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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • An Exploration of Experiences and Outcomes of Alaska Native Graduates of Mt. Edgecumbe High School

    Hirshberg, Diane; DelMoral, Brit (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-04-01)
    In Alaska’s schools, indigenous1 students are the most at risk of any ethnic group of failing to thrive; they drop out more frequently, are less likely to graduate, and generally have lower educational attainment than non-Native students(Martin and Hill, 2009). Indeed, the situation appears to be worsening. The dropout rate of Alaska Native students living in all areas of Alaska besides Anchorage has risen from 0.7 percent in 1996 to 3.3 percent in 2001 (Goldsmith et al. 2004). Dropout rates among all Native students in Alaska increased from 5 percent to almost 10 percent between 1998 and 2001, while the dropout rate among non-Native students increased from about 3 percent to 5 percent (ibid). In addition, low test scores are preventing many students from graduating from high school—almost half of Alaska Native students are not passing the reading section of the High-School Graduation Qualifying Exam. The educational system in Alaska is failing to provide Alaska Native students the skills necessary either for postsecondary academic work or success in the job market, if that is what they desire. However, one secondary school, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a boarding school located in Southeast Alaska that serves predominately rural and Alaska Native students, has produced students that consistently outperform their peers, both indigenous and nonNative. The reputation of the school has been strong for decades, based on both historic and recent accomplishments of its alumni. However, the experiences of recent alumni at the school and their professional and educational attainment after high school had not been looked at systematically for a number of years. This paper is the result of a study conducted by the authors on recent graduates of Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS), at the suggestion of school administrators. Our case study attempts to capture the educational, social, and cultural experiences of the students while they attended the boarding school, and the impacts the school has had on their lives. With this research we hope to inform the decisions o f policymakers and educators, indigenous and non-Native alike, regarding rural secondary schooling options in Alaska for indigenous children across the state.
  • 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.
  • Alaska Teacher Supply and Demand Update

    Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2006-04-01)
    Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) has contracted with the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) between 2005 and 2007 to identify and analyze trends in K-12 educator supply and demand in the State of Alaska, including teacher turnover rates. This report is an analysis of Alaskan teacher supply and turnover data from 1999-2004, and projects supply and demand data for the next five years.

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