• 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.
    • Integrating Soft Skills With Technology in Online Postsecondary Career and Technical Education

      Canavan, Debra A. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      International and U.S. economic need for postsecondary training and degree attainment has fueled the demand for online courses and programs to meet the requirements of busy adults. Rapidly changing businesses and technologies necessitate that workers continually update skills and industry credentials. Employers want to hire workers who possess both technical skills and soft skills—people skills, attitudes, and values—and who can adapt to a culturally diverse, collaborative team workplace. Higher education institutions must support faculty efforts to provide effective, quality programs and courses that prepare students for this work environment. Career and Technical Education (CTE) faculty are generally hired for their industry and workforce expertise and may need assistance transitioning to eLearning strategies. Thus, a condensed manual was created as a resource to assist new online postsecondary CTE instructors with identifying and selecting the most appropriate technology and tools for incorporating soft skills development into online courses.
    • The Integration of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Academic Curricula: An Effective Model for Teachers

      Gullett, Michael S. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-12-01)
      The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Acts from 1990, 1998, and 2006 include federal directives for CTE programs and curriculum to be integrated with academic content. Each reauthorization and review of the Carl D. Perkins Act has provided a more inclusive and expanded definition of integration, with the intention that learning become relevant, rigorous, and effective in preparing students for a career and/or college. My CTE project examines the literature on integration, discusses its important role in CTE, outlines implications to education, and creates an integrated CTE curriculum guidebook and website for teachers. The objective of this project is that teachers will use the guidebook and accompanying website as instructional tools in their implementation efforts. The intended benefits include increasing teachers’ instructional abilities, enhancing student learning, and supporting ongoing integration efforts.
    • K-12 Funding

      Townsend, Ralph (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2/21/2019)
    • Kids Count Alaska 2013-2014

      Frazier, Rosyland; Wheeler, John; Spiers, Kent; Kirby, Daniel; Mielke, Meg (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-03-26)
      Kids Count Alaska is part of a nationwide program, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to collect and publicize information about children’s health, safety, education, and economic status. We gather information from many sources and present it in one place, to give Alaskans and others a broad picture of how well the state’s children are doing—and provide parents, policymakers, and others with information they need to improve life for children and families. Our goals are: • Distributing information about the status of Alaska’s children • Creating an informed public, motivated to help children • Comparing the status of children in Alaska with that of children nationwide, but also presenting additional indicators relevant for Alaska
    • Pathways to College Preparatory Advanced Academic Offerings in the Anchorage School District

      Hirshberg, Diane; Frazier, Rosyland (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-10-14)
      There are many ways a child in the Anchorage School District (ASD) can access advanced course offerings. To a parent these pathways may seem complex. ASD offers options for gifted and highly gifted students at the elementary and middle school level, and accelerated, and enriched learning opportunities such as honors and advanced placement courses at the secondary level. These opportunities, though linked, are not the same, nor do they necessarily follow from one to another in a straight path. Moreover, pathways to and through these opportunities can be quite different. Offerings are different at the elementary, middle and high school levels, with differing qualifications and eligibility. And, some of the programs are only offered in a few particular schools. This variety provides lots of flexibility. It also creates a complex path of choices and decisions. In all of these pathways and choices, active advocacy by a parent is necessary to ensure that their child receive the best and most appropriate opportunities. In this report we describe the many advanced and accelerated learning opportunities available in Anchorage elementary, middle and high schools, and the ways students can access these opportunities. We provide visuals including figures, tables and text to highlight the pathways to and through advanced offerings from Kindergarten to 12th grade. This document is based upon publicly available information. We have combined information from the ASD gifted program website the ASD High School Handbook, the ASD High School Program of Studies guide, and minutes of the ASD Board meetings. We also spoke with staff in the gifted program at ASD. Individual school-level issues that are outside of ASD policy and procedures have not been included. This report focused on the services, programs and schools within the Anchorage School District that service as pathways to college preparation and advance academic course offerings. As we describe in more detail in this report, there are very different offerings and paths at the elementary, middle and high school. In general, there are gifted and highly gifted programs at the elementary and middle school level, and a highly gifted program at the high school level. At all school levels, the highly gifted programs are offered at a limited number of schools. In high school, all students (including those in the highly gifted program) have the opportunity to take honors and advanced placement classes. Math is not included in the middle and high school gifted program. Math instead is a curriculum progression. Advanced math opportunities usually start in 6th grade, when students can choose placement into math courses that are a higher than the usual level. Opting for advanced math in 6th grade puts a student on track to reach Algebra I in 8th grade and calculus in 12th. At the elementary school level ASD operates gifted programs in all schools and a highly gifted program in one. There are also alternative and optional schools, which offer accelerated and enriched learning environments. If a student is in the highly gifted or gifted program in elementary school, he or she usually transitions to gifted and highly gifted middle school programs. In middle school these programs 3 include gifted language arts and science classes. Students who were not a part of the gifted program in elementary school can access the middle school gifted program, by testing in. Many optional and alternative programs provide enriched and accelerated classes to all students in them. For high school students there is a greater variety of advanced offerings. Starting in 9th grade there are honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, Credit-by-Choice options, and optional programs within the high schools and alternative schools. Students in the middle school gifted and highly gifted program have the opportunity to transition into the high school Highly Gifted Program.
    • Professionalism in the Alaska Department of Corrections: Education and Experience [manuscript]

