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Recent Submissions

  • 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)
  • Alaska career pathways: A baseline analysis

    Hirshberg, Diane; DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 6/1/2014)
  • 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, 6/1/2014)
  • Alaska Teacher Turnover, Supply, and Demand: 2013 Highlights

    Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Dian (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 6/1/2013)
  • Quality Teacher Evaluation in Alaska: Voices from the Field

    Laster, Martin (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 10/1/2013)
  • Alternative Certification: A Research Brief

    Hirshberg, Diane (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 10/1/2011)
  • Growing Minds and Strengthening Communities: An Economic Valuation Study of the Anchorage Public Library

    Ralph, Kelsey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-06-01)
    As one of the oldest educational and research institutions in the community, the Anchorage Public Library has been an important resource for enriching the daily lives and empowering the future of the people of Anchorage for many generations. While it has long been recognized that the Anchorage Public Library is an important part of the community, this study is the first to provide an economic valuation for the many benefits offered by APL. This report was commissioned by the Anchorage Public Library to determine the benefits of the library, and where possible, assign a dollar value to those benefits. The report proves that not only is APL still an irreplaceable resource for education and research, it contributes many substantial benefits that are not replicated anywhere else in the community.
  • Anchorage Housing in 1989

    Leask, Linda; Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1988-12-01)
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Alaska High School Graduation Rate Trends

    Tran, Trang; Hill, Alexandra (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 8/5/2019)
    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.
  • 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)
  • What drives the cost of education in Alaska?

    DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-04-15)
  • 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.
  • Good collaborations: A case study of the Health Information Technology partnership

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-01-01)
    The Health Information Technology grant was a collaborative partnership between the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), the University of Alaska Community & Technical College (UAA CTC) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to establish the infrastructure for a distance-delivered Occupational Endorsement in Health Information Technology. This document describes a case study research project that explored the activities of the collaboration, specifically as they pertain to student services and outcomes. Student eligibility criteria included: Alaska Native, low-income, GED or high school diploma, and a 10th grade TABE test score; many of the student participants exhibited demographic characteristics that placed them at high risk for noncompletion. Ultimately, 10 of 25 (40%) completed the credential, and of these graduates, five are continuing their postsecondary studies for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These success rates that exceed national averages for community college students prompted the team to explore the program elements that contributed to student success. A qualitative case study collected interview data from student completers, program staff, and faculty. It also reviewed program documents, and included visits to the physical spaces where the program was delivered. Tangible or material resources that contributed to the program’s success included stipends for student tuition and fees plus hourly compensation for time spent in class; the provision of laptops; adequate technology; staff and services that supported college transitions, social and personal needs, and academic success; a face-to-face kickoff event; and a cohort model. Qualitative aspects of the program that fostered success include staff commitment and positive attitude; clear roles for partners with a distributed workload; alignment of program objectives to each of the partners’ missions; communication; and student perseverance. Program elements that need to be revised, expanded, or improved prior to a second iteration include course sequencing, recruitment, technology, class times, and additional stipends. Opportunities for additional programming include industry involvement, career exploration, options for students who “change majors” or decide that the HIT field is not a good fit for their interests, job seeking and career planning support, additional attention to college readiness and soft skills, and incorporation of Alaska Native culture. A review of program elements that worked and need improvement identified opportunities to better align theory and philosophy, and to strengthen communication between staff and faculty who have complementary responsibilities to one another and to students. These discussions are recommended in order to develop more intentional and focused recruiting, to strengthen communication, and to develop a more culturally responsive curriculum. Though the program does not yet present itself as a best practice model, the program strengths and lessons learned were used to develop considerations for other programs and partnerships wishing to develop similar delivery methods.
  • Pathways to College Preparatory Advanced Academic Offerings in the Anchorage School District

    Frazier, Rosyland (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-10-01)
    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. The following table provides a look at advanced offerings at different school levels. Each of these offerings is discussed in the report.

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