Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Oct 2017 12am

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    Friday, October 20, 2017-4:35:20P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

PSS to follow its own teacher hiring process and requirements, official says

BOARD of Education member Herman T. Guerrero said the Public School System has its own process and requirements to follow when hiring teachers.

“I know they want to help but just because they will issue a certification does not necessarily mean that the board will recognize it,” Guerrero said when asked about the memorandum of agreement signed by the officials of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Indigenous Affairs Office and the Carolinian Affairs Office for Chamorro and Carolinian language teachers.

The agencies plan to develop an alternative certification program for these individuals so they can teach Chamorro and Carolinian Language and Heritage Studies or CCLHS in public schools.

Herman T. Guerrero

Guerrero said the education board, through the commissioner, will identify people in the community who are experts in the local language or culture.

“The board will endorse these people. These are the same people that have done professional development for our CCLHS teachers. This is an alternative path in terms of substitute for the Praxis 1 test requirement,” he added.

“If our staffers get training from these people they get credits and it counts in lieu of Praxis 1, but we do have Praxis 2 on the language.”

Guerrero said DCCA, Indigenous Affairs and the CAO “are assuming that they have the authority but they don’t. The Constitution took us out of the executive branch to give us independence, and that is why we have an elected board to oversee education in the commonwealth,” said Guerrero, president of the 1985 and 1995 constitutional conventions.

He said the Chamorro and Carolinian Language Policy Commission is not a university. “That office has always been political in the past,” he added.

According to Cris Ogo, Indigenous Affairs program manager, they have suggested an alternative certification program to the Board of Education.

“We went there and talked about the need to increase the number of Chamorro and Carolinian language teachers in schools. We are trying to have the community involved in getting more Chamorro and Carolinian language teachers into PSS. We realize that we are losing our language so we want more local language teachers to enter PSS,” he said.

Through the MOA, Ogo said they hope PSS would allow people who are acknowledged as experts in local language and culture to teach in schools even without taking the Praxis tests.

“Instead, they can go to the language commission and take a test and when they pass it they should be qualified for an entry level teaching job.”

Guerrero said the board will still listen to what DCCA, the CAO and Indigenous Affairs have to say.

He said BOE and PSS are also working on a list of “good people in the system” who are considered local language and culture experts.