Education Commissioner Dr. Rita A. Sablan has unveiled her new vision for the Public School System-a goal she is determined to achieve during her second term.
Sablan's first four-year contract expired this month and was renewed by the State Board of Education Wednesday following her success in meeting all the board's expectations when first hired as COE in 2008.
Throughout the first term, Sablan initiated and was successful in meeting goals of five strategic priorities that included high students performance, highly qualified and effective personnel, effective and efficient operations, safe and orderly schools, and parental engagement and community partnership.
“Today, I unveiled to the board my next priority for PSS: high performing with high reliability systems [strategy],” she told Saipan Tribune after Wednesday's special meeting.
Sablan explained that with PSS set to become a high performing school district, “the transformation must be backed by data that tracks the growth and improvement level, essentially giving rise to the reliability-accuracy and acceptability-of its classroom learning innovation and improvisation.”
Based on the COE's report to the board, having a high performance with high reliability systems would elevate the performance of public school students, schools and the system, as a whole, to global standards.
“In essence, with high performance with high reliability as the new strategy would auger the school district's increased growth and development wherein public schools and students can become globally competitive, perhaps, the best in the world,” said Sablan.
According to Sablan, under this new strategy, PSS will be looking at utilizing a “new” benchmarking system that aligns itself to the world's highest performing system. These systems reflect institutional practices and knowledge defined by research and backed by data.
“This is a huge task but implementing it locally is akin to an 'improvement journey' by utilizing a globally-recognized and practiced performance trajectory, by adopting a system that gauges educational success from 'poor to fair,' 'fair to good,' 'good to great,' and 'great to excellent,'” Sablan said, adding that the new strategy is a curriculum pathway that looks at the whole structure of a child: social, emotional, and physical state.
The new strategy is also in response to the growing demand for innovation in classroom learning by looking beyond the culture of learning that not only ensures a child can read and write, but looking at the whole well-being.
“The PSS leadership believes that what is most needed now is to rethink and identify a complementing approach at how educational leaders, schools, and stakeholders can apply new benchmarking and effectively implement it,” added the commissioner.