Second Semester Begins for Puerto Rico’s Public School System
With an estimated enrollment of 390,000 students and changes that are expected to have an effect at the classroom level, Puerto Rico’s public education system began its second academic semester Thursday.
School directors and teachers were expected to report to work Thursday, while students will begin classes next Monday and Tuesday. The changes and issues the system is expected to face this second semester range from a new evaluation system for students to issues such as gender equality.
Education Secretary Rafael Román said this semester will see the expansion of projects such as a revised curriculum framework, to be published February, and an evaluation system for school directors and teachers. In addition, a reconfiguration that proposes the creation of schools with just two academic levels, elementary and high school, will continue, and a new federal law, “Every Child Succeeds,” will require the government of Puerto Rico to revise transformation plans.
Román added that the agenda for this semester will continue focused on the implementation of Education’s strategic transformation plan. The department developed for 2016 a plan consisting of 10 priorities, most of which have been under discussion since its presentation in May, based on both academic and administrative restructuring, in line with other plans approved by the Federal Education Department. Román explained that the school system changes are intended to preserve their continuity beyond 2017, in case of a change in the island’s administration as a result of the general elections in November.