Guam’s public school students have one of the lowest scores in the nation. A large percentage of our students placed Below Basic in their performance standards, which indicates little or no mastery of fundamental knowledge and skills in the 2006 statistics. Dr. Stephen Krashen, a Professor Emeritus in the University of Southern California, points out an interesting perspective on our students’ education. Krashen states, “The only thing wrong is poverty. When you control for the effects of poverty, American children do quite well compared to children in other countries. US schools with fewer than 25% of children in poverty outscore all countries in the world in Math and Science (see Gerald Bracey’s column on the Huffington Post, July 22, 2007). US children only fall below the international average when 75% or more of the students in a school are children of poverty.” A family’s poverty level is definitely a factor in our children’s performance level in school. 65% of our population on Guam is earning below the poverty level. If our families are earning better wages and are able to provide a decent living environment for their children, then we can see an improvement in their education. Until then our children are not getting the appropriate environment benefiting their education. One of the top priorities of our elected officials should be to implement changes that will correct this problem.

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