20 Sep 2004

Federal check on American Samoa public schooling

6:55 am on 20 September 2004

Representatives from the United States Department of Education have visited American Samoa to see how the territory's public school system is being run.

The officials have checked on efforts to improve standards as the education system has a high risk status.

But as Monica Miller reports, the visit wasn't intended as an official audit.

"Director of the Management Improvement Team of the US Department of Education, Phil Maestri, says the view first hand is very different from assessing a situation from Washington."

Maestri said there's still a lot of work to be done and ASG officials acknowledge that there's still a lot to do to complete measures which have been implemented.

Maestri said they were generally pleased with the standard of school facilitites and pointed out that shortages of books, chairs, desks and other resources faced by the American Samoa public school system are no different than other schools they've visited.

Maestri says they were impressed with the standards but also acknowledged concerns which were expressed to them about staff shortages, educational programs and teaching resources.