Despite the ongoing financial challenges, all Public School System teachers and administrators will still be able to continue with their training for the new national standard, thanks to a grant from the federal government.
Tim Thornburgh, federal programs officer for PSS, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that PSS was recently approved a $61,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Education for the teachers' training on common-core standards. This will be available for drawdown next month, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
To ensure that all needs for the workshop will be met, Thornburgh said an additional $30,000 has been reprogrammed from the federal grants that PSS received in fiscal year 2012.
Starting this new school year, CNMI public schools have adopted the common core state standards, aligning them with 48 other states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In an earlier interview with Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D., she said that PSS is only the second U.S. territory to adopt the state standards. Most U.S. states are also implementing the standards beginning this school year.
The common core state standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school and are able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.
This initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. These standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce.
The standards provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn and provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.