      Schafer, N. E. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1986-06)
      A survey of Alaska corrections personnel reveals that employees in all clasiffications tend to have more than the minimum education or experience required for their positions. More than 74 percent of college-educated corrections personnel earned degrees and more than 40 percent acquired their experience outside Alaska. The advantages and disadvantages of hiring large numbers of employees whose education and experience were gained elsewhere are discussed in the context of the unique problems of correctional service delivery in so large and diverse a state.
    • Professionalism in the Alaska Department of Corrections: Education and Experience [paper]

      Schafer, N. E. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1986-03-20)
      A survey of Alaska corrections personnel reveals that employees in all classifications tend to have more than the minimum education or experience required for their positions. More than 75 percent of college-educated corrections personnel earned degrees and more than 40 percent acquired their experience outside Alaska. The advantages and disadvantages of hiring large numbers of employees whose education and experience were gained elsewhere are discussed in the context of the unique problems of correctional service delivery in so large and diverse a state.
    • Quality Teacher Evaluation in Alaska: Voices from the Field

      Laster, Martin (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-10-01)
      This brief focuses on the results of research regarding teacher evaluation policy and practice among a pilot group of Alaska Superintendents. The results of this report are intended to guide policy makers on creating and supporting policies which enable school leaders to effectively evaluate and support classroom teachers, helping to elicit the best from teachers on behalf of Alaska students. As Darling‐Hammond (1999) states, “Despite conventional wisdom that school inputs make little difference in student learning, a growing body of research suggests that schools can make a difference, and a substantial portion of that difference is attributable to teachers.” It is critical that we identify how to enable teachers to increase desired performance for every student.
    • Quality Teacher Evaluation in Alaska: Voices from the Field

      Laster, Martin (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 10/1/2013)
    • Retention and Turnover of Teachers in Alaska: Why it Matters

      Hirshberg, Diane (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2/21/2019)
    • Salary & Benefits Schedule and Teacher Tenure Study

      Hirshberg, Diane; Berman, Matthew; DeFeo, Dayna Jean; Hill, Alexandra (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-11-13)
      House Bill 278, passed by the legislature in spring 2014, instructed the Department of Administration to “present to the legislature a written proposal for a salary and benefits schedule for school districts, including an evaluation of, and recommendations for, teacher tenure” (Sec. 52). In order to meet this mandate, the Alaska Department of Administration contracted with the UAA Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) to produce the following deliverables:  Develop geographic cost differentials for different school districts  Develop base salary and benefit schedules for teachers and principals  Describe superintendent duties, compensation, and responsibilities in Alaska districts  Prepare a list of different benefit options school districts offer their employees and their associated costs  Provide recommendations regarding teacher tenure policy  Describe similarities and differences between the certified and classified labor markets in Alaska Each section of this report responds to a specific task or responsibility from this list.
    • 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.
    • Teaching Food Systems in Alaska

      Beam, Jessika (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-08-01)
      The health of Alaska’s food systems relies on the maintenance of food availability, food access, and food utilization overtime to ensure that food security exists. The Teaching Food Systems in Alaska educational modules were created to offer an opportunity to provide expert information and education to Alaska youth on the importance of food systems literacy in Alaska. The educational modules were created to engage youth in the food system. The goal is to inform and educate Alaska youth about food systems in Alaska through the development of a series of educational learning modules organized to address the three primary components of the food system: food availability, food access and food utilization. The modules created could potentially serve as a foundation for the development of future modules, the creation of a formal food systems literacy course or certification program, and/or to seek future funding to support the creation of a future program.
    • Turnover Among Alaska Teachers: Is It Changing?

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-07-01)
      Turnover among Alaska’s teachers was roughly the same in 2007 as it had been in 1999, with about 14% leaving their school districts (Figure 1). Turnover also remained twice as high in rural as in urban districts—about 22%, compared with 10%. That lack of broad change comes after years of efforts by Alaska’s state government, universities, and school districts to reduce teacher turnover, especially in rural areas.
    • What drives the cost of education in Alaska?

      DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-04-15)
    • Why Aren't They Teaching? A study of why some University of Alaska teacher education graduates aren't in classrooms

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; Shaw, Donna Gail (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-01-01)
      Alaska Statute 14.40.190(b), passed as Senate Bill 241 in 2008, requires the University of Alaska (UA) Board of Regents to submit a report each regular session titled Alaska’s University for Alaska’s Schools that “describes the efforts of the university to attract, train, and retain qualified public school teachers.” In 2012 this report documented that approximately 50% of UA initial teacher preparation graduates did not teach in Alaska public schools after completing their programs. Unfortunately, the data available could not tell us the reasons why so many graduates were not employed as teachers. In response to legislators’ questions about this, the three UA Education deans (with support from the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research) made a commitment to conduct a 2012 research project to understand why graduates of UA initial teacher preparation programs did or did not teach in Alaska public schools after completing their programs. This project was conducted in response to that commitment.
    • Why Aren't They Teaching? A study of why some University of Alaska teacher education graduates aren't in classrooms

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; Shaw, Donna Gail (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1/1/2013)
    • Will they stay, or will they go? Teacher perceptions of working conditions in rural Alaska

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; Kasemodel, Craig (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-06-01)
      Teacher turnover in rural Alaska schools has been a significant problem for decades. Why do we care? National research indicates a strong correlation between high turnover and poor student outcomes (Ronfeldt, Loeb and Wyckoff, 2012), and we see this in Alaska. Out of the 25 rural districts with high teacher turnover rates, ten graduated fewer than 60% of their students between 2008 and 2012, and 5 graduated fewer than half their students.