Guam: temporary certification for Chamorro language teachers?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Jul 27 13:38:38 UTC 2007


Chamorro languageEarlier in the meeting, board members focused their
attention on the status of certification for Chamorro language teachers.
GPSS' Chamorro Studies Division Administrator Ronald Laguana said that in
1977, Chamorro language teachers were not required to adhere to the full
certification requirements of GPSS -- at which time the program was in its
infancy. According to former school board member Rosa Palomo, because there
was no degree program and very few trained to teach Chamorro in the 1970s,
lawmakers at the time "grandfathered" them into the school system through
legislation.

However, another law passed in 1998 changed the requirements, mandating that
Chamorro language teachers meet the full certification requirements, Laguana
said. The requirements include at least 30 semester hours of college credit
and six semester hours of Chamorro language. Many Chamorro language teachers
have been kept in the classroom without the law being enforced, according to
Palomo, a former education board member and university professor. Palomo at
last night's meeting testified in support of the teachers

Palomo said no one in the school system took this law seriously and, as a
result, little or no communication took place among principals, Chamorro
language teachers and personnel officials, to enforce the protocols. Lizama
told board members that about 20 teachers face dismissal if the board
proceeded with proposed policy that would force the termination of
non-certified teachers. The proposed policy comes at time when the school
system is a facing an Oct. 1 deadline under the Every Child is Entitled to
an Adequate Education Act that requires, among other things, certified
teachers in every classroom.

GPSS spokesman Gerry Cruz said the board adopted that policy last night with
an amendment to allow temporary certification of Chamorro language teachers.
http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070727/NEWS01/707270331/1002

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