• Alaska career pathways: A baseline analysis

      Hirshberg, Diane; DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 6/1/2014)
    • COVID-19's spring 2020 school closures: The effect on teacher candidates

      DeFeo, Dayna; Tran, Trang (Institute of Social and Economic Research, 2020-06-30)
      In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Dunleavy mandated that Alaska’s K12 schools closed to in-person instruction; later, these school closures were extended until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Across the state, educators worked not only to ensure they met their responsibilities for instruction, but also other key school functions including parent resources, meal services, and social-emotional learning. Concurrently, senior college students in teacher licensure programs at the University of Alaska (UA) were in classrooms fulfilling their clinical experience (student teaching) requirements. During the school closures, students were still “placed” in schools, but the nature of their internship experience changed fundamentally as classes were moved to distance delivery. On March 20, Alaska’s Education Commissioner Michael Johnson announced that the state of Alaska would grant emergency certification to teachers who were unable to complete the required number of clinical placement hours due to COVID-19 school closures. Many of these new graduates will qualify for licensure, but how will the pandemic affect them as they become teachers? In this paper, we explore how teacher candidates perceive their readiness for teaching in the fall, and their career intentions. By comparing survey responses collected from spring 2020 graduates against graduates of spring 2019 (the students who had a “typical” student teaching experience), we find that the 2020 graduating class feels ready for the classroom. However, these new teachers – and those hired from teacher education programs (TEPs) outside of Alaska – will need supports as they transition to teaching.
    • Dual Enrollment in Alaska: A 10-year retrospective and outcome analysis

      DeFeo, Dayna; Tran, Trang (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-05-24)
      This paper explores University of Alaska dual enrollment (DE) offerings from 2008 to 2017. It details the distribution of programs across geographic and demographic groups, examines student participation and academic outcomes over this 10-year period, and describes how current DE activities compare to the decade prior. DE enrollments have increased by 85% in the past 10 years, while headcount has increased by 49%, indicating that, on average, students are taking more DE courses while in high school. DE students complete 93% of their courses satisfactorily; 66% apply to a UA institution when they graduate high school and 41% attend. Though the program is more representative than it was 10 years ago, our analysis notes a persistent participation and performance gap for rural and Alaska Native students.
    • It’s more than just dollars: Problematizing salary as the sole mechanism for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural Alaska

      DeFeo, Dayna; Hirshberg, Diane; Hill, Alexandra (2018)
      Staffing rural Alaska schools with a stable workforce of qualified teachers has been perennially challenging, and the failure to do so harms student achievement. In the spring of 2014, the Alaska Department of Administration contracted with the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research to produce a uniform salary schedule and community cost differentials with the objective of attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers to Alaskan communities. In this paper, we summarize the findings of that study, including opportunities for significant teacher salary increases. However, we discuss the role of salary in teachers’ decisions to stay or leave rural communities, noting that other working conditions are stronger predictors of teacher attrition. We argue that salaries alone will not ensure a stable and qualified teacher workforce, instead positing that efforts to improve Alaska’s rural schools and teacher retention outcomes will require both adequate compensation and attention to the working conditions.
    • Salary & Benefits Schedule and Teacher Tenure Study

      Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-11-01)
    • What drives the cost of education in Alaska?

      DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-04-15)
    • Whitepaper reports to the Municipality of Anchorage - Education

      Cueva, Katie; DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-05-05)