• Evaluation of Special Olympics Curriculum

      McDiarmid, Williamson, G.; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      When the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in Anchorage in March 2001, among the many benefits Anchorage residents reported was better understanding of people with disabilities. The games brought close to 2,000 athletes with mental disabilities and more than 740 coaches from 70 countries to Alaska. Schools offer one of the best forums to help children with mental disabilities be accepted and included. The Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee developed several programs to help Alaska school administrators, teachers, and athletic coaches build meaningful opportunities for all students to train and complete together. These included programs for school enrichment, athlete leadership, unified sports, sports partnership, and a partners club. Chapter II provides more detail about the curriculum evaluation surveys. Chapter III profiles the responses of Alaskan educators. Chapter IV discusses the results of our evaluation, and Chapter V describes how future Special Olympics organizing committees might use this information for planning. The appendixes include the survey questionnaires and copies of relevant documents.
    • Executive Summary: Rose Urban Rural Student Exchange Evaluation 2003

      Frazier, Rosyland; McDiarmid, Williamson, G. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      About 21 urban and 19 rural students participated in the third year of the program. Urban students traveled from Anchorage to the villages of Shishmaref, St. Paul, Kotlik, Akiachak, New Stuyahok, Togiak, Huslia, Russian Mission, Port Heiden, and Wainwright. Rural students from these same villages traveled to Anchorage. In most cases, parents of students who traveled from Anchorage hosted the visiting rural students, and vice-versa. Parents also typically attended orientation sessions....This is the first year that rural students came to Anchorage in the summer. In the past rural students have come to Anchorage in the spring, while school is still in session, as part of the spring exchange. This year the Babiche Cultural Exchange organized a two-week summer day camp orientation and program, bringing together urban and rural students. The students participated in numerous activities that helped them get to know each other, encouraged team building; and explored many aspects of cultural similarities and differences.
    • Longitudinal Study of First-Year Students Rose Urban Rural Exchange Program

      McDiarmid, Williamson, G.; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage annually evaluates components of the Rose Urban Rural Exchange Program, to determine how well the program is achieving its purpose. The program's goal is to build understanding and a statewide sense of community-by bringing urban students to rural Alaska and rural students to urban Alaska, to help them learn about each other's cultures....In 2004, the Institute of Social and Economic (ISER) proposed, for the first time, to evaluate not only how the program did in the current year, but also to evaluate the program's lasting effects by collecting survey and interview data from students who had participated in the first year of the program, 2001....This report describes the background and research design. We will discuss the issue of lasting program efficacy in a later report. This report has four chapters. Following this brief introductory chapter, Chapter 2 describes the scope of the longitudinal evaluation. Chapter 3 provides information about the evaluation design, including development of the data collection instruments. Chapter 4 presents our preliminary findings about some of the data we have collected to this point. The appendixes include the interview protocol, pre- and post-visit questionnaires, and the urban and rural tests of knowledge.
    • Program Evaluation: Rose Urban Rural Sister School 2005

      McDiarmid, Williamson, G.; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      The Rose Urban-Rural Program has a goal of annually doubling the number of urban and rural schools participating in the Sister School Exchange. In it's third year, the number of schools recruited quadrupled- exceeding the program goal- with eight urban and eight rural schools agreeing to participate in a 2004-2005 school-year exchange. The Sister School program expanded its urban locations to include Juneau, Alaska. This is the first time an urban Southeast Alaska community has been involved with the Rose Urban-Rural Exchange. Spirit Camps in rural Southeast Alaska have previously been a part of the Student and Teacher Training parts of the Rose Urban-Rural Exchange.
    • Program Evaluation: Rose Urban Rural Teacher Training 2005 (Amended)

      Frazier, Rosyland; McDiarmid, Williamson, G. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      Based on successful experiences in the Student Exchange component of the Rose Urban- Rural Exchange, the Alaska Humanities Forum developed Teacher Training to give urban teachers hands-on experience in rural Alaska Native culture. In 2002, the forum began this summer program for teachers, sending middle- and high-school teachers to Alaska Native culture and spirit camps in rural Alaska. At these camps, urban teachers are exposed to Native arts and crafts, history, subsistence lifestyle, language, and dance. Also at these camps, Alaska Native elders pass on their stories and culture to young people. Teachers go through an orientation before they leave for camp, and after their return they complete lesson plans based on their experiences. These individual lesson plans are compiled in a notebook of lesson plans that are available to all Alaska teachers to help them bridge the urban-rural divide. Also, because a semester of Alaska Studies is now a statewide graduation requirement, these lesson plans constitute a valuable resource for Alaska studies courses.
    • Retaining Quality Teachers for Alaska

      Hill, Alexandra; Larson, Eric; McDiarmid, Williamson, G. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2002)
      Historically, Alaska has depended heavily on teachers educated outside the state. Over time, Alaska has imported roughly 70 percent of its teachers. As a consequence, national trends—in certification of new teachers, teacher shortages, retirements, and salaries—are of immediate relevance to teacher supply and demand in Alaska. Before we delve into data on Alaska educators, therefore, we will look at the wider national picture. Specifically, projections of student enrollment, teacher retirement, turnover, and new entrants to the teaching field seem critical to the issue. The data suggest that a significant number of people do not teach after earning their certificates—perhaps as many as 40 percent of the graduates of teacher education programs nationwide. And the attrition rate for teachers in the first five years of teaching is also high—between 30 and 50 percent, depending on location (Darling-Hammond, 2000; NCES, 1997). Consequently, a graduating class of 100 teachers might yield, five years later, between 30 and 42 teachers in the classroom.
    • Rural Educator Preparation Partnerships: Partnering to Success

      McDiarmid, Williamson, G.; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Alaska, like other states, faces a teacher shortage. Like other states, the shortage is geographically specific. That is, shortages occur only in some schools and some communities. In Alaska, the majority of the schools facing shortages are in rural communities off the road system. These schools, year in and year out, have difficulty attracting and retaining teachers. In fact, the 18 school districts with the highest turnover rates in the state-that is, rates averaging 20 percent annually over the period 1996-2000-are all, with one exception, remote rural districts (McDiarmid, 2002). Averaging turnover rates and using district rather than school data mask the fact that, each year, some remote rural schools experience I00 percent turnover. Section 2 of this report evaluates the program's success in meeting objectives one through four. The fifth objective-to evaluate REPP graduates in the classroom-calls for more directly assessing whether REPP has succeeded in putting well- qualified teachers into rural Alaskan classrooms. Section 3 discusses our methodology for and findings from those observations.
    • Special Olympics and Alaska's Special Education Students

      McDiarmid, Williamson, G.; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      The 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in Anchorage in March 2001, bringing close to 2,000 athletes with mental disabilities and more than 740 coaches from 70 countries to Alaska. As part of the planning for the 2001 winter games, the Game Organizing Committee established the Special Olympics School Enrichment Program. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the School Enrichment Program contracted with the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), at the University of Alaska Anchorage, to learn more about Alaska’s special education students. Knowing how many special education students there are in Alaska, where they live, and what their disabilities are could be quite useful to Special Olympics Alaska in its efforts to recruit more school-age athletes into local area and school programs. Also, more information about Alaska’s special education students can also help Special Olympics Alaska move toward another of its goals: bringing children with and without disabilities together in classrooms, on the playing fields, and in other activities.