While the Guam Department of Education has noted several highlights within its Annual State of Public Education Report for SY 2018-2019 such as an all-time high graduation rate and improvements in students developing workplace readiness skills, the department is also working to address some issues to better student performance.
One of these issues is that students are not reaching the national benchmarks in test scores.
Joe Sanchez, GDOE Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum, said GDOE doesn’t have enough students who are progressing at a fast enough rate to make sure that they meet the benchmarks.
“What we’re seeing is a trend of maybe one to two years behind. That’s what we’re trying to work with within the schools. If you keep the same rate of improvement, what tends to happen is that those students tend to never catch up,” Sanchez said.
According to GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez, the department will work to improve test scores in subjects such as reading and math, which have proven difficult for GDOE students who don’t speak English as their first language.
“Part of the discussion is that literacy affects when you get into more complex word problems and so forth. So we do think that there’s a connection there. So, again, if that’s the case, then that ESL statistic is something we have to confront,” Fernandez said.