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By Iose Afu Muasau
Tafuna High School

A. What do you consider to be the major public education issues today? Address one in depth, outlining possible causes, effects and resolutions.

The most alarming public education issues today have to do with teacher certification in specific content area and, the increase in students reading at the below basic level. Educators must have the knowledge of a content area to help nurture students understanding in a curriculum. Each educator must also be knowledgeable of a rigorous curriculum where students are exposed to a variety of learning experiences. Students who are exposed to this array of learning experiences will develop basic learning skills in math, reading, writing, and a wealth of knowledge in colleges and career ready programs.

One of the possible causes of the issue is the utilization of non-certified teachers and fresh college graduate. Returning college graduates teaching a different content area other than their own major content area of studies will experience challenges in the classroom. Most without a teaching degree are facing challenges such as developing lesson plans, classroom management skills, and incompetency in content knowledge to name a few. The surfacing challenges cause these teachers to depend on traditional methods of teaching.

Furthermore, existing teaching programs in our territory need to develop content area emphasis for cohort to help teachers focus and be certified. This will provide the prospective teacher with a road map toward content area certification. The American Samoa School Improvement Plan tasks the Teacher Certification Committee to review, plan, and propose content-driven degree and certification programs that will meet the needs of our teachers and schools. This resolution will help teachers receive certification required in each content area while taking teaching courses...
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