Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Charter School Legislation Expands Choice to More Kids

Representative Lynn Gattis, House District 9, has introduced HB 93 which will increase the types of authorizers of charter schools. Authorizers are those entities that can approve/disapprove/close charter schools. Currently, only public school districts in Alaska can be authorizers which tends to minimize...
January 30th, 2013 | Education | Read More

Governor Parnell on the Right Track with Teacher Evaluations. We are Not Chicago.

Governor Parnell has recommended that the State Board of Education and Early Development (Board) “set the bar higher in weighting teacher and administrator evaluations based on student learning”. Currently, the Board has set the bar so low that anyone can merely walk over the bar. The Board...
November 28th, 2012 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Help Your Kids, and All Kids, with Math-It Needs Fixing in Anchorage

Math is one of the core subjects. It is in any education program anywhere in the world.  Like it or hate it, you use it every day. Have a bad grasp of basic computation and you will suffer the rest of your life. Anchorage parents and students have been struggling with the EveryDay Math curriculum and...
October 4th, 2012 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Next Big Storm to Hit Anchorage-Schools Close

This past week, Anchorage was almost blown away by an early season wind storm that uprooted and blew down many trees, especially on the east side of town. Of course, in Alaska neighbors help neighbors and remove damaged trees, help by providing refrigeration for foodstuffs and hot showers for comfort....
September 12th, 2012 | Collective Bargaining Agreements, Education | Read More

Should Anchorage Taxpayers Bail Out Teamster Pension Fund?

The Anchorage School Board is considering adopting the proposed union contract renewal with Teamsters Local 959 (bus drivers/attendants) which will require the taxpayer to help bail out an underfunded Teamster Pension Fund. Why should we be called on to bail out a mismanaged fund which our employees...
September 6th, 2012 | Accountability, Collective Bargaining Agreements, Education | Read More

You Can Get Out of a Failing School-Here’s How

This month the Anchorage School District had to send out more than 8,000 letters to parents who had  children in failing Anchorage Schools. These letters were to inform parents that they had the option to get their kids out of failing (NCLB) schools and get them into two other successful Anchorage Schools....
August 12th, 2012 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Who’s Hungry, Anchorage School District or Children?

The Anchorage School Board will spend $2,107,660 of Federal taxpayer dollars to grow the after-school dinner program for 12 schools in the 2012-2013 school year (Memo #19, ASD School Board) at its August 6 meeting. Many will argue that this is free money because the Federal government funds this program....
August 8th, 2012 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Indiana Voucher Schools Trump Other Schools

Indiana launched a school voucher program in 2011 which provided Choice Scholarships to students whose families had household incomes not more than 150 percent of the Federal free/reduced price (FRPL) lunch program criterion. This would be about $61,000/year for a family of four in Indiana. Those students...
July 17th, 2012 | Education | Read More

Who Knows What’s Best for Their Child, Parents or Educators?

We often hear from the educational community that parents are not involved in their children’s education. But do the educators really want substantive parental involvement in education or are they blaming parents for students’ lack of achievement? Several states have what is called parent...
July 5th, 2012 | Education | Read More

The Closed-Door Session of the Anchorage School Board

Alaska has an open meetings law. If you aren’t familiar with what this is, basically it requires that boards and committees elected by the public must be open to the public. The law is meant to guard the public from a board or committee that wants to close its doors to escape public scrutiny. One...
June 27th, 2012 | Education | Read More

What Would Dr. King Say?

What Would Dr. King Say?
Article VII, Section 1 of the Alaska’s Constitution, contains some language prohibiting funding sectarian schools. Where did it come from?  
June 22nd, 2012 | Education, Featured | Read More

Does the Anchorage School District want parents to be involved?

It’s a concern that’s repeated often enough: Performance of Anchorage schools could be better, but parents just aren’t involved. But, does the ASD board and administration want more parental involvement? A better question to ask is, “Does district policy encourage or discourage parental involvement?”...
June 15th, 2012 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Rotten Tomatoes Panel: Pat Higgins ASD Board Member in Marshall Islands

[June 15, 2012 4:30pm…Update…more comments have been placed at the end] The Alaska Policy Forum’s David Boyle has stirred up the Anchorage bowl with his comments on Pat Higgins. Apparently there are some who think that Mr. Higgins should be able to stay on the board after he takes...
June 14th, 2012 | Education | Read More

The Absentee School Board Member in Anchorage

By David Boyle If you voted for someone to represent you on the school board, and after starting his term, this person decided to take a job in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific, do you think the person should be allowed to conduct school board business from that new location? Anchorage School...
May 30th, 2012 | Accountability, Education | Read More

MatSu School District Report Card

MatSu School District Report Card
The Alaska Policy Forum has released the report card for the MatSu School District for 2010-2011. If you have questions or comments about this map, feel free to email Bob Griffin, Education Research Fellow, Alaska Policy Forum at bgriffin at alaskapolicyforum dot org or David Boyle, Research Associate,...
May 29th, 2012 | Education, Featured | Read More

Resettlement Camps Lead to Better Schools

Jonathan Rothwell at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institute has completed a study to document the cost of housing and its relationship to school performance. It makes a difficult read. To describe it as ludicrous would be putting it very gently. Mr. Rothwell blames the lack of high...
April 24th, 2012 | Education | Read More