The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is an independent nation that has had a Compact of Free Association with the United States since 1986. The islands have approximately 53,158 people (as of the 2011 RMI Census) and a total land area of just 70 square miles spread out across five islands and 29 coral atolls. The official languages and languages of instruction of the RMI are English and Marshallese. The public school system is led by a minister of education who is appointed by the president, with approval of the congress. The secretary of education oversees the day-to-day operations of the school system. The public school system has approximately 10,100 students in grades K–12, who are taught by 1037 teachers. RMI’s compulsory schooling age ranges from 6–14. There are two postsecondary institutions, the College of the Marshall Islands, a two-year institution, and the University of the South Pacific, which offers vocational education, four-year degrees, and graduate degrees.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands, through the Marshall Islands Research Alliance and with the support of REL Pacific, is focused on the strengthening teacher effectiveness and optimizing data systems priority topic areas; specifically, on increasing teacher preparation in classroom management and differentiated instruction; building connections across the college teacher education program in in-service teachers, and monitoring teachers’ use of knowledge and skills gained from professional development. In addition, work in the Marshall Islands is focused on addressing the need for a more centralized data system and supporting data quality and reliability.