TOP U.S. EDUCATION OFFICIAL TOURS PACIFIC

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Cunningham to visit Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa

By Therese Hart HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Nvo. 26, 2009) – U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Peter Cunningham and senior staff have been traveling around the country on a "Listening and Learning Tour: A Conversation About Education Reform," and Guam is one of three destinations in the Pacific.

Cunningham is expected to arrive on Guam Dec. 1 and leave Dec. 3. The assistant secretary will hold three of these tours in Hawai΄i, Guam and American Samoa, according to a Variety source.

During his visit, he will meet with elected officials, education leaders, education stakeholders. His group will visit schools to meet with teachers, parents and students.

These meetings seek to get input from citizens in the region about both the challenges, undertakings and accomplishments of their respective education systems and to solicit feedback from a broad group of stakeholders for education reform and how the federal government can help advance reforms in their community.

Other topics for discussion will also center around federal education policy, as well as to gain input on President Barack Obama administration’s education agenda, including early childhood, higher standards, teacher quality, workforce development and higher education, said the source.

Although Cunningham has been briefed of the Guam Department of Education’s situation regarding the third party fiduciary agent and the public school system’s current financial shortfall with some federally-funded programs, he is not expected to address the matter at length, according to the source.

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