• 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, 5/24/2019)
      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.
    • Good collaborations: A case study of the Health Information Technology partnership

      Defeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1/1/2016)
    • Growing our own: Recruiting Alaska�s youth and paraprofessionals into teaching

      Defeo, Dayna; Tran, Trang (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 9/12/2019)
      Good teachers are critical to student success, and Alaska faces significant challenges in staffing its public schools. About 200 new teachers graduate from Alaska colleges every year, but the state needs to hire many more than that to fill open positions. This paper explores two key Grow Your Own (GYO) initiatives: education career exploration courses for high school students and career pathways for paraprofessional educators. It reviews the current literature on these initiatives, outlines Alaska's efforts in these areas, and makes policy recommendations.
    • How much does Alaska spend on K-12 education?

      Defeo, Dayna; Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 9/30/2019)
      Education funding in Alaska, as in most states, is one of the largest allocations in the state operating budget. In 2017, Alaska�s K-12 per-pupil spending was $17,838, which is 46% higher than the national average. However, a lot of things in Alaska are expensive relative to national averages: healthcare, food, and energy, to name just a few. In this paper we adjusted Alaska�s data from the US Census Bureau 2017 Annual Survey of School System Finances to state and national cost indices, and find that Alaska�s per-pupil expenditures are on par with national averages. As many drivers of Alaska�s education costs extend beyond education policy, we caution against cuts that leave districts with few choices but to diminish the teacher workforce by eliminating positions or hiring lower quality teachers with less competitive salaries.
    • Statute and implementation: How phantom policies affect tenure value and support

      Defeo, Dayna; Hirshberg, Diane; Berman, Matthew (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 5/10/2018)
      Using survey responses from public school teachers and principals in Alaska, this article describes their understanding of tenure statute, and how that understanding affected support, perceived effectiveness, and valuation of tenure. Teachers and principals who inflated tenure protections were more likely to support it; the more teachers inflated tenure protections, the higher dollar value they placed on it. The article discusses the fiscal and policy implications of tenure inflation, noting that this garners the most criticism from education reformers, but concomitantly constitutes cost savings for taxpayers.