• Alaska High School Graduation Rate Trends

      Tran, Trang; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-08-05)
      This paper examines trends in Alaska public high school graduation rates from academic year 2010-11 to 2015-16 and explores differences across demographic groups. We focus specifically on students from public neighborhood high schools. These are publicly-funded schools run by district or Regional Educational Attendance Area school boards serving all residents within school attendance boundaries. These schools represent about 88% of Alaska’s high school students.
    • 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.
    • How Does Alaska's Spending Compare?

      Leask, Linda; Tran, Trang; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-02-01)
      A laskans have been arguing for years about how much the state government should be spending, ever since low oil prices gouged a big hole in the budget—and the state has been using up its savings to pay the bills. We don’t know how much the state should spend: that answer depends on what things Alaskans want to keep, and what they’ll pay for them. But we can throw some light on the debate.