Research & Evaluation Program

About Research & Evaluation Program

The aim of research performed within the CNMI PSS is to support decisions made toward achieving the district’s vision, mission and strategic priorities.  CNMI law allows research requests to be made to PSS by a “responsible official (i.e., department chairman or above) of an institution of higher education or a professional organization” (CNMI Education Code § 60-20-320). While student-level data are exempt from the PSS disclosure, the PSS has authority within CNMI and federal law to enter into written agreements for research studies to be conducted on behalf of the PSS. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1984 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), the research studies conducted on behalf of the PSS must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • developing, validating, or administering predictive tests;

  • administering student aid programs; or

  • improving instruction

Depending on the PSS’ resources, the PSS will use its discretion in determining which research studies and data products to prioritize and support.

Research Agenda

The PSS has developed a research agenda based on our district’s vision, mission and strategic priorities, which is focused on improving educational opportunities and academic achievement for our students. Research conducted in the PSS or with its resources must be justified in terms of the anticipated benefit to the District and not merely to the advancement of knowledge. PSS encourages research in the following areas:


The vision of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ (CNMI) Public School System (PSS) is that all students will graduate college and career ready to be productive and independent in the global society.


The Mission of the CNMI PSS is to offer equitable educational opportunities for all students by providing optimum curriculum, instruction, community service, and work experience in academic and career – technical education so as to promote their development as productive and contributing members of the Commonwealth and the global world.

  1. To guarantee challenging, engaging, and intentional instruction to ensure curricular pathways to success by providing whole-child student supports through the creation of high performance school cultures and data driven “high-reliability” systems;

  2. To recruit, train, and retain qualified and effective personnel;

  3. To plan, build, and maintain safe, orderly, and accessible school facilities conducive to learning for all public school students;

  4. To promote effective communications and collaboration of all stakeholders for meaningful and productive partnerships; and

  5. To allocate financial and technical resources to meet the educational needs of students and to meet the operational needs of schools.


  1. Student Success

    Goal 1: All students are provided opportunities to learn and grow.
    Goal 2: Curriculum in all content areas is research-based, relevant, valued, and supports student learning outcomes for all students.
    Goal 3: Curriculum and assessment tools are relevant, effective, and support student learning.
    Goal 4: Teachers and instructors receive on-going and annual professional development training to ensure their preparedness to teach.
    Goal 5: Foster students’ career readiness through On-The-Job-Training (OTJT) opportunities in various career paths and in the Cooperative Education Program.
    Goal 6: Foster students’ college readiness.

  2. Highly Qualified & Effective Personnel

    Goal 1: All personnel will be effective and efficient in their jobs and will have opportunities to grow.
    Goal 2: Schools and administrative offices’ personnel needs will be met.
    Goal 3: The Human Resources Office will have a reliable, effective and efficient operations plan to better serve all internal and external clientele.

  3. Fiscal Responsibility

    Goal 1: Grow our suite of federal grants and local grants.
    Goal 2: Maximize the use of JD Edwards financial management system for accounting and budgeting purposes.
    Goal 3: To attain low risk auditee status.
    Goal 4: Identify a sustainable funding source to support, expand, and maintain the wireless infrastructure of the entire system.

  4. Safe & Orderly Schools

    Goal 1: School and administrative support personnel are trained in areas of safety.
    Goal 2: Administrative offices and schools are prepared for disasters and safety measures and guides are clearly communicated and in place.
    Goal 3: School environments are safe and orderly and have standardized school policies, rules and safety guides that are clearly communicated to all stakeholders.
    Goal 4: Schools and offices will have 21st century collateral equipment.
    Goal 5: Transportation services for students are continuously improved and maintained.
    Goal 6: All schools and offices are equipped with safety gears, equipment and tools and training is provided on the proper use of each.
    Goal 7: All schools and offices buildings will be modernized, safe, durable and functional.

  5. Invested Engagement

    Goal 1: Promote parents awareness of their child’s academic success and build engagement in their child’s educational well-being.
    Goal 2: Community partnerships support the academic, social, emotional, safety, and character development of students.
    Goal 3: Community stakeholders are informed and have opportunities to engage in meeting the vision and mission of PSS.

  6. High Performing & High Reliability Systems

    Goal 1: Monitor progress of students.
    Goal 2: Operate on efficient and effective regulatory policies, procedures, and operational standards.
    Goal 3: CNMI PSS will have effective leaders.
    Goal 4: PSS will be a high performing and high reliable school district.

Past Research Publications

Current Research Studies

Studies under the REL Pacific Partnership

The REL Pacific of the Regional Educational Laboratory at McREL International supports partnerships in the Pacific jurisdictions. The CNMI Partnership consists of education stakeholders, such as the PSS, Northern Marianas College, government sector, workforce and other community groups.

The current work of the REL Pacific Partnership is focused on the following high-priority area:

  • College and Career Readiness and Success

Here are the most recent studies published:

  • Exploring Patterns of Success at Northern Marianas College
    The guiding questions for this study are:

    1. How is placement into remedial or non-remedial English and math courses associated with students’ ongoing college success at Northern Marianas College?
    2. How are student background characteristics associated with students’ initial placement into either remedial or credit-bearing courses and with ongoing college success?
  • Exploring the Academic Readiness of Incoming Students to Northern Marianas College
    The guiding questions for this study are:

    1. What are the high school profiles of students entering Northern Marianas College who were assigned to either remedial English courses or credit-bearing English courses upon entry?
    2. What are the demographic characteristics of students entering Northern Marianas College who were assigned to either remedial math courses or credit-bearing math courses upon entry?
    3. How is remedial course placement in English or math related to students’ high school profiles and demographic characteristics?
  • College Readiness Among High School Completers in American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
    According to REL Pacific, “This study responds to requests from education leaders to examine the condition of college readiness in these entities and to identify opportunities to strengthen and improve students’ college and career readiness” (REL Pacific Studies, nd).

For more info contact:

Annette Pladevega, Research and Evaluation Program Coordinator

Office Of Accountability, Research & Evaluation
PO Box 501370 CK
Saipan MP, 96950