integral components
7.     – Providing teachers and staff the training needed to be the best at their craft, to manage classrooms, to nurture learning, and to identify and understand students with diverse needs
8.     – Taking the education agenda out into the community
9.     – Consolidating mass transit
10.  – Allowing teachers to do what is necessary, within the curriculum and standards, to ensure learning is happening
Residents came to the table with other ideas to strengthen this agenda, too. One parent said she is a GovGuam employee who believes GovGuam employees should be given administrative leave if they help at their child’s public school.
A couple — grandparents of one public middle schooler — suggested that school staff should not stay in one school for several years and should be switched out every now and then. The grandfather, who is a retired police officer and educator, said the questions in the student perception survey for the teacher evaluation must be carefully crafted.
One parent of three children at different levels of public schools complained about fairness in the system. He asked why all middle schools but Inarajan Middle School have Gifted and Talented Education teachers. His son, he said, is a high achiever in math.
One teacher asked what the government is doing to provide teachers and students the right environment for learning to happen, saying it’s difficult for kids to pay attention when the aircon in the classroom is broken.
Another teacher said it’s important for the department to assign mentors to struggling teachers and to have a fifth-year induction program for new teachers. He also said the UOG School of Education isn’t really preparing teachers for the profession at DOE.
These are only some of the comments and questions received. The process has been very engaging. The Governor’s Office is very thankful for the participation of such a wide range of residents.
Please call Troy Torres at 475-9304 or 486-8887 for more information.

Skip to